OENOLOGY 7019WT - Sensory Studies

Waite Campus - Semester 2 - 2023

This course involves teaching sessions that may be attended by both Undergraduate and Postgraduate students. This course provides a scientifically based introduction to sensory evaluation and its relationship to the winemaking process, and promotes the development of technically accurate wine assessment skills. The physiology of taste receptors, olfaction and the structure of oral mucosa are examined. Recent advances in knowledge, including the function of signal transduction molecules and protein structure are used to explain current models of flavour, astringency and taste perception. Basic flavour chemistry of grapes and wine is introduced. An introduction to sensory measurement theory, psychophysics, aroma and taste interactions, threshold measurement, and the psychological and physiological factors affecting perception is presented. The concept of adaptation and its application to the sensory evaluation of wines, and elements of good sensory practice including data collection and statistical analysis are described. The practical program will be used to develop basic skills in sensory assessment of wines leading to the interpretation of wine characteristics in terms of wine style and quality. This is achieved by a progressive development of sensory skills, using model solutions to depict basic tastes and their interaction, followed by a detailed examination of white and red table, fortified and sparkling wines.

  • General Course Information
    Course Details
    Course Code OENOLOGY 7019WT
    Course Sensory Studies
    Coordinating Unit School of Agriculture, Food and Wine
    Term Semester 2
    Level Postgraduate Coursework
    Location/s Waite Campus
    Units 3
    Contact Up to 6 hours per week
    Available for Study Abroad and Exchange Y
    Assessment Practical report, tasting tests, group oral presentation, written exam
    Course Staff

    Course Coordinator: Associate Professor Sue Bastian

    Course Timetable

    The full timetable of all activities for this course can be accessed from Course Planner.

  • Learning Outcomes
    Course Learning Outcomes
    1 Recognise the basic tastes and tactile sensations and describe their interactions and the mechanisms of how we perceive them.
    2 Explain the principles of sensory physiology and psychology upon which sensory assessment is based and appreciate the factors that affect perception.
    3 Describe the principles and practices of sensory measurement and quality assessment.
    4 Draw sound conclusions and make recommendations following appropriate sensory experimentation and statistical analysis.
    5 Explain the concept of sensory thresholds.
    6 Have knowledge of the compounds responsible for wine aroma and flavour.
    7 Identify common wine faults, their sensory characteristics and explain their origins.
    8 Define wine characteristics in terms of grape variety, wine style, aging potential and quality.
    9 Communicate confidently and succinctly their perceptions of wine to others using technically correct terminology.
    10 Further develop organisational and written and verbal presentation skills.
    University Graduate Attributes

    This course will provide students with an opportunity to develop the Graduate Attribute(s) specified below:

    University Graduate Attribute Course Learning Outcome(s)

    Attribute 1: Deep discipline knowledge and intellectual breadth

    Graduates have comprehensive knowledge and understanding of their subject area, the ability to engage with different traditions of thought, and the ability to apply their knowledge in practice including in multi-disciplinary or multi-professional contexts.


    Attribute 2: Creative and critical thinking, and problem solving

    Graduates are effective problems-solvers, able to apply critical, creative and evidence-based thinking to conceive innovative responses to future challenges.


    Attribute 3: Teamwork and communication skills

    Graduates convey ideas and information effectively to a range of audiences for a variety of purposes and contribute in a positive and collaborative manner to achieving common goals.


    Attribute 4: Professionalism and leadership readiness

    Graduates engage in professional behaviour and have the potential to be entrepreneurial and take leadership roles in their chosen occupations or careers and communities.

    1-10 inclusive

    Attribute 5: Intercultural and ethical competency

    Graduates are responsible and effective global citizens whose personal values and practices are consistent with their roles as responsible members of society.


    Attribute 8: Self-awareness and emotional intelligence

    Graduates are self-aware and reflective; they are flexible and resilient and have the capacity to accept and give constructive feedback; they act with integrity and take responsibility for their actions.

  • Learning Resources
    Required Resources
    Iland, P., Gago, P., Caillard, A. and Dry, P. (2009) “ A Taste of the World Wine ” (Adelaide: Patrick Iland Wine Promotions Pty Ltd)

    Jackson, R.S. (2002) “Wine Tasting: A Professional Handbook” (San Diego: Academic Press)
    Recommended Resources

    Iland, P. and Gago, P. (2002) “ Australian Wine: Styles and Tastes” (Adelaide: Patrick Iland Wine Promotions)

    Lawless, H. and Heymann, H. (2010) “Sensory Evaluation of Foods.
    Principles and Practices” (New York: Springer)

    Meilgaard, M, Civille, G.V. and Carr, T.B. (2007) “Sensory Evaluation
    Techniques” (Boca Raton: CRC Press)

    Stone, H. and Sidel, J.L. (2004) “Sensory Evaluation Practices” (San
    Diego: Academic Press)
    Online Learning
    Student's will be advised of online learning materials via MyUni throughout the semester.
  • Learning & Teaching Activities
    Learning & Teaching Modes
    Lectures are supported by online material, readings and practical exercises designed to highlight theoretical concepts that build student’s knowledge in the areas of sensory science, psychophysics and psychographics, oenology, wine flavour chemistry, human physiology and biology and formal and informal sensory evaluation of wines. The group-discussion based learning approach in the practicals help to develop student knowledge and application of that knowledge to unknown wines samples to permit them to accurately describe wines to others in a technical manner at industry expected standard. Further, the practicals aim to profile student’s individual sensory acuity and ability for personal awareness and development.

    The information below is provided as a guide to assist students in engaging appropriately with the course requirements.

    The suggested workload hours below are provided as a guide to assist students in meeting the course requirements.
    A student enrolled in a 3 unit course, should expect to spend on average 12 hours per week on the studies required. This includes both the formal contact time required for the course (e.g., lectures and practicals), as well as non-contact time (e.g., reading and revision). However, due to the nature of this course, namely sensory evalution of wine, it is suggested that student's also spend as much time as possible in their own time, tasting wines either at cellar door, trade tastings and with informal peer tasting groups.
    Learning Activities Summary
    WEEK TOPIC (L= Lecture, P = Practical)
    1 Course introduction; Introduction to sensory evaluation in wine making 
    Sensory dimensions of wines  Introduction 

    Basic tasting skills / taste interactions /odour recognition and flavour perception, DA training
    2 Olfaction
    Taste System / Basic Tastes

    Basic tastes in white wine / taste interactions in white wine
    3 Alcohol Metabolism/Effects of Consumption 
    Alcohol Metabolism/Effects of Consumption

    Alcohol/Body/Astringency/Complexity/Faults in wine
    4 Sensory test methods 
    Sensory test methods 

    Pre Test / Basic Wine Exam
    / Student Taste Threshold Testing
    5 Sensory test methods
    Sensory test methods

    Grape Skin and Seed Flavour and Colour Additives
    Discrimination Testing / Preference Testing
    6 Wine Aroma
    Wine Aroma

    White Wine Styles Overview
    White Wines
    7 Wine Faults (1) 
    Wine Faults (2)

    White wines
    Australian and International Sweet Styles/Sweet Test Bracket (Non Assessed)
    8 L Trigeminal Sensations
    L Perception of Astringency

    P Dry White Table Wine Sensory Exam
    P Super Taster Practical
    9 Threshold Testing A Case study on Salt in Grapes and Wine
    Wine and Food Interactions Case studies on Wine and Cheese and Chocolate/Sensory Adaptation

    Variations in red wine body and style
    Light – Medium Body Non-Oaked, Lightly Oaked styles Rosé, Pinot Noir, Rhone Blends 10-14
    10 Student Presentations Groups/Topics to be announced
    Student Presentations

    Australian and other Shiraz, Advanced Faults
    Cabernet Sauvignon, Cab Blends, Merlot, Miscellaneous15-19 AF
    11 Student Presentations Groups/Topics to be announced
    Student Presentations

    Revision Bracket / Dry Red Table Wine Sensory Exam
    Italian Reds 1 and 2 and Flavoured Wines 1 and 2
    12 Student Presentations Groups/Topics to be announced
    Student Presentations
    Specific Course Requirements
    Closed (covered) toed / enclosed shoes are required for all practical classes. Students who do not meet this requirement will not be permitted to attend the practical session which are compulsory to pass this course.
  • Assessment

    The University's policy on Assessment for Coursework Programs is based on the following four principles:

    1. Assessment must encourage and reinforce learning.
    2. Assessment must enable robust and fair judgements about student performance.
    3. Assessment practices must be fair and equitable to students and give them the opportunity to demonstrate what they have learned.
    4. Assessment must maintain academic standards.

    Assessment Summary

    A Sensory Test Methods Prac Write Up 10
    B Basic sensory exam 5
    C White wine tasting exam 10
    D Red wine tasting exam 10
    E Tasting comments / practical attendance / contribution 5
    F Group Presentations  5
    G Theory examination 55
    TOTAL 100
    Assessment Related Requirements
    Pass requirement
    To successfully complete the course, the student must gain at least 50% for the practical write up and sensory tasting exam components and produce an overall mark of at least 50% of the combined marks for all assessment components. There is no replacement/additional assessment available for the practical component of the course. If a student does not meet the requirement of 50% of the available marks for this component they will fail the course. In addition, at least 50% for the final written examination must be obtained. All assignments are compulsory. Students who do not attempt and submit all assignments will fail the course. All practical classes are compulsory. Failure to attend any practical sessions shown in the practical programme without a medical certificate or prior agreement with the course co-ordinator may result in the student failing the course.
    Assessment Detail
    Practical Write Up
    All students will be required to conduct a number of different testing methods in practical class and then write up the class data in the format of short reports. More information will be given during the practical classes.

    Tasting Exams
    Tasting exams will be conducted in the practical sessions. All students need to attend unless they are unable to on the basis of medical or compassionate grounds. A medical certificate or note from a qualified practitioner is required as proof of an existing condition of the day of the exam. If this is the case the student needs to contact and make other arrangements with the course coordinator to sit the exam at a later date.

    Tasting Evaluations in Practical Classes
    All students are expected to contribute to class discussion in practical classes. Grades will be given for attendance and comments made by each student on wines on a random basis over the semester.

    Final written examinations
    Course content changes slightly from year to year however questions that have been set in previous examinations are available and in the majority are still relevant. All lecture material and practical session information is examinable.  
    A hard copy of the practical write up is required. The lecturer will provide more details for submission during the semster.
    Course Grading

    Grades for your performance in this course will be awarded in accordance with the following scheme:

    M10 (Coursework Mark Scheme)
    Grade Mark Description
    FNS   Fail No Submission
    F 1-49 Fail
    P 50-64 Pass
    C 65-74 Credit
    D 75-84 Distinction
    HD 85-100 High Distinction
    CN   Continuing
    NFE   No Formal Examination
    RP   Result Pending

    Further details of the grades/results can be obtained from Examinations.

    Grade Descriptors are available which provide a general guide to the standard of work that is expected at each grade level. More information at Assessment for Coursework Programs.

    Final results for this course will be made available through Access Adelaide.

  • Student Feedback

    The University places a high priority on approaches to learning and teaching that enhance the student experience. Feedback is sought from students in a variety of ways including on-going engagement with staff, the use of online discussion boards and the use of Student Experience of Learning and Teaching (SELT) surveys as well as GOS surveys and Program reviews.

    SELTs are an important source of information to inform individual teaching practice, decisions about teaching duties, and course and program curriculum design. They enable the University to assess how effectively its learning environments and teaching practices facilitate student engagement and learning outcomes. Under the current SELT Policy (http://www.adelaide.edu.au/policies/101/) course SELTs are mandated and must be conducted at the conclusion of each term/semester/trimester for every course offering. Feedback on issues raised through course SELT surveys is made available to enrolled students through various resources (e.g. MyUni). In addition aggregated course SELT data is available.

  • Student Support
  • Policies & Guidelines
  • Fraud Awareness

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