Research

My current research project is on wine, sustainability and the redefinition of taste. The website for that project is at www.anthroenology.org, but the short description is:

In the project we are interested in the intersection of sustainability, the sensual experiences of consumption and the redefinition of taste and look at this through a focus on two related wine-making movements: biodynamic and ‘natural’ wine.

Since such wines – and particularly, the loose category known as ‘natural wine’ – can taste radically different from more conventionally produces ones, wine presents a unique opportunity to examine the inter-relationship between environmental concerns (sustainability) and the sensual aspects of food and drink

Some of the issues we seek to understand in this project include: If natural wine makers intend to continue to produce wines that are rejected by some consumers and even critics as bad, how might they engage with and shift current conceptions of taste? Do and can ethical appeals (to issues of sustainability) impact our perception of how a product (wine) should taste? To what degree do producers contribute to understandings of natural, biodynamic or otherwise ‘sustainable’ wines, particularly where agreed upon international standards (for sustainable and natural wines) are lacking, and, when present, certification is not always sought by producers.