Monday, October 13, 2008

Can a Machine Turn Cheap Wine into Fine Wine?

I saw this article from the UK's Telegraph newspaper about an inventor who claimed to invent a machine that simulates the aging process of wine. Other such inventions have come up in the past and the newspaper apparently thought this one was worth an article.

Lest you get tempted to buy this contraption or something similar, let me save you the money and tell you that it's rubbish. I don't even need to see a demonstration or anything to make this judgment. The inventor claims that it replicates the aging process of wine. They then go on to say that this means you can take a cheap bottle of wine, and presto it tastes like a fine wine that's been cellared for 20 years. But cheap wines don't improve with age anyway, no matter how you store it. Most wines are best consumed young. It's more expensive wines that improve with age, and why would want to subject a wine you paid $50 or more for to ultrasound?

All these devices also claim to work on both red and white wine, but that makes no sense because the aging process for red wines is different than whites. As reds age the tannins bind together and drop to the bottom of the bottle as sediment. White wines don't have tannin. Also, the chemistry for the aging process of wine is not completely understood.

I'm not saying that at some point in the future somebody won't invent a contraption that simulates the aging process of wine, but I do know for certain that such a contraption wouldn't work for both red and white wine, and it could never make a $7 bottle taste like a $100 bottle. If you ever see those claims being made rest assured you are either being lied to or are talking to a gullible person.

No comments: