Make Pt1497
How to make cheap wine taste like a fine vintage… Maybe a DIY project, I see no problems with electrified wine from China, really…

They pumped the wine through a pipe that ran between two titanium electrodes, fed with a mains-frequency alternating supply boosted to a higher voltage. For the test wine, the team selected a 3-month-old cabernet sauvignon from the Suntime Winery, China’s largest producer. Batches of wine spent 1, 3 or 8 minutes in various electric fields (see diagram). The team then analysed the treated wine for chemical changes that might alter its “mouth feel” and quality, and passed it to a panel of 12 experienced wine tasters who assessed it in a blind tasting (Innovative Food Science and Emerging Technologies, vol 9, p 463).

The results were striking. With the gentlest treatment, the harsh, astringent wine grew softer. Longer exposure saw some of the hallmarks of ageing emerge- a more mature “nose”, better balance and greater complexity. The improvements reached their peak after 3minutes at 600 volts per centimetre: this left the wine well balanced and harmonious, with a nose of an aged wine and, importantly, still recognisably a cabernet sauvignon.

Phillip Torrone

Editor at large – Make magazine. Creative director – Adafruit Industries, contributing editor – Popular Science. Previously: Founded – Hack-a-Day, how-to editor – Engadget, Director of product development – Fallon Worldwide, Technology Director – Braincraft.


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