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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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Comments

  1. malweth.myopenid.com says:

    Another miracle put to rest…

    The best part about this is that cheap wine comes in 3L bottles! This sounds like a great DIY project to really impress your non-MAKEr, (wine-drinking) friends.

  2. St.Eligius says:

    Sounds about as safe as drinking Copper(II) sulfate or any other chemical used for electroplating.

  3. TD says:

    that the emperor has no clothes! This would have been interesting if it had been conducted using a double-blind protocol. You’d probably never get the “experts” to agree to participate in that because it might reveal the arbitrary nature their judgments.

  4. The Snob says:

    This doesn’t prove the emperor has no clothes, it’s simply a potential way to make fancy clothing more cheaply. Sort of like how aluminum used to be worth more than gold.

  5. Charley says:

    I’m no chemist, but I believe all they did was speed up the oxidation.

    You achieve the same effect when you open the bottle and let it “breath” or “open up”

    I’d imagine pouring the cheap wine into a glass bowl and allowing it to sit for a time before pouring it back in the bottle would have a similar effect.

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