Science Giveth and Science Taketh Away

wine chemistryScience is proving that wine snobs are correct (but being snobs we knew that anyway)–the glass matters. By mapping the distribution of alcohol leaving the glass, this research team shows that the proper glass has a significant effect on the availability of aromas.

At 13°C, the alcohol concentration in the centre of the wine glass was lower than that around the rim. Wine served at a higher temperature, or from the martini or straight glass, did not exhibit a ring-shaped vapour pattern. ‘This ring phenomenon allows us to enjoy the wine aroma without interference of gaseous ethanol. Accordingly, wine glass shape has a very sophisticated functional design for tasting and enjoying wine,’ explains Mitsubayashi.

But while these measurements of alcohol distribution help wine lovers get the most out of a wine, this device promises to make wine boring:

Winemakers taste their own wine or enlist the help of professional tasters to ensure it has just the right astringency levels. But soon, an electronic “tongue” might make their job a little easier.

Scientists have developed a nanosensor — a device that detects molecular interactions at tiny, nanoscale levels — that they say mimics how our tongues experience astringency. The device could allow wineries to monitor and adjust levels throughout the winemaking process rather than rely on error-prone human taste at the end.

Is the goal to make sure every wine tastes the same? Don’t we want individual wines to reflect an individual winemaker’s palate?

One comment

  1. Hey Dwight !

    Somtimes the glass does matter, especially when I occasionally drink wine from a tumbler. 🙂 Quick lunch with leftover dinner makes for a perfect mood.

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