Grape Press – Frankenwine: Chinese scientists make shocking discovery

Trust me, you'll feel more mature in a matter of minutes.

By Jim Boyce

Call it Frankenwine.

According to the The Daily Telegraph, a system is being developed in China that uses electrical equipment to speed the aging process of wine, “turning young wine from an undrinkable bitter grape juice into a quaffable beverage fit for any table.”

A team led by Xin An Zeng, a chemist at the South China University of Technology in Guangzhou, came up with the idea of pumping the rough wine through a pipe that ran between two titanium electrodes, connected to the mains.

For the test wine, the team selected a three-month-old cabernet sauvignon from the Suntime Winery, China’s largest producer.

Batches of wine spent one, three or eight minutes in the electric fields.

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

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 3 minutes 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.

One of these titanium electrode gizmos would make an excellent Christmas gift, especially if it can also be used to age cheese.

Hat tip to D. Wolf for the story.

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