By Jim Boyce | Space grapes! China just sent vines into the great beyond and that ultimately means new wines for our planet and the universe at large. It’s not the first case of oenology in orbitâ€”Sassacaia made the tripâ€”but it raises intriguing questions. Will vintages be counted in light years? Are space-borne yeasts feasible? Will flying winemakers be called rocketing winemakers? But first, some of the wines and grapes we can expect.
(Gamay) Used on Planet Earth for light-bodied reds, this grape will take on a potent je nais sais quoi that comes only from exposure to the finest electromagnetic radiation. Expect it to positively glow in the glass.
(Beaujolais Nouveau) Made from that Gamaray grape, it will be released universe-wide each year on the third November of Thursday, just like on Earth, with what sounds like a delivery nightmare. Nevertheless, nothing will say November on Neptune like Beaujolais Nova. You’ll be drinking bottled sunspot.
(Airen) Some grapes like it hot, some like it dry, and some like it in poor soil. Alien, an offshoot of a grape widely planted in Spain, likes all three. Expect the best interpretations to emerge on Mercury.
(Ugni Blanc) Well-known for its use in Cognac and Argmanac, this grape will the backbone for potent tipples that the busy space worker can turn to when he or she is having “a bad Mars day.”
(Meunier) One of three key grapes associated with Champagne, it does best in cooler climates, and thus has great potential on the Moon. Expect each crater to deliver a different sense of terroir. And for Moonet Chandon to emerge as a leading mass producer.
(Cabernet Sauvignon): Yes, that grape name is horrible but I wanted to include a well-known variety, and it was either this or Stariz for Shiraz.
(Nebbiolo) What could be better than enjoying a bottle of wine produced in and named after a massive cloud of interstellar dust and gas? Two bottles! Order this one by the case. Serve chilled and expect a few notes of, um, dust and gas.
(Torrontes): A twist on a lovable grape from Argentina and named after a planetâ€”or is it?â€”that is most distant from the Sun. Given current weather conditions, we can most certainly expect cold climate wines.
(Torrontes): What’s this? Another space version of Torrontes? Looks like we’ll have competition for shelf space on Saturn, people! Wines from this particular variety will pair perfectly with Reeses Pieces.
I included this one simply so I could type Uranus again. Plus, The Jura is pretty cool.
Don’t worry, Earth-bound producers, I’m sure your brands will still be found throughout the universe.
Got your own space grape ideas? Let me know in the comments, on weixin / wechat (beijingboyce) or at grapewallofchina (at) gmail.com.
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