China’s burgeoning wine industry is now looking into technology that would allow them to artificially age wine, cutting a 20 year process of complex chemical reactions down to a 3 minute spin in some machine. The process involves running “rough wine”, also known as “undrinkable swill” through a pipe that runs through a pair of titanium diodes connected to electrical mains. The result is supposed to be a more balanced, less acidic, seemingly aged wine.
Surprisingly, the results thus far have been encouraging. In blind tastings, with supposed “wine experts“, the shock-therapy batch of wine has consistently been rated higher than it’s untreated brethren. “Wine experts” trying a 3-month old Cabernet Sauvignon from China’s largest winery came to this conclusion:
“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.”
I still remain skeptical. Mostly because the inventor of the process, and it’s primary champion still is “cannot yet explain how exposure to an electric field alters the wine’s chemistry”. I have a suspicion that the wine angle is just a cover-up, and the Chinese government is really trying to find a way to make their children seem older. Think about the possibilities! Run a 10 year old girl through a pipe with some electrodes in it for a few seconds, and all of a sudden you have a gymnast that seems, to”experts”, to be at least 16 years old. They’d be able to take over the world!