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Aging wine in 30 minutes


iainpb
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A new device has been announced today that claims to allow people to artificially age wine, the manafacturers claim you can take a cheap bottle of wine and make it taste expensive. It uses ultrasonics and retails at around £350.

I wonder if it really can improve wine in such a short time, i would want to see quite a few demos before buying it

http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/newstopics...s-inventor.html

Edited by iainpb (log)
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first off cheap wine does not taste bad because it has not been aged it taste bad because it was produced to be a cheap wine. I don't care how long u age a bottle of 2 Buck Chuck its not gonna be good. For 350 pounds you can buy a pretty good bit of decent wine or one really good bottle. I think I would go that route.

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A new device has been announced today that claims to allow people to artificially age wine, the manafacturers claim you can take a cheap bottle of wine and make it taste expensive. It uses ultrasonics and retails at around £350.
New device, maybe; old pitch, demonstrably. I'm old enough to remember news reports from China of accelerated wine aging using microwaves (1980s I think), various magnetic gadgets that reappear like (even correlate with?) moon phases,* and recently, centrifugal aerators (which did seem to have a testable effect, though I'm not sure related to aging). Ultrasonics is new to me.

This touches a bigger topic: Consumer gadgets with hocus-pocus claims, often pseudoscientific, but that scientists also can reject too quickly -- because occasionally such gadgets work. I have some experience with this topic in other kinds of consumer technology. It got serious discussion by professional scientists who are wine-passionate, debating an FAQ entry on magnetic gadgets for a venerable online wine forum (the original). My argument: the core question is whether a gadget works as claimed. Not whether it fits this or that theory presumed relevant. Note that a gadget's sales face a very different test: whether consumers can be persuaded that it works. Excerpt of that FAQ discussion here.

So I support (and so did the final FAQ entry) iainpb's conclusion, which goes deep:

i would want to see quite a few demos before buying it.
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My mother used to work in a lab and she sometimes "aged" her home made fruit liqeur in the lab's ultrasonic water bath. This was probably 30 years ago and I have no idea if it actually did anything to the taste.

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  • 3 weeks later...

"Why?"

That response is equivalent to, "Prove to me that it doesn't work whereas the correct response should be "Prove to me it DOES work."

When dealing with subjective interpretation and human physchology, objective interpretation is impossible which is how claims like this can be made with relative impunity because it is often impossible to verify or disprove the claim objectively.

Anyway, its pure BS without doing ANY further investigation.-Dick

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When dealing with subjective interpretation and human physchology, objective interpretation is impossible which is how claims like this can be made with relative impunity ...

I hope this doesn't put too fine a point on it -- and not to defend snake oil! -- but I don't know if that comment quite fits the situation. Perceptual isn't the same as subjective.

Experienced and professional tasters detect many features of wine "blind" -- I see them do it all the time -- I'll admit I even do it. Though people differ in styles of wines they prefer, other measures have wide consensus (i.e., objectivity), just as most people agree what sweet, sour, bitter, etc. mean. (I know one winemaker whom people like to test. An unidentified glass is waved before his nose. "1998 Oregon Pinot," he says, correctly, as offhand as most people perceive the wine "red.") Experienced tasters could surely do blind testing of claims to produce "aging" effects or "expensive" tastes.

Bigger issues in my experience are that (1) people often don't want to test product claims even if possible; (2) in wine, people don't always want something that "tastes expensive" -- otherwise they, and the critics they read, would rely more on blind (i.e., objective) evaluation, less on fashionable labels.

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So far has wine buying moved away from content to label chasing, in fact, that I was able to find offered online, for tens of thousands of dollars, magnums (1.5 L bottles) of a legendary 1945 wine, bottled by the winery -- even though it's public information that few bottles of this wine were made at all, and no magnums. (One expert told me such offerings were routine, "and in a good month, you can find a jeroboam" -- an even larger bottle offered.)

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So far has wine buying moved away from content to label chasing, in fact, that I was able to find offered online, for tens of thousands of dollars, magnums (1.5 L bottles) of a legendary 1945 wine, bottled by the winery -- even though it's public information that few bottles of this wine were made at all, and no magnums.  (One expert told me such offerings were routine, "and in a good month, you can find a jeroboam" -- an even larger bottle offered.)

This sort of fakery has been very well documented and one case traced to a specific individual who supposedly found Thomas Jefferson's wine behind a wall in France. Anyway, happnes all the time but what this has to do with 'snake oil' is beyond me?

Blind tastings of wine and the evaluation of items pretending to improve wine are two different things but both are subjective. EOT!-Dick

Edited by budrichard (log)
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This sort of fakery has been very well documented and one case traced to a specific individual who supposedly found Thomas Jefferson's wine behind a wall in France.

Yes, the Hardy Rodenstock [?sp] case -- got a lot of popular press in 2007. (The experience I mentioned was a few years earlier.)

but what this has to do with 'snake oil' is beyond me?  Blind tastings of wine and the evaluation of items pretending to improve wine are two different things but both are subjective.

Sorry if I expressed it poorly. Both situations are sensory evaluations. (Blind tasting is a practical technique to check claims of things improving wine; professional winemakers do it all the time in fact, to check results of steps or experiments). Sensory evaluation certainly has subjective components. (For instance some people inherently can't smell TCA or "cork taint"). But it has important objective components. You and I can taste a blind sample of quinine and likely both will agree it's "bitter." I've seen people blind-taste and correctly identify the alcohol content to a tenth of a degree, or which forest the wood for the aging barrels came from. It's the same idea, further along. Such people could tell if a gadget does or does not improve wine.

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This sort of fakery has been very well documented and one case traced to a specific individual who supposedly found Thomas Jefferson's wine behind a wall in France.

Yes, the Hardy Rodenstock [?sp] case -- got a lot of popular press in 2007. (The experience I mentioned was a few years earlier.)

but what this has to do with 'snake oil' is beyond me?  Blind tastings of wine and the evaluation of items pretending to improve wine are two different things but both are subjective.

Sorry if I expressed it poorly. Both situations are sensory evaluations. (Blind tasting is a practical technique to check claims of things improving wine; professional winemakers do it all the time in fact, to check results of steps or experiments). Sensory evaluation certainly has subjective components. (For instance some people inherently can't smell TCA or "cork taint"). But it has important objective components. You and I can taste a blind sample of quinine and likely both will agree it's "bitter." I've seen people blind-taste and correctly identify the alcohol content to a tenth of a degree, or which forest the wood for the aging barrels came from. It's the same idea, further along. Such people could tell if a gadget does or does not improve wine.

If you think that it is worthwhile to purchase this item and hire a panel of wine evaluators and run double or even a single blind tasting to evaluate this 'gadget', then please do so and let us all know the results.

If not worthwhile, then this Thread is purely semantics.

BTW, I lied, it was not EOT for me!-Dick

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objective interpretation is impossible which is how claims like this can be made with relative impunity ...
what this has to do with 'snake oil' is beyond me? ... Blind tastings of wine and the evaluation of items pretending to improve wine are two different things but both are subjective.
If you think that it is worthwhile to purchase this item and hire a panel of wine evaluators...

Some readers, anyway, may have gotten the points. Perceptual isn't the same as subjective; serious wine tasting is much more about objective things than some people suppose, as you can see; if a gadget actually works or not is something not every buyer wants to know; and if all wine consumers were actually interested in how wines taste, they might rely more on blind tasting, less on fashionable labels (even legitimate ones). Quod erat faciendum!

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  • 2 weeks later...

Silk purses out of sow's ears.

Gold from lead.

Excellent wine from cheap plonk.

Bottom line, no amount of aging is going to make inferior wine taste better. It will just be older inferior wine.

If anyone believes this story, I've got an email from someone in Nigeria who may want to speak with you about getting some gold out of the country. :wink:

Nick Reynolds, aka "nickrey"

"The Internet is full of false information." Plato
My eG Foodblog

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  • 1 month later...

Not exactly the same as above, but in the same vein. Incidentally the article also mentions this device and says it's bunk, while giving some due to the other process mentioned.

How to make cheap wine taste like fine vintage.

I still think the above comments regarding starting with good fruit quality, etc, would hold true, but the results given are kind of interesting.

-Andy

Andy Arrington

Journeyman Drinksmith

Twitter--@LoneStarBarman

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