Monday, March 19, 2007

Brave New World Meets Wine

So when does a wine stop being a wine and becomes an engineered concoction?

Some of the world’s largest foods giants are now tackling this thorny question. And hold onto your wine glass, because it’s a question that may be puzzling wine lovers for years to come.

It’s called Nano-Engineered Wines. The premise is that you buy a liquid at the corner grocery store, then in the comfort of your own home, you nuke it in a correctly tuned microwave transmitter. In minutes, you can be sipping a glass of “wine” fully customized to your personal taste buds.

Apparently, microwaves activate microscopic nano capsules with an ability to convert the liquid into whatever wine tickles your fancy at the moment. Feel like a New Zealand style Sauvignon Blanc? Just program your trusty transmitter and voilia – cat’s pee on a gooseberry bush.

Prefer something a little more robust – say a big, bold Aussie Shiraz? Just dial in smoke and spice, maybe a little leather, and zap, it’s ready to go. If you want to be really different, how about making said Shiraz white? No problem. It’s all in the tuning of the microwaves. In fact, you’ll apparently even be able to dial or tune in (not quite sure what the terminology would have to be) the alcohol level. A Napa Cab at 7% perhaps?

And here’s another twist. Legions of unemployed wine critics – every wine would be a hundred points after all. Perhaps they would have to be more involved telling you how to dial up something like a Grand Cru Chablis.

Could this Orwellian scenario actually be the future of viniculture? No, somehow we can’t see this drink really being called wine because the definition of wines is fermented grape juice. The only possible good thing to come of it would be the death of the points system at last. Which goes to show there is a silver lining to every cloud.

Now lest you think we are making this up, here are some links to the articles we saw. So weird it has to be true? You be the judge.

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