Wine Vintage Voodoo
The most difficult part of winemaking may be waiting for the wine to age. When you make a wine, it can be years before it is ready to drink. Just like death, man has come up with different (and weird) methods to cheat the waiting process.
Deep Six Your Wine
Here is one method to age wine that is making waves in the wine industry. Louis Roederer, one of the largest remaining independent Champagne Houses, is trying a new way of cellaring their wine. Don’t expect a tour of this cellar however. This cellar is on a sea bed off the shore of France.
The strange idea has two factors the winery believes will help age the wine. The first is the underwater currents which gently rock the wine. Winemakers believe this will help speed up the aging process. The other factor is the constant temperature. The water maintains a constant 50 F (10 C) which is perfect for aging wine.
Roederer is still testing the idea. Apparently the cold temperatures do not help the red wines as much as the white wines. The winery has tested the method on several still wines, but the current test (no pun intended) is on Champagne. In a few months they will compare the wines to other Champagnes aged using traditional methods.
If you think this idea is sunk, wait till you hear these other truly whacky ideas for aging wine!
Another strange method is something you can try at home. A device called “The Perfect Sommelier” uses magnets to quickly age your wine faster than you can say “Cooger and Dark’s Pandemonium Shadow Show”. The manufacturer claims their device will properly age a wine within thirty minutes.
The idea behind the device is to create a magnetic field from the top of the wine to the bottom of the wine. The tannins somehow are changed by the magnets. The website states the “Perfect Sommelier” creates a “true” magnetic field (as opposed to all those fake magnetic fields out there). All in all, it sounds like magnetic therapy applied to wine. Your wine will taste different if you squint and wish really really hard.
Heavy Metal Poisoning
Clef du Vin is a truly magical device. Just like “Death” in Gauntlet, this device ages your wine just by touching it (Merlot, your life force is running out). It has a patented metal alloy on the tip which (get this) somehow replicates the aging process. Some people have suggested the “device” does not change the wine as much as it adds something to it. It sounds like the wine might be reacting with the alloy. You can spend $99 on Amazon for this fancy keychain, or you might get the same effect using a shiny copper penny.
Japanese startup Innovative Design and Technology is trying something a bit more shocking. They are zapping the wine with a few volts of electricity. The startup claims the electricity breaks up water clusters allowing the water to mix with the alcohol more easily. The physics seems sketchy to me. Before you get too amped on the idea, the Japanese did not get a warm reception when they brought the device to one Italian winemaker. They were told to leave the room, then leave the country, and never come back. The jury is still out on if this idea works. They announced it in 2005 and we are still waiting for their results. I’m guessing it has a more promising future in homeopathy.
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I live in Denver, Colorado. This blog is everything about beer, wine, cider, mead and other spirits.
I am a avid homebrewer and winemaker. I’ve been making my own beer and wine for many years. I started making beer when I was in college (mostly because the drinking age in the United States is 21). My first few beers were horrible. The beers are much better now, and I often supply my neighborhood with free beer! It is a great hobby!