A wine is traditionally made by fermenting the grapes, where the yeast turns grape sugars into ethanol. This process develops various flavour compounds and takes time in producing variable results. But some chemists turned wine experts have devised a simpler way. Their start-up is turning water into wine and producing synthetic wines. Yes, you read that right!
Settled in San Francisco, these engineers aim to reverse engineer the perfect bottle of wine, but in a lab and that too without using grapes. No vineyard, no winery, no fermenting barrels. They claim to mimic fine vintages. But is that really possible for synthetic wines to take over the actual wines? The answer is simply no… not for another 100 years at least. These can be served as another beverage but not as a wine.
Every country has strict standards to term a wine as “wine”. For example, only the fermented juice of grapes can be termed as a wine in France. Similarly, there are certain appellations that define a wine in every country.
Though with many similarities in the compound composition, the synthetic wine was easily detectable in a blind taste because of its not-so-pleasant aromas at the nose and the lacking finish.
Since the idea was conceived last year only, there’s a possibility of improvement over the course of a few years. Or, maybe, they’ll be able to develop a niche as a novelty. But, for a robot wine, there’s a lot more to be achieved to get in par with the standards of an actual ‘novel wine’.
The marginal synthetic intrusion is used by some wineries to increase the production and raise the quality of a wine. Even then, a pure synthetic wine is not a big thing for now! Made by mixing artificially processed ingredients similar to those of the real wine, it has not yet gained a market and is still under development.