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08 May 2006

The Big Shortcut

Speedometerw It was only a matter of time.  I read today that researchers are looking for ways to shorten the traditional, and still in many ways mysterious, ageing process for wine.

Take a guess and tell me where you think the researchers are located.  Australia?  California?  Try a trio of Spanish universities - U.'s of Cadiz, Seville and Cordoba.  These wine investigators aren't just looking for ways to shortcut ageing in run of the mill table wine.  No; they are looking to fast forward maturation in Sherry and Brandy:

"Researchers from the universities of Cadiz, Seville and Cordoba are working on a study to shorten the traditional biological ageing process of sherry wines, brandies and wine vinegars in oak butts and casks (the soleras and criaderas system) in Andalusia without losing quality in the final product. "

Color me skeptical, but I have doubts that a 148,200 Euro study is going to unlock the mysteries of wine maturation in the traditional Solera Reserva system.  But then, I could be wrong.  Just imagine the possibilities..

"Try our Modern Manzanilla.  From a Solera established waaayy back in 2007."

I think money might be better spent on research designed to crack the conundrum of cork taint (i.e. detecting taint-prone corks before they are shoved into bottles).

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"Take a guess and tell me where you think the researchers are located. Australia? California?"

Its a common misconception that Americans and Aussies develop the latest wine technology. Actually, most of it comes from France and Italy - its just that the technology finds better acceptance in the "new world".


The more I learn about wine technology & research, the more I'm surprised at how much of it is going on in Europe - particularly Spain. Very interesting.

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