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Ultrasound Machine Ages Wine

samzenpus posted about 6 years ago | from the I'll-take-the-cheap-stuff dept.

Technology 448

Inventor Casey Jones says his creation uses ultrasound technology to recreate the effects of decades of aging by colliding alcohol molecules inside the bottle. Mr. Jones said, "This machine can take your run-of-the-mill £3.99 bottle of plonk and turn it into a finest bottle of vintage tasting like it costs hundreds. It works on any alcohol that tastes better aged, even a bottle of paintstripper whisky can taste like an 8-year-aged single malt." The Ultrasonic Wine Ager, which looks like a Dr. Who ice bucket, takes 30 minutes to work and has already been given the thumbs up by an English winemaker. I know a certain special lady who is about to have the best bottle of Boone's Farm in the world.

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Whiskey? (5, Interesting)

fiannaFailMan (702447) | about 6 years ago | (#25235843)

You can age Whiskey in a bottle? I thought it stopped aging as soon as it goes into a glass container. It's one of the differences between itself and wine.

Re:Whiskey? (5, Informative)

Half-pint HAL (718102) | about 6 years ago | (#25235919)

Yup indeedy. Whisky "ages" by leeching oils from the wood it's casked in.

Also, making a blend taste like a single malt is a ridiculous claim. It's akin to claiming a device can turn fruit-punch into pineapple juice. Where do the other flavours go?


Re:Whiskey? (4, Interesting)

tmosley (996283) | about 6 years ago | (#25235983)

If you put in some oak chips. Some home brewers and small wineries age their wine this way since they can't afford a full sized oak barrel.

Re:Whiskey? (4, Informative)

pdhenry (671887) | about 6 years ago | (#25236139)

If you put in some oak chips. Some home brewers and small wineries age their wine

Not to mention Budweiser. Google "Beechwood aged."

Re:Whiskey? (2, Insightful)

raddan (519638) | about 6 years ago | (#25236137)

I think the main mechanism for aging is slow oxidation. Therefore aging in a bottle only happens due to air moving through a cork. This is enough to subtly change the character of some wines; but I don't know a whole lot about whiskey chemistry. Also-- while aging in a cask imparts some 'vanilla' flavors/aromas, because of the oils/tannins in the oak, I do not think that whiskey spends a lot of time in an oak cask. Again, I'm ignorant about whiskey production in general, but I have made several oak-aged beers, and the flavor imparted by the wood happens fairly quickly. Actually, I completely spoiled a batch of cider this way-- I oak aged it for a month, which was enough to give it an intense 'whiskey' flavor. And from what I've seen wrt whiskey production, every new batch gets new wood, so they're not likely to leave it sitting around in oak for long enough to try to get flavors out of 'old' wood.

But you're right about the blended vs. single malt-- that's a crazy claim. For starters, blended scotch often lacks some of the odd character that comes with single malts, because it's been obscured by blending different batches. So this machine suddenly adds 'character' now? Sounds like magic.

Re:Whiskey? (5, Informative)

Kemanorel (127835) | about 6 years ago | (#25236425)

Whiskey most definitely is aged in oak casks, for quite a long time at that. Some distillers use fresh casks while others use casks that had been previously used for sherry. Some may use a sequence of casks even, or may have different types/lines that require certain types of casks. I know the scotch [] I drink has several different vintages. They age for a various number of years, again for the Glenlivet, that can be 12, 15, 16, 18, 21 years or more. The difference between each vintage is noticeable, primarily in the smoothness and variety in tastes.

Re:Whiskey? (5, Informative)

TyrWanJo (1026462) | about 6 years ago | (#25236437)

Oxidization is generally pretty bad for most alcoholic drinks (oxidization is the main component in bottle aging in wine, but much of this has to do with the interaction of the oxygen with tannins and other stuff in the wine - [] ). The oak or whatever wood being used is porous, and this allows some of the alcohol to evaporate (particularly with distilled stuff, wine doesnt spend as much time in the barrel, so it doesn't lose as much in the way of alcohol) . Good stuff does stay in a cask for a long time for just this reason, not only does it pick up more of the good flavor, but the "angel's share" is greater, which mellows the alcohol. New casks are required in America, where it is law that no barrel be used twice, in Europe however, there is no such law, and barrels are used multiple times because this imparts different flavors, which is how you can get a sherry-wood scotch, its literally a scotch aged in a barrel once used for sherry.

Re:Whiskey? (3, Informative)

lamaleader (197070) | about 6 years ago | (#25236309)

Whisky ages by evaporating bad alcohols while retaining tasty ones. Flavours from the barrel wood and the sea air are a secondary effect. This cannot happen through a glass bottle, so bottling indeed stops the aging process. This explains why all whisky isn't 25 years old. Slashdot readers have surely wondered why we can't fill the pipeline and always have 25 year old whisky. The answer is that about 2% of the alcohols evaporate each year. Waiting 25 years means you lose about half the alcohol.

Re:Whiskey? (4, Interesting)

Colin Smith (2679) | about 6 years ago | (#25236311)

Also... 8 year old malts *are* paintstripper. You need 12 years at an absolute minimum for something drinkable. Preferrably 15 or more years.

Adding a few ml of warm water will reduce the catch at the back of the throat for those lesser beverages.
Also, try with crystalised ginger to complement.

Ice? Coke? Go on, get off my lawn.

Re:Whiskey? (1)

tolan-b (230077) | about 6 years ago | (#25236521)

I like a good whisky, I like it with a splash of water too, even if it's a good whisky.

I do drink whisky with coke too, if I'm out at a club or something, beer just doesn't agree with me, and neat whisky doesn't really last in that situation.

However it always makes me laugh when I'm asked *which* whisky I'd like to butcher with my coke. I mean seriously, as long as it's not bourbon who cares? :p

Re:Whiskey? (5, Interesting)

xgr3gx (1068984) | about 6 years ago | (#25235935)

I think you're right. It's the barrel the does the aging.
I saw a "Modern Marvels" episode about Whiskey. I recall them saying that aging a bottle of whiskey is pointless.
If you age a bottle 8 year old whiskey for 2 years, you don't get 10 year old whiskey, you get a 2 year old bottle of 8 year whiskey.

Re:Whiskey? (1)

thedonger (1317951) | about 6 years ago | (#25236107)

True, but if it is a good blend (or year, for vintage releases) then you shouldn't recklessly mix the whole bottle with a liter of coke. The guys blending change, as do the quality of the crops.

Re:Whiskey? (3, Informative)

afidel (530433) | about 6 years ago | (#25236305)

Most celebrated distilleries that do blends try very hard to maintain consistency in the taste and so all years bottlings should be very similar. I know a similar show I watched showed a distillery where they kept a bunch of ~100 year old samples around as a reference so they could maintain their classic taste.

Re:Whiskey? (2, Insightful)

thedonger (1317951) | about 6 years ago | (#25236457)

I saw that show, too. I think it was Makers Mark, which surprised me because I didn't realize they had such a long history.

That's also why, while single malts are often touted as the holy grail of scotch, blends can be just as enjoyable, and usually cheaper, too.

Re:Whiskey? (4, Insightful)

kaaona (252061) | about 6 years ago | (#25235939)

You're right. Whiskey can't age in the bottle because it's absolutely sealed. Wine, on the other hand, has a cork through which air can seep oh so slowly. I'm thinking Mr. Jones' "invention" is nothing more than an ultrasonic bottle cleaner.

Re:Whiskey? (5, Funny)

pete-classic (75983) | about 6 years ago | (#25235973)

It's an ultrasonic wallet-opener.


Re:Whiskey? (1)

thedonger (1317951) | about 6 years ago | (#25236223)

Whiskey doesn't age in the bottle (supposedly some malts and brandies will age; brandy is grape-based, so maybe that has something to do with it), but not because the bottle is sealed. I think it is related to the differences between distilling a spirit and fermenting fruit juice. A distilled spirit is mostly free from impurity, and rather stable. Wine - particularly unfiltered - still has particles of organic matter in it.

Re:Whiskey? (1)

BigGar' (411008) | about 6 years ago | (#25236003)

That's what I thought.
All the sites I can get to from work take about aging in oak barrels, because the various compounds in the charred wood in the barrel are absorbed over time.
This process would stop once the product was bottled. [] []

Re:Whiskey? (5, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 years ago | (#25236007)

Yeah, the quack scientist who "discovered" this doesn't know the first thing about whisky, or wine for that matter.

What separates four-dollar (yes, the article says pounds, but in case you didn't realize, the UK has enormous alcohol excises that more than make up for the lousy exchange rate) wine from hundred dollar wine isn't that the more expensive is aged, it's that it's better made to begin with. Most cheap wine, if you age it, just gets worse over time. The region it's made in, the type of grape used, and the climate of particular vintage are what makes the biggest difference, an unaged bottle from a good vintage is usually far better than an aged bottle from a lousy one.

tl;dr Dude doesn't know what he's talking about.

Re:Whiskey? (1, Interesting)

philspear (1142299) | about 6 years ago | (#25236397)

Well, the blurby summary may be off, but your analysis is too. Cheap wine aged may get worse, but I'm more inclined to believe that's because of impurities which degrade the flavor over time. Since this isn't actually aging, that might not be the case.

Since I have no idea how or if this thing works, and don't know what makes good wine (my standard would be does it have EtOH in it and can I put it in my stomach and not die) this is all conjecture, but keep in mind it's not a time travel machine. However it is that time tends to increase the quality of wine, this might do it specifically, in which case even crappy wine would get better. If crappy wine gets worse with age, that might not be the same process, and might not be affected by this.

Hypothetical explanation: good wine has high levels of X component, which tastes good, and low levels of Y component which tastes bad. Over time, X and Y undergo chemical changes increasing their impact. Since good wine has more X, aging will improve it. Bad wine has higher levels of Y and/or lower levels of X. Over time, the impact of Y becomes bigger, so you're better off drinking it before that.

If the ultrasonic treatment specifically causes the chemical change in X but not Y, then no matter the quality, X will increase but not Y. Doing this to good wine will make high X and low Y. Doing this to bad wine will cause high X and low Y as well.

Again (in case it's not blindingly obvious) I have little idea what I'm talking about, but the analysis that this thing can't work because bad wine gets worse over time seems very flawed. It's also a mistake to judge from a single paragraph what probably has much much longer justification and explanation.

Basically, we need a 3rd party account of someone who has tried this before we can judge. The proof is in the pudding.

Re:Whiskey? (3, Funny)

camperdave (969942) | about 6 years ago | (#25236083)

Sure you can. Just ask Herb Tarlek. All you need is a funnel and an empty bottle of 40 year old scotch.

Re:Whiskey? (1)

Joe Snipe (224958) | about 6 years ago | (#25236127)

Liquor undergoes flavor changes due to the conversion of the sugars into alcohol. Can someone explain to me in science terms how vibrating alcohol can change it's refractory level or it's flavor as the inventor claims?

Re:Whiskey? (1)

AliasMarlowe (1042386) | about 6 years ago | (#25236205)

Whiskey? Probably not.

However, there is an old method for improving cheap whisky which is traditionally used on scotch stuff. Just add a few drops of cold tea, and the tannins have much the same effect as an extra few years in the barrel. The improved whisky is then transferred to a bottle with a better label, and typically served "on the rocks" to morons who can't taste the difference anyway.

It would not work on whiskey, since that is usually consumed at room temperature (perhaps with a drop of water, but no ice), and the slight imbalance of flavours due to addition of tea might well be detected by a knowledgeable palate.

Great (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 years ago | (#25235865)

All we needed was people who "wine" ultrasonically, excellent.

Idle stories make us wine (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 years ago | (#25235873)

Err, wait, that's whine.

Oh Fun! (1)

arizwebfoot (1228544) | about 6 years ago | (#25235877)

Oh joy, Mad Dog 20/20 here I come!!

Oh well, Bad Karma and all . . .

Re:Oh Fun! (3, Funny)

TinFoilMan (1371973) | about 6 years ago | (#25235905)

It'll be OLD mad dog and it won't be 20/20 anymore, more like 20/200

Oh yeah baby. (1)

big_fish24 (321622) | about 6 years ago | (#25235897)

With the economy and all, I'm totally there. Who needs a job when you can get your cheap drunk on!

Sold! (1)

Kazymyr (190114) | about 6 years ago | (#25235899)

Makes my booze taste better? SOLD!

Getting slow (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 years ago | (#25235933)

Hang on, I read a front page Idle story BEFORE the bitchbots came by to auto-tag it "pleasestop", "idleispants", "waaahcrycrycry", etc?

Man, you people are getting slow. Hurry! Every second you delay is another person forced to read the article! You might lose and people might actually see quirky bits of news and (shudder, shudder) SMILE!!!! MWA HA HA HA!!!

Why so serious, bitchbots?

Also... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 years ago | (#25235957)

Try running your crappy vodka through a Brita water filter a couple times [] . (although Mythbuster disagrees [] , I think it works.)

It would be cool (5, Interesting)

InlawBiker (1124825) | about 6 years ago | (#25235959)

Were it true. But unfortunately you can't make bad wine into good wine just by aging it. It just becomes older bad wine.

Typically the 'age-worthy' wines are made with the choice fruit, and are designed to age by balancing the acid content with the fruit content. As the fruit mellows over time so do the acids (tannins). It is an art as much as as it is a science.

So call me a wine snob if you want, but I've tasted plenty of aged cheap wine and it's really not very good.

Re:It would be cool (4, Insightful)

Lord Ender (156273) | about 6 years ago | (#25236067)

Have you tasted it in a blind taste test? Or are you, like most if not all "wine snobs," simply fooling yourself into thinking expensive==good?

Re:It would be cool (4, Insightful)

dreamchaser (49529) | about 6 years ago | (#25236135)

I forget where I saw it on TV in the last six months or a year, but they did a test like that in a wine shop. Almost every single vinophile picked the cheap bottle of wine that they were told was more expensive over the aged bottled that was in reality the more expensive bottle.

Re:It would be cool (3, Informative)

camperdave (969942) | about 6 years ago | (#25236229)

They did that on Mythbusters once, but it was with vodka, not wine.

Re:It would be cool (2, Informative)

geeknado (1117395) | about 6 years ago | (#25236509)

Yep, and on Mythbusters, the expert taster actually got the order of quality correct on the first go.Interestingly, the Mythbusters themselves did not fare so well-- as I recall, one of them picked the absolute cheapest as the best.

Re:It would be cool (1)

calmofthestorm (1344385) | about 6 years ago | (#25236319)

I feel better about preferring cheap wine to expensive now:-)

Re:It would be cool (1)

powerlord (28156) | about 6 years ago | (#25236407)

The way I've usually heard it described is that, with a more expensive bottle of wine, you are usually more likely to get a "good" bottle of wine. With a cheap bottle of wine, you can also get a "good" bottle of wine, but on average its much more of a crap shoot.

Considering some of the ones I've enjoyed the most have started out cheap, and then become more expensive as other people have discovered them and demand increased, I'd tend to accept that as true. :)

The corollary to this is that when you are buying Champagne, either buy expensive or cheap, not in the middle. The more expensive are usually worth it, and if not, the price will make you believe it is. The cheap may be worth it, but for the price you won't care. ;)

Re:It would be cool (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 years ago | (#25236507)

This study has been done numerous times with a variety of things, including wine. I like wine, although I really don't know a huge amount about it except what I like. Generally I would say wines from France, Spain, Washington, and Australia are nearly always good regardless of the price. A $10 bottle is quality, a $100 bottle is quality. On a blind taste test I would bet good money that no one would be able to say which was the more expensive wine. I've also found that with California wines there seems to be a lessening of quality the further up the range you get, which seems very strange but I guess their pricing models are more about marketing than anything else.

Re:It would be cool (1)

thermian (1267986) | about 6 years ago | (#25236287)

Have you tasted it in a blind taste test? Or are you, like most if not all "wine snobs," simply fooling yourself into thinking expensive==good?

I've preferred vintage wine myself for years. Vintage of course means 'from a specified year and vinyard', not old as such. Non vintage means cheap shit for the most part, usually mixes of wine from different vinyards or even years. Its worth avoiding it for that fact alone.

I can tell the difference between a good wine and a bad one. Good wines are wines I can buy a case of without paying too much, bad wines are when a single bottle costs more then twenty pounds. Most of the time more than ten pounds is too much. I mean, we are talking about fermented fruit juice here, I fail to see why they get such high price tags.

My absolute favorite is Bulgarian Merlot from the Haskavo region. Love that stuff, I've been buying it since the early nineties. Its also quite cheap.

Re:It would be cool (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 years ago | (#25236495)

Well ... I have to admit that as an experiment I picked up a case of a particular vintage of Bordeaux. The liquor store suggested letting the bottles age ~3 years.

I drank them at ~6 month intervals, and the ones that made it the three years certainly had improved in taste (more mellow, less tannic, almost double-triple the price if I bought them three years later, and they made great gifts around the holidays).

If your sole discriminating factor is price, then thats fine, but calling anything cheap a "good wine" and anything more expensive a "bad wine" is about on par with calling any internet connection you pay $20 for good, while anything more is bad.

How's Dial-Up doing for you?

Re:It would be cool (2, Insightful)

Feanturi (99866) | about 6 years ago | (#25236299)

I'm not sure what you are bitter about (anyone calling other people snobs tends to have a bone to pick for some reason unrelated to the argument at hand), but there are good reasons why expensive tends to equal good, and it is just plain sensible once you realize the expense that goes into making something better than the next thing over. One should not be blinded by this fact, because it is not always true, but you really do get what you pay for.

Re:It would be cool (2, Insightful)

BobMcD (601576) | about 6 years ago | (#25236143)

Actually, I am calling you a wine snob. You're overlooking the question at hand, and the intended-value of the device:

Does it make (wine) taste better?

If it really does improve 'cheap' wine, then would not be worth (x money)? No, it doesn't replace the 'good' wine, but the inventor himself admits this.

We can all agree that we're adding science to wine that lacks art, but this doesn't really impact the design of the device...

Re:It would be cool (1)

owlstead (636356) | about 6 years ago | (#25236159)

OK, that's practically a given. Now, could it age wine that was good to start with? I presume that the aging process will take quite a lot of money. Changing a bad whiskey into a good one? Nah, won't work. But I would not be surprised if you could create a good whiskey much faster given the right ingredients.

Obviously, it won't sell. Many bottles of whine are still sold with a cork, even though that does nothing for the quality of the wine (one thing the ausies got right, just use a turning cap). But generally, this industry is *extremely* turned against change.

Re:It would be cool (2, Informative)

philspear (1142299) | about 6 years ago | (#25236579)

Typically the 'age-worthy' wines are made with the choice fruit, and are designed to age by balancing the acid content with the fruit content. As the fruit mellows over time so do the acids (tannins). It is an art as much as as it is a science.

Are the two chemical processes related by any chance? It seems to me that this process could artificially mellow the tannins and the fruit, even in cheap wine. Since we don't know how or if it works, it's possible. Why is it that bad wine doesn't get better with age?

This definitely seems like an area where science could take out the need for art.

Yeah but... (5, Funny)

Entropy98 (1340659) | about 6 years ago | (#25235977)

Can it make regular snake oil taste like 30 year old snake oil?
  Blackshot []

Re:Yeah but... (4, Funny)

Fred_A (10934) | about 6 years ago | (#25236087)

I call shenanigans, the machine isn't even pyramid shaped !

Re:Yeah but... (1)

calmofthestorm (1344385) | about 6 years ago | (#25236427)

There's an all-seeing eye underneath. Talk about poor product design. Conspiricists these days!

Re:Yeah but... (1)

Kompressor (595513) | about 6 years ago | (#25236433)

And I bet it doesn't even arrange the EtOH into hexagonal microclusters!

Everyone knows that microclustered boozahol tastes better, purifies your aura, and cleans your Chi! (or at least gets you drunker...)

I know a certain special lady (4, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 years ago | (#25235979)

I know a certain special lady who is about to have the best bottle of Boone's Farm in the world.

Only after she finishes the debate tonight.

Re: I know a certain special lady (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 years ago | (#25236377)

Only after she finishes the debate tonight.

And after that, another baby!

Uh huh... (1)

Daffy Duck (17350) | about 6 years ago | (#25235997)

According to the article, it makes wine older and makes orange juice fresher. I'll bet it also shines copper and builds a patina on iron too!

Re:Uh huh... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 years ago | (#25236217)

And it's a lot of fun, too, if you get my drift.

yes; but does it .. (1)

h.ross.perot (1050420) | about 6 years ago | (#25236001)

.. work on Mountain Dew?

Re:yes; but does it .. (2, Informative)

damn_registrars (1103043) | about 6 years ago | (#25236077)

.. work on Mountain Dew?

If you feel that the carbonation in Mountain Dew was an undesirable trait, then yes. Sonication is an effective technique for degassing liquids - so it could make your dew flat quicker than just about anything else.

Even with the can sealed? (2, Funny)

NotQuiteReal (608241) | about 6 years ago | (#25236321)

Sonication is an effective technique for degassing liquids Where would it go in a sealed can?

Re:Even with the can sealed? (2, Funny)

Entropy98 (1340659) | about 6 years ago | (#25236381)

  Blackshot []

Re:Even with the can sealed? (1)

Yvan256 (722131) | about 6 years ago | (#25236447)

Out of the liquid and at the top of the can, I assume. In the end it should still be the same volume of liquid + gas.

Re:Even with the can sealed? (1)

damn_registrars (1103043) | about 6 years ago | (#25236559)

Where would it go in a sealed can?

It would just come out of solution and end up at the top of the can. The total volume doesn't change because the gas was previously in solution and displacing water then as well.

For that matter, you can see the same thing happen by shaking a sealed plastic bottled of (your favorite carbonated beverage). The gas in that will also come out of solution and go to the top. You could do it by shaking, by sonication, or just by waiting a long time.

Revenge@! (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 years ago | (#25236005)

Maybe I can use one of these to age my ex-wife, turn a fox into a hag. That'll teach the slut!

Ultrasound (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 years ago | (#25236009)

So, is this the same ultrasound that is used on pregnant women? If so, what's that doing to the unborn kids? I can't imagine anything good.

Re:Ultrasound (1)

tthomas48 (180798) | about 6 years ago | (#25236557)

Man you just summed up the problem with science education in our country in one comment.

English winemaker? (3, Insightful)

thedonger (1317951) | about 6 years ago | (#25236035)

When it gets the nod of a French winemaker or a vintner from California I'll be a little more intrigued.

Re:English winemaker? (5, Funny)

fiannaFailMan (702447) | about 6 years ago | (#25236161)

When it gets the nod of a French winemaker or a vintner from California I'll be a little more intrigued.

Global warming will probably give English winemakers some credibility in years to come. (No 'funny' mod points please, I'm being serious.)

Re:English winemaker? (1)

afidel (530433) | about 6 years ago | (#25236373)

Or Northern Italy/Great Lakes region for dessert wines! Though those aren't typically aged that much.

Re:English winemaker? (1)

Corunet (856471) | about 6 years ago | (#25236391)

You're right. English wine is a little bit like marmite, you've got to be English to enjoy it

As a bonus, it ages snake oil too... (5, Funny)

nweaver (113078) | about 6 years ago | (#25236043)

As an extra special bonus, it acts to rapidly age cheap snake-oil from the rancid dead rattler-junk it started out as to something equivelent to the finest age tawny boa extract.

Extraordinary claims require extraordinary... (1)

Schezar (249629) | about 6 years ago | (#25236047)

It sounds like the editors need to listen to a frank discussion concerning where lies the Burden of Proof [] .

In other news, I call shenanigans on this "claim."

Re:Extraordinary claims require extraordinary... (1)

ferat (971) | about 6 years ago | (#25236431)

Yeah, clearly the inventor should go back to things he's good at, like beating up ninjas with hockey sticks.

Sonicare (1)

patcpong (952524) | about 6 years ago | (#25236051)

I wonder if you could just stick a Sonicare toothbrush into a glass of wine and get the same result...

1963: American Society for Enology and Viticulture (4, Interesting)

slashkitty (21637) | about 6 years ago | (#25236055)

They didn't like the effects of ultrasound.. []

Re:1963: American Society for Enology and Viticult (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 years ago | (#25236541)

Science to the rescue....

Can I play games on it? (1)

homesnatch (1089609) | about 6 years ago | (#25236063)

Does this new WINE allow me to play World of Warcraft on it?

Re:Can I play games on it? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 years ago | (#25236405)

Only versions that came out 30 years ago.

Re:Can I play games on it? (1)

FlyingBishop (1293238) | about 6 years ago | (#25236423)

Get with the program. Wine has supported WoW for a long time now.

The real question is, can it play Spore?

oh yea? (1)

mustafap (452510) | about 6 years ago | (#25236073)

>your run-of-the-mill £3.99 bottle of plonk

What idiot thinks that a £3.99 bottle of plonk would age well? It would just turn into vinegar

Re:oh yea? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 years ago | (#25236323)

So it works then. I did this test and got excellent results.

It was the best salad I ever ate.

Re:oh yea? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 years ago | (#25236567)

The transformation of alcohol to vinegar requires the introduction of acetobacter. A bacteria that eats alcohol and makes acetic acid aka vinegar.

If the wine was bottled in appropriate sanitary conditions no amount of aging will cause it to turn into vinegar.

Aging Technology? lolwut? (0, Flamebait)

mfh (56) | about 6 years ago | (#25236091)

Quick!! Point that thing at Palin. If we age her, maybe she'll develop some wisdom!!

Do NOT point that at McCain.

Re:Aging Technology? lolwut? (1)

fiannaFailMan (702447) | about 6 years ago | (#25236271)

Do NOT point that at McCain.

Don't listen to him! Point it at McCain! I want to see the comedy [] playing out when Palin gets in as President!

Ultrasonic waves are the new magnets (4, Interesting)

jandrese (485) | about 6 years ago | (#25236093)

Oh ultrasonic waves, is there anything people won't claim you can do? Had this device come out 5 or 10 years ago, it would have been exactly the same except the "ultrasonic waves" would have been replaced by magnets, because that was the in thing at the time. Colliding alcohol molecules? What in the world are they talking about?

If this thing actually works as advertised I'll eat my hat.

What is "the real thing" ? (0, Troll)

Shotgun (30919) | about 6 years ago | (#25236111)

FTA: However, he warned restaurants and bars against trying to pass off a cheaper bottle of wine as a more expensive one just because it had been through the machine. "You would have to tell customers it wasn't quite the real thing," he said.

What's that? Is that the BS detector going off?!! Why, yes it is!

Heh, either the wine taste good and you can charge more for it, or it doesn't and it goes to the supermarket. The snooty people spending money for a name and a year just want the label anyway. It could be piss water and they'd just claim that it is an acquired taste.

That said, I suspect this invention could actually work. Not by banging alcohol molecules together, but by breaking down organic solids that are floating around.

Die, Boone! (1)

fm6 (162816) | about 6 years ago | (#25236115)

You could age Boone's Farm for 1,000 years, and it would still taste like spiked fruit juice.

Have you noticed that a lot of alcoholic beverages that started out and fruit wine or wine coolers (Boone's Farm, Bartle's and James) are now "flavored malt beverage"? In other words, they're now a kind of beer, "malt beverage" or "malt liquor" being used for a beverage that's essentially beer, but doesn't meet TTB restriction on flavor, alcohol content, etc.

Re:Die, Boone! (1)

afidel (530433) | about 6 years ago | (#25236449)

That's because malt beverages and beer are taxed differently than wine and liquor in many jurisdictions.

Boone's Farm??!? (1)

Finallyjoined!!! (1158431) | about 6 years ago | (#25236489)

That's not even worthy of being called a bloody "Alco-pop".

A brew for the discerning chav perhaps.

Not Necessarily a Fraud (1)

systemeng (998953) | about 6 years ago | (#25236175)

Ultrasonic transducers can cause chemical changes. I am doing research work in composite materials and there are credible research papers showing a substantial strength increase in epoxy due to ultrasonic treatment. The field of sonochemistry uses the intense localized energy in fluid cavitation to affect chemical changes. The reaction mechanism in epoxy is that the ultrasonic energy causes chemical bonds to break and more free radicals to form increasing the crosslinking of the cured material. It is quite possible that the ultrasonic treatment causes chemical changes in the wine. The question is whether they are the ones you might want. Since wine's flavor comes from organic molecules that break down slightly from free radicals etc during aging, this could very well speed up the process.

Re:Not Necessarily a Fraud (2, Interesting)

Richard Kirk (535523) | about 6 years ago | (#25236337)

Neutrons can have a similar ageing effect. The original work on this was Californian. Someone put bottles of Spanish brandiy going into a high neutron flux reactor at a facility I worked at once to see if they can reproduce the effect. I am told it went in dark brown and tasted rough, and it came out light coloured and tasted smooth. This is not really a commercial process because you could not easily market Three Mile Island Brandy. I don't expect miracles, but you might be able to produce bsome of the mellowing effect that you do get with wine in smaller timescales.

Microwaves also have funny effects on chemistry. They might be worth a try.

This gadget, though? If it really worked, then would they be selling it? Or would they be being paid by the wine industry not to sell it? Deeply suspicious.

Re:Not Necessarily a Fraud (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 years ago | (#25236465)

You might be onto something with that analysis. Not all the sugar in a WORT is changed into ethanol during the anaerobic respiration phase of the yeast. There can be many other alcoholic compounds produced during fermentation that during traditional aging (even in the bottle) will degrade into smaller molecules. The flavoring compounds in wine also undergo further decomposition during aging. Anything that could contribute energy to these reactions *might* be able to increase their speed. I am not certain however that the ultrasound waves would be sufficient to do this, especially through glass. How much energy are you referring to in your experiments?

I do agree though that whiskey is a much more stable beverage since it starts as distilled alcohol and is much more pure without the other alcoholic compounds. Having written that though I can see that the extracts from the wood barrels might be effected by this treatment as well.

A teaspoon of wine in a barrel of sewage (1)

karlandtanya (601084) | about 6 years ago | (#25236233)

is a barrel of sewage.

But a teaspoon of sewage in a barrel of wine is a barrel of sewage.

This thing works on exactly the same principle as fuel line magnets.

Not the same as vintage wine... (1)

cdf123 (623917) | about 6 years ago | (#25236237)

Some crops of grapes are better than others. The same vineyard will produce different tasting wine each year because of the differences in weather over the growth of the crop.

So you might be able to make a newer bottle taste aged, it won't be the same as an authentic aged bottle from a "good year".

The value is also determined by year as well. The value of a "good year" will increase the more it's aged, not just because the aging process in the wine, but also because other bottles of the same year are being consumed, or lost, thus making your bottle more rare.

It would be interesting to see what this would do to the wine market. Will your $500 bottle of wine now be worth $50 because you can make another bottle that is close enough to it that only wine people would care about the difference?

Orson Wells... (1)

lbmouse (473316) | about 6 years ago | (#25236349) spinning in his piano box.

empirical (2, Interesting)

bugs2squash (1132591) | about 6 years ago | (#25236353)

The booze manufacturers must be experimenting with something though. After all, it's not like their failures are unsellable. I would not be surprised to see at least some casks surrounded by magnets, copper, plutonium, ultrasound baby imagers, etc.

I'm surprised that they have not filled the LHC with wine.

This "sonic transducer..." (1)

Rob T Firefly (844560) | about 6 years ago | (#25236383) is, I suppose, some kind of audio-vibratory, physio-molecular transport device?

I can't afford this thing (1)

Yvan256 (722131) | about 6 years ago | (#25236473)

But I still have an old AT computer with a Gravis Ultrasound in it. All I need to do is how to connect a bottle of wine to a 1/8" speaker output...

If you drink English wine... (1)

dstates (629350) | about 6 years ago | (#25236491)

The reputation English winemaking needs to be taken into account in evaluating this invention. From a physicochemical perspective, the alcohol molecules are going to collide as a result of thermal motion, whether or not ultrasound is present. Ultrasound might help a bottle of wine approach equilibrium in dissolved oxygen slightly more quickly, but it is not going to change to equilibrium concentration of oxygen and therefore is not going to alter the rate of oxidation.

Goongala! (1)

jassa (1092003) | about 6 years ago | (#25236505)

Good to see Casey's moved past his previous job as a ninja-fighting vigilante [] .

Next up on Slashdot:Idle... (1)

Chris Mattern (191822) | about 6 years ago | (#25236527)

A man who has pills that turn water into gasoline!

This can be the solution (1)

Fatigatti (1341135) | about 6 years ago | (#25236531)

30 minutes and WINE will be mature enough!

Where are the photos of that Buzzed O.J.? (1)

Cordath (581672) | about 6 years ago | (#25236573)

Given that wine experts fail blind taste tests, often choosing a $20/2-year-old bottle of plonk over something aged half a century and worth kilobucks, I wouldn't bet on this invention holding up under blind ABX testing. i.e. I sincerely doubt that, under a blind ABX test, tasters would consistently choose the buzzed wine over the unbuzzed.

However, if they could at least show that people can distinguish buzzed from unbuzzed *anything*, I'd be impressed. For example, the article claims that buzzed orange juice looks more "vibrant" than the unbuzzed stuff. Well, if that's true, get out two glasses of OJ, buzz one, and then photograph both side by side for us. Then we can argue about photoshopping in addition to blind taste testing. That's always fun.

Dr. Who Ice Bucket? (1)

Banzai042 (948220) | about 6 years ago | (#25236587)

That can't be right, everybody knows that ultrasonic frequencies don't cause aging they reverse it []
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