wine from space

Wine tasters test wine that stayed in space


  • French researchers from Bordeaux examined a Petrus Pomerol wine that orbited the earth in a year, together with over 300 snippets of Merlot and Cabernet Sauvignon grapevines.
  • The tasters were astonished by the characteristics of the wine as compared to its counterpart that remained on earth.
  • The grapevine that came back from space exhibited better growth versus the earthly vines.

A dozen bottles of the extraordinary Petrus Pomerol wine, worth 5,000 euros, were examined by Bordeaux-based scientists, together with 320 pieces of Merlot and Cabernet Sauvignon grapevines. These exquisite beverages traveled the world through the International Space Station and came back last January.

Based on the initial assessment released on Wednesday, gravity did not implicate the wine and perhaps even revitalized the grapevines.

Twelve connoisseurs blind-tasted samples of the space-traveled wine and the same wine that stayed in a cellar. Tasters cherished every moment as they earnestly sniffed and stared at the wine, before eventually sipping it.

Space Cargo Unlimited CEO and co-founder Nicolas Gaume, the company that spearheaded the experiment, told the Associated Press: “I have tears in my eyes.”

Speaking at a news conference on Wednesday, Gaume explained that the project centered on the impact of gravity on wines and vines — a variable that “creates tremendous stress on any living species.”

“We are only at the beginning,” he said, as he described the preliminary results as “encouraging.”

Each of the 12 panelists shared their own feedback on the wine. Some of them saw “burnt-orange reflections,” while others observed aromas of a campfire or cured leather.

Wine expert and Decanter writer Jane Anson noted that the wine that stayed in a cellar tasted “a little younger than the one that had been to space.”

“The one that had remained on Earth, for me, was still a bit more closed, a bit more tannic, a bit younger. And the one that had been up into space, the tannins had softened, the side of more floral aromatics came out,” she added.

Winemaker and expert Franck Dubourdieu, who is also a French agronomist and oenologist, said that “the difference between the space and earth wine… it was not easy to define.”

Meanwhile, the vine snippets, popularly known as canes, were able to thrive in space as they grew faster than the earthly vines. They were able to survive space travel even with limited water and light.

Bordeaux Wine-Makers Council’s Christophe Chateau said that the study was a “good thing for the industry,” while predicting that longer years will be needed to apply the practice in reality.

Per the organizers, the experiment was part of a long-term goal of making earthly plants tougher and more versatile against climate change and other variables by exposing them to other environments. This would also enable researchers to better analyze wine’s aging process, fermentation, and bubbles.


Source: New York Post

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