Blog: Chris Brook-CarterWeird Science

Chris Brook-Carter | 24 January 2005

There have been plenty of scientific advances in the wine world which, while quite often unpopular in the darkest depths of the Old World, have allowed winemakers to advance the cause of wine among the ranks of the masses.

Irrigation, alternative closures and advances in the fight against vine disease have all helped to bring a more consistent product at a more competitive price to the everyday drinker.

Last week, however, we received a press release that will surely be a step too far, even for some of the industry’s most progressive winemakers.

It comes from Proton Laboratories Inc, a biotechnology company that develops practical uses for electrolysed water. It has been working on a proprietary process allowing for electrolysis to be applied to wine.

The primary objective for this application is to allow for a winemaker to have direct control over the aging process of wine that allows a winemaker to shorten, complement or, if desired, bypass the wine aging process.

Clearly, as Proton points out, the use of electrolysis for wine could lead to a reduction in the overall cost of winemaking since the winemaker may be able to better predict wine delivery times to market and there would be a reduction in storage costs.

And yet, something about this doesn’t sit well with me. There is no logical reason for my concerns, particularly if the wine produced is of good quality. But, like Dolly the Sheep and growing human ears on mice, messing with Mother Nature like this just doesn’t seem quite right.


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