In a one-of-a-kind tasting, connoisseurs drink wine that spent a year in space. Chemical analysis and biological processes of the aging process may allow scientists to find a way to carefully create fine scents.
It tastes like rose petals. The smell of fire. It glows with a burnt orange color. What’s going on? A 5,000-euro bottle of Chateau Petrus Pomerol wine had spent nearly a year in space.
Researchers in Bordeaux are analyzing twelve bottles of precious liquid – as well as 320 captions of Merlot and Cabernet Sauvignon grapes – returned to Earth in January after boarding the International Space Station.
They released the first results on Wednesday, as part of a long-term effort to make the world’s plants more resilient to climate change and disease by exposing themselves to new stresses, better understanding the aging process, fermentation and wine bubbles.
For one taste this month, the 12 experts sampled one wine that had been shipped in space, tasting it blindly next to a bottle from the same vine that lived in the basement.
“I have tears in my eyes,” said Nicolas Gaume, CEO and founder of the company that organized the experiment, Space Cargo Unlimited, as the bottles were not carefully used at the Institute for Wine and Vine Research in Bordeaux.
He said that when you expose wine, when you place the cells, the plants in a place with no gravity … we put a lot of pressure on any kind of organism.
Jane Anson, a wine expert and author of The Decanter, says that the remaining wine on earth “tastes less than it used to be in the atmosphere.”
Chemical analysis and biological aging of aging could allow scientists to devise a way to develop better drugs, says Drs. Michael Lebert, biologist at Friedrich-Alexander-University of Germany.
Grapevine vines – known as vines in the world of grape growing – not only survive the journey but also grow faster than the vines on earth, despite the light and water.
It is too early for researchers to determine why. But if they do, Lebert said that would help scientists build stronger vineyards around the world – and open the way for growing grapes and making wine in the atmosphere.
And, he said, “Grapes … are very healthy for astronauts.”
Private investors helped fund the project, although the total cost was not disclosed.
In the middle of the world, the key question is: How does cosmic wine taste?
“For me, the difference between space and wine in the world … was not easy to explain,” said Franck Dubourdieu, a Bordeaux agronomist and oenologist, winemaker and winemaker.
Investigators said each of the 12 panelists had one reaction at a time. Some see a “burnt orange look.” Some even smelled cured skin or campfire.
“The rest of the world, for me, was a little closed, a little more tannic, a little younger. Even the ones that have gone up in space, the tannins are soft, and a lot of aromatics come out of the flower, ”said Anson.
But whether the harvest went by plane or was tied to the ground, he said, “They were both beautiful.”