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Miracle of Making Wine from Water

Posted: Saturday, 21 May 2016 11:35


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Miracle of Making Wine from Water

May 21: The legend of Jesus making wine out of water has enamoured many a faithful follower over centuries and a few have even claimed fraudulently that they had the similar power and many have tried unsuccessfully to recreate the miracle, but it appears a duo in California have now been able to produce a synthetic replica of Dom Perignon 1992 from water by deconstructing wine and using their knowledge of Chemistry and adding the essential flavours by using a set of Amino Acids, Acids, Sugars, Volatile organics and ethanol and rightfully claiming that they can convert water into wine

Click For Large ViewSan Francisco-based Mardonn Chua and Alec Lee came up with the idea of making an inexpensive grape-free wine while visiting a winery in Napa Valley last year when they saw a bottle of award-winning Chardonnay from Chateau Montelena, which is famous for being the first Californian Chardonnay to beat the French counterparts in what is now known as the Judgment of Paris 1976.

The duo identified important flavour compounds found in the grapes of champagne-Chardonnay and Pinot Noir using gas chromatography, mass spectrometry and other hi tech equipment. They then experimented with a mixture of these compounds and worked with a sommelier to come up with the final product they cannot legally call wine but which supposedly looks and tastes like wine which must be made by fermentation of grapes although fruit wine made from different fruits is also sometimes categorized as wine, in a broader sense.

The synthetic wines are around 85 per cent water, 12-13% ethanol to give the buzz that natural alcohol gives after grape juice fermentation by adding yeast to the fruit. The balance is made up of flavour compounds, glycerine and sugar to give the texture and tannins for adding colour. 

Chua and Lee founded a start-up firm and ironically, named it Ava Winery and after experimentation some of which has been recorded in the Blog by Mardonn Chua have now released a Dom Pergnon 1992 look-alike and feel-alike.

According to a report in the New Scientist Chua had begun tinkering, combining ethanol with fruity flavour compounds like ethyl hexanoate, which has a fruity, pineapple-like aroma. The initial concoction was monstrous, he writes in his Blog. But six months later, Chua and Lee believe they have produced an experimental synthetic wine that mimics the taste of the sparkling Italian white wine Moscato d’Asti.

They are now focusing on producing an imitation Dom Pérignon 1992. According to their website, 499 bottles are on sale through pre-ordering at $50 a bottle which is less than 25% of the cost of the Real McCoy that sells for an average of $226+taxes (Source: Wine-Searcher)

As expected, wine connoisseurs are appalled by the idea of synthetic aromas and flavours. But our daily life now sees chemicals present increasingly and if successful it won’t be the first example of a tasty food product to be copied as a chemical substitute. Examples of truffle oil, fresh juice substitute Tang that was introduced for astronauts who went into space and later commercialised for the masses, Vanilla essence, lemonades and other drinks including khas sherbets, artificial sweeteners like aspartame for lower calories, are already present in our daily life in a big way.

The Article is silent on the health benefits of the real wine due to resveratrol-the anti-oxidant that is the darling of several ongoing researches around the world. It also does not talk about the storage and the longevity of the product.

Chua is honest enough to admit this is not the best mimicry yet and he is working on alternatives to get the flavours just right. As a start-up he is perhaps working also on getting venture capital to make it a scalable project. The miracle may become a reality and ‘wine from water’ may find its niche in the world of wine-on price factor alone.

Subhash Arora

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Tags: Jesus, California, Dom Perignon 1992, Mardonn Chua, Alec Lee, Napa Valley, Chateau Montelena, Judgment of Paris 1976, champagne-Chardonnay, Pinot Noir, Ava Winery, New Scientist, Moscato d’Asti, resveratrol



Joseph Machado Says:

Jesus the greatest wine maker of all times Feels so nice n humble n great when friends of other ffaths also acknowledge god who is one the universe is one & he has discovered we humans thank him for thr gift of wine Lets all enjoy it n thank him jesus the true wine

Posted @ May 24, 2016 10:57


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