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Delhi Wine Club
Measure the Goodness of Wine

Posted: Wednesday, 06 October 2010 13:59

Measure the Goodness of Wine

Researchers at the Polytechnic School of Lausanne in Switzerland  and  Stanford University in California claim to have together devised a machine, that can perform a simple test to find the levels of polyphenols in individual wine bottles quickly, and which is ready to be introduced in the French market after being tested on about five hundred Swiss wines.

The matchbox-size device can measure antioxidants in a drop of wine placed on a test strip. It is expected to sell to producers for around €2,000. Another model is also planned for the consumers. "I can absolutely see people choosing to buy one wine over another because they can see it is healthier for them," said a spokesman for the producer. "It will also help producers make wine with more polyphenols. We know these antioxidants come from the skin of the grapes, that red grapes are better than white, and that the levels can be determined by the length of fermentation and other factors," according to a report in the Guardian.

As of now, wine drinkers do not have any idea of the amount of anti-oxidants contained in the bottle. He said the Swiss pilot test had revealed Pinot Noir grapes to have the greatest health benefits.

They echoed several earlier findings as old as a couple of decades and corroborating the findings of ‘The French Paradox’ unveiled on CBS programme ‘60 Minutes’ in 1991 when Dr. Serge Reynaud linked the French having healthy hearts despite consuming rich, fatty foods in rich sauces with moderate amount of red wine consumed regularly and merely re-confirmed this hypothesis a couple of days ago.

The scientists announced that the secret of goodness in wine was due to polyphenols, antioxidant chemicals that have a positive effect on the rate at which the human body and brain age, and which appear to reduce the risk of heart disease, obesity, cancer and perhaps even wrinkles.

The machine may soon help producers to mention on the wine bottle how much polyphenols are present. It is a moot point whether this would be desirable. While it is surprising that Pinot Noir has been found to contain maximum amount of anti-oxidants (Tannat and Cabernet have been considered to be the front-runners so far), it may not be desirable to confuse the consumer with this new measurement in the bottle.

Wine is essentially a drink of passion and lifestyle and it would be a mistake to encourage someone who loves white wine with much lower level of polyphenols to shift to a heavily tannic red he dislikes, simply because it is healthier. More confusion is surely in the wings with producers who may try to cash in because their claim of more goodness in their wine as shown by the measurement.


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