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Wine aging devices
Doubting Thomas
As you may or may not know, one of my hobbies is making wine. On a homebrew message board recently there came up the topic of devices that supposedly artificially age wine. I didn't realize it until I googled "wine aging device" that there seem to be a wide variety of items of which very doubtful claims are being made. I guess I didn't realize that there were so many wine drinkers out there who just can't wait for their wine to be aged.

After reading some of the claims of the various devices, which use anything from magnets (because we all know that magnets are magical) to set your wine bottle in to "align the molecules of the wine" to a device for $99 made of "special metals" which magically ages your wine one year for every second you stick it into the wine.

Of course reading the vague descriptions of how these things work reminds one of snake oil pitches mixed in with a lot of pseudoscience. For some reason the New Age crowd believes that if you can "align the molecules" of something then it must be better. And of course the best way to do this is with a magnet, even if the substance you're trying to affect isn't magnetic.

I think all these devices are working on the placebo effect or subjectivity. If someone spends $40 on a magnetic dish to put their wine bottle in, or $99 for a pocket-sized piece of metal to dip in the wine, of course they're going to believe that it works. And of course they don't want to admit to themselves that they got ripped off, so they'll keep believing that the wine they treated with the device tastes incredibly better.

I can't help but be reminded of those ripoff "internal cell phone antenna boosters" which consisted of a sticker that you place under the battery of your phone and magically get better reception. Or numerous "male enhancement" pills that supposedly make a man's penis larger. I don't know, maybe I'm just too skeptical, but I work too hard for my money to waste it on a ripoff. I won't have that problem for long, though, because the son of the deposed king of Nigeria is going to give me part of his $20 million fortune if I help him move it out of the country.
You're just jealous because the voices are talking to me and not you.
 
derF
DT I live in the heart of California wine country and I have perused some of those so called miracle wine producers. I have only tasted the results of two different results of those endeavors and the best I can say for them is that they are really quite a bit better than Cherry flavored Robitussin. We have a store out here called Trader Joes that sales a wine from Charles Shaw that retails (and I am not kidding) for $2.00 a bottle. We call it two buck chuck. And it is actually a very decent wine. It has been entered into some wine tasting competition and actually came out with high marks. They actually won in the best Merlot category at a local tasting. These wines are mass produced but they are produced using proven traditional techniques for making wine and they are really great values.

But these miracle wine short cuts DT referred to have not produced anything that I would even consider using as a 'cooking' wine.
Edited by derF on 10/31/2009 00:30
I'll drink to that. Or anything else for that matter.
 
catman
DT: That is some funny stuff. In the case of such silly ripoffs as those., I have trouble blaming the sellers if they can find people who are credulous enough to buy their wares.

I have a cheap favorite (well, sorta cheap): Rosemount Grenache-Shiraz from Australia. It's about $10. Grenache is a variety that one doesn't hear much about, but I love it. I don't drink wine very often because it has a soporific effect on me, but I enjoy a good red.
 
Doubting Thomas
Some members of that message board have mentioned two buck chuck a time or two. Kind of reminds me once when my wife wanted to buy some wine, and saw a big bottle of Mogan David. I've never tried that, but from what I've heard it basically tastes like artificial grape drink with some alcohol added, and very sweet. I did manage to talk her out of it.

I also remember once seeing a large jug of wine in a liquor store that just said "Red." I don't know if it was generic wine or not, but I think it was pretty cheap and guessing it is probably pretty bad.

I once did buy a gallon jug of a chablis for about $11. I mainly just wanted the gallon jug to use to make wine in, and thought the wine would be a bonus. It wasn't really bad, just lifeless and unexciting. Just seemed to kind of be watered down. Luckily the stuff I make at home is far better.

You know it's a cheap wine when it says "Keep refrigerated" on the bottle.
You're just jealous because the voices are talking to me and not you.
 
catman
I've had the Gallo 'Hearty Burgundy' out of a big jug before, and it's OK, especially considering the price. I'm no real aenophile, however. That being said, Mogen David isn't something you would want to waste your money on.

The only exception is using the Mad Dog 20/20 as an ingredient in punch (with Everclear - punch in the face is more like it!). I went to an outdoor shindig once where that was served, and everyone was totally blasted.
 
Cynic
Ah, to be back in the days when Mad Dog 20/20 and Wild Irish Rose were practically status symbols...

Wine of any age being just a collection of chemicals, I have no doubt that wine made artificially to mimic a good aged wine is possible. To take a given wine and artifically change it to do that would probably not work so well though without a proper laboratory and lots of wine stock to waste in the process as everything was individually extracted and changed...

One thing about "special metals" though. Metals, such as platinum, often serve as catalysists for reactions that would have happened on their own anyway. In wine aging, all the things that end up in the final product are there anyway, so it's not unreasonable that a catalyst would approximate the process in a short amount of time. However, I mean all -- the cask, of course, and all reactions must happen in the right amounts in the right order or else you get different results. If there is a biological component to wine aging -- I'm not familar enough with it to say -- that also would need to be replicated somehow.

In short, yeah, it's possible, but these claims are no doubt overstated. To do it properly would be expensive.
 
Bob of QF
Catalysts can sometimes speed up chemical reactions-- but.

All a catalyst does is lower the energy "threshold" for a given set of elements doing their thing-- the net result is typically a lowering of the temperature at which the reaction will "go". Think auto catalytic converters-- the reactions that take place in those, typically require 1,000 degrees or more. The cat lowers this temp to 500 or less, making it possible to [more or less] safely put this thing under the car...

As for wine aging? I do remember wine aged in barrels takes on some of the barrel's characteristics--- and that would be by diffusion. A catalyst would have no effect on that. As diffusion is basically the slow movement of molecules from a concentrated place [inside the wood] to a lower concentration [the wine]. Heat will speed that up, by increasing the Brownian motion of the molecules. But heat will also do other things you don't want. Like, say, permit the growth of certain microbes which can take the alcohol and convert it into vinegar... not good.

As for wine aged in bottles? A catalyst might work, here-- as you are probabily talking about simple chemical interactions again (which a catalyst could possibly effect).

But, again, as Cynic pointed out, you may not get the same effect that time would create. Catalysts do not effect all reactions equally-- in fact, some reactions are not effected at all by some catalysts.

................................

Leave it to some NASCAR type-consumer. "I want that now, and yes, I want fries with it."
Quantum Junction: Use both lanes

Reality is that which is left, after you stop believing.
 
derF
Chardonnay may be the most popular white wine our there at present. I am not a big fan of chardonnay aged in oak because the wine gets slightly flavored by the oak. I prefer a pinot grigio myself. But I did happen across a chardonnay from Bernardus Vineyards here in Monterey called Precis. It is actually aged in stainless steel and is excellent. It still retains the fruity quality of chardonnay sans the oakiness and not affected by malo-lactic fermentatation. It is aged in the coldest area of the cellar and you truly get nothing but the chardonnay grape quality without any annoying after tastes. Precis is not cheap. ( about $19.00 right here where it's made) but I would highly recommend it if you decide to include lobster or crab to your evening's dining.
I'll drink to that. Or anything else for that matter.
 
Bob of QF
derF wrote:
... but I would highly recommend it if you decide to include lobster or crab to your evening's dining.


But-but-but?

What would you recommend with french fries?

Rofl
Quantum Junction: Use both lanes

Reality is that which is left, after you stop believing.
 
catman
Mad Dog 20/20, of course. Failing that, perhaps some Ripple. But best of all, a cheeseburger.
 
Bob of QF
catman wrote:
Mad Dog 20/20, of course. Failing that, perhaps some Ripple. But best of all, a cheeseburger.


Or, perhaps, some beer?

How about some good old American 'Beer'?

You know-- some "making love in a canoe"....





....fucking close to water.

Grin
Quantum Junction: Use both lanes

Reality is that which is left, after you stop believing.
 
catman
Well, sure, if you want to have a liquid meal save for French fries. As for me, something else solid needs to be there.
 
derF
Bob of QF wrote:
derF wrote:
... but I would highly recommend it if you decide to include lobster or crab to your evening's dining.


But-but-but?

What would you recommend with french fries?

Rofl


Coors
I'll drink to that. Or anything else for that matter.
 
Doubting Thomas
Here the big thing with underage kids is Boone's Farm. Ostensibly wine, but they make it in various flavors like Strawberry Daquiri and Blue Hawaiian. I really don't think you can call it "wine" if it's blue. But I think all the kids like it because it doesn't taste like alcohol. I think it's made with apple wine but I don't know what the alcohol content is.

Wine aged in oak barrels does take on an oak flavor. In fact, wine making supply houses will offer oak cubes or sticks you can put into your finished wine to give it that flavor. I just get it for free from the dumpster of a local cabinet factory.
You're just jealous because the voices are talking to me and not you.
 
derF
Doubting Thomas wrote:
Here the big thing with underage kids is Boone's Farm. Ostensibly wine, but they make it in various flavors like Strawberry Daquiri and Blue Hawaiian. I really don't think you can call it "wine" if it's blue. But I think all the kids like it because it doesn't taste like alcohol. I think it's made with apple wine but I don't know what the alcohol content is.

Wine aged in oak barrels does take on an oak flavor. In fact, wine making supply houses will offer oak cubes or sticks you can put into your finished wine to give it that flavor. I just get it for free from the dumpster of a local cabinet factory.


They are referred to as wine coolers. Boonsfarm and Bartels @ James make similar crap. It was really popular in the late sixties and early seventies with the hippie crowd and I guess young folks still prefer it to yucky real booze.
I'll drink to that. Or anything else for that matter.
 
Doubting Thomas
But Boone's Farm comes in the standard 750 mL bottles, not 12 oz like standard wine coolers. In fact, I don't think it even says "wine" on the bottles, or at least I hope not.
You're just jealous because the voices are talking to me and not you.
 
comfortable
There's only ONE wine cooler Jesus recommends !!
[url]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vOfLdn74GcI&feature=related[/url]

New Testament Wine Cooler !
Edited by comfortable on 11/05/2009 10:47
.
The fewer the facts, the stronger the opinion.
.
Men are sheep in credulity, but wolves for conformity.
 
Bob of QF
ROFL, comfortable...that's really funny.
Quantum Junction: Use both lanes

Reality is that which is left, after you stop believing.
 
catman
comfortable: I second that opinion. A catchy tune, too.
 
Hypatia
Funny.
 
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