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11.29.2004

The Key of The Wine: Crackpot Xmas Gift?

I promise, promise, promise, not to put together a Vinography holiday gift guide. There are lots of other places you can go to be told that every wine lover will enjoy the Rabbit corkscrew. It's all a load of junk. Just buy better wine.

However, I couldn't pass up this little gadget (thanks to Jennifer Rosen for the tip) especially given the conversation last week about aging and cellaring wine.

It seems that someone or rather two someones in France, "Laurent Zanon, chemist and oenologist, professor of chemistry and biology, in collaboration with a wine waiter, Franck Thomas, Working Meilleur of France, Meilleur Wine waiter of France and Europe (2000), candidate of France in next Championnat of the World in Greece (which is held every 4 years)," have come up with a gadget that will instantly tell you the aging potential of any wine.

I kid you not. That's what they say. Apparently (as far as I could tell through my Google translated version of the page from the original French) you simply put this thingy in your glass of wine for a few seconds and then taste the wine. If the wine tastes nasty after just one or two seconds of this little metal thingy in it, then your wine won't age. If however it still tastes good after many seconds of exposure, then your wine will age well. Apparently it's made from a weird set of alloys that cause the chemicals in wine to oxidize in similar ways that they do when aging.

Sound totally nutzo? It does to me. Maybe our friends Bertrand or Pim can take a look at the page and dig a little bit up about this Zanon character. He's got the perfect name for a mad scientist.

The darn thing costs 89 Euros, which ain't cheap for a piddly little stick of metal to dangle in your vino (thereby ruining a perfectly good glass of wine) but I'm still curious as all hell.

Hey all you European readers, go out and buy one and tell me what you think! I'll publish your results here.

Here's the page in the original French.

Here's the translated version via Google.

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The Oxford Companion to Wine by Jancis Robinson The Taste of Wine by Emile Peynaud Adventures on the Wine Route by Kermit Lynch Love By the Glass by Dorothy Gaiter & John Brecher Noble Rot by William Echikson The Science of Wine by Jamie Goode The Judgement of Paris by George Taber The Wine Bible by Karen MacNeil The Botanist and the Vintner by Christy Campbell The Emperor of Wine by Elin McCoy The World Atlas of Wine by Hugh Johnson The World's Greatest Wine Estates by Robert M. Parker, Jr.