Text Size:-+

How Much Cesium Would You Like With That Bordeaux, Sir?

geiger.wine.jpgArchaeologists have Carbon-14 dating to help them identify the age of ancient artifacts, and now European wine professionals have their own tool: Cesium-137 dating. Turns out that thanks to Chernobyl and various other Soviet underground nuke testing, all the grapes in Europe were irradiated to some degree over the last 50 years. These exposures to radiation leave such distinct signatures depending on the grape and the region that apparently they can be used to identify the vintage year and one day perhaps even the general appellation of a wine.

Read the full story at Decanter Magazine.

Comments (2)

Geoff Smith wrote:
06.16.05 at 12:41 PM

Which leads us to the ultimate question: what is the best wine to have with Chicken Kiev?

teshoo wrote:
06.17.05 at 12:21 PM

It is very interesting to see this.

My understanding is that the Rhone/SE got a pretty good dose of radiation from Chernobyl, spawning talk of a cover-up in France regarding food and wine.

Apparently the Japanese avoid these wines for this reason (this from the Iron Chef).

Dried mushrooms, which might be from anywhere in "europe," have been found with very high radiation levels... os it's good to avoid these.

Comment on this entry

(will not be published)
(optional -- Google will not follow)

Type the characters you see in the picture above.

Buy My Book!

small_final_covershot_dropshadow.jpg A wine book like no other. Photographs, essays, and wine recommendations. Learn more.

Follow Me On:

Twitter Facebook Pinterest Instagram Delectable Flipboard

Most Recent Entries

Vinography Images: Big Shadow Come Explore The Essence of Wine with Me in Healdsburg: October 30th, 2014 Vinography Unboxed: Week of October 5, 2014 Another Idiotic California Law Screws Wineries Vinography Images: Vineyard Reflections The Fake Tongue Illusion and Wine Tasting 2014 Wine & Spirits Top 100 Tasting: October 21, San Francisco Cool Beauty: Tasting the Wines of the Western Sonoma Coast Vinography Images: Shaggy Companions 2014 Pinot on the River Tasting: October 26, Healdsburg

Favorite Posts From the Archives

Masuizumi Junmai Daiginjo, Toyama Prefecture Wine.Com Gives Retailers (and Consumers) the Finger 1961 Hospices de Beaune Emile Chandesais, Burgundy Wine Over Time The Better Half of My Palate 1999 Királyudvar "Lapis" Tokaji Furmint, Hungary What's Allowed in Your Wine and Winemaking Why Community Tasting Notes Sites Will Fail Appreciating Wine in Context The Soul vs. The Market 1989 Fiorano Botte 48 Semillion,Italy

Archives by Month


Required Reading for Wine Lovers

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.