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06.16.2005

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.

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