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Ultrasound Machine Ages Wine 448

Posted by samzenpus
from the I'll-take-the-cheap-stuff dept.
Inventor Casey Jones says his creation uses ultrasound technology to recreate the effects of decades of aging by colliding alcohol molecules inside the bottle. Mr. Jones said, "This machine can take your run-of-the-mill £3.99 bottle of plonk and turn it into a finest bottle of vintage tasting like it costs hundreds. It works on any alcohol that tastes better aged, even a bottle of paintstripper whisky can taste like an 8-year-aged single malt." The Ultrasonic Wine Ager, which looks like a Dr. Who ice bucket, takes 30 minutes to work and has already been given the thumbs up by an English winemaker. I know a certain special lady who is about to have the best bottle of Boone's Farm in the world.

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Ultrasound Machine Ages Wine

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  • Whiskey? (Score:5, Interesting)

    by fiannaFailMan (702447) on Thursday October 02, 2008 @02:09PM (#25235843) Journal

    You can age Whiskey in a bottle? I thought it stopped aging as soon as it goes into a glass container. It's one of the differences between itself and wine.

    • Re:Whiskey? (Score:5, Informative)

      by Half-pint HAL (718102) on Thursday October 02, 2008 @02:13PM (#25235919)

      Yup indeedy. Whisky "ages" by leeching oils from the wood it's casked in.

      Also, making a blend taste like a single malt is a ridiculous claim. It's akin to claiming a device can turn fruit-punch into pineapple juice. Where do the other flavours go?

      HAL.

      • Re:Whiskey? (Score:5, Interesting)

        by tmosley (996283) on Thursday October 02, 2008 @02:17PM (#25235983)
        If you put in some oak chips. Some home brewers and small wineries age their wine this way since they can't afford a full sized oak barrel.
      • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

        by raddan (519638)
        I think the main mechanism for aging is slow oxidation. Therefore aging in a bottle only happens due to air moving through a cork. This is enough to subtly change the character of some wines; but I don't know a whole lot about whiskey chemistry. Also-- while aging in a cask imparts some 'vanilla' flavors/aromas, because of the oils/tannins in the oak, I do not think that whiskey spends a lot of time in an oak cask. Again, I'm ignorant about whiskey production in general, but I have made several oak-aged
        • Re:Whiskey? (Score:5, Informative)

          by Kemanorel (127835) on Thursday October 02, 2008 @02:48PM (#25236425)

          Whiskey most definitely is aged in oak casks, for quite a long time at that. Some distillers use fresh casks while others use casks that had been previously used for sherry. Some may use a sequence of casks even, or may have different types/lines that require certain types of casks. I know the scotch [theglenlivet.com] I drink has several different vintages. They age for a various number of years, again for the Glenlivet, that can be 12, 15, 16, 18, 21 years or more. The difference between each vintage is noticeable, primarily in the smoothness and variety in tastes.

          • Re:Whiskey? (Score:5, Informative)

            by NekSnappa (803141) on Thursday October 02, 2008 @03:43PM (#25237351)
            Scotch is aged in used oak casks which they buy mainly from American bourbon makers. As one of the criteria for a whiskey to be called "bourbon" (along with the percentage of corn in the mash, where it is made etc.) is that in be aged in new charred oak barrels. Since the bourbon makers can't reuse their casks they sell them to scotch makers.

            So there is a good chance that there is a bit of Jim Beam, Wild Turkey, or maybe even Jack Daniels (even though it is actually Tennessee whiskey not bourbon) in your favorite scotch.

            • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

              by Squeak (10756)

              Bourbon casks? Generally not!
              Most 'Scotch', which has to be made in Scotland, is aged in ex-sherry casks. There are non-Scottish whisky makers (generally whisky is Scottish, whiskey is Irish) who use bourbon casks, but if they are not in Scotland then it is just whisky, not scotch.
              The Glenora distillery in Nova Scotia produces Glen Breton whisky using barley and yeast imported from Scotland, vats and a still from Scotland, was set up by a master distiller from Scotland, but it still isn't Scotch. It is Cana

          • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

            by es330td (964170)
            There was a great "How is it done" kind of program on the Discovery Channel about this. Not only is it kept in casks almost the entire time, they rotate the casks around the aging warehouse so that each cask gets its turn in the higher temperature upper levels of the racks and time in the cooler lower levels. It makes me appreciate my Maker's Mark that much more.
        • Re:Whiskey? (Score:5, Informative)

          by TyrWanJo (1026462) on Thursday October 02, 2008 @02:48PM (#25236437)
          Oxidization is generally pretty bad for most alcoholic drinks (oxidization is the main component in bottle aging in wine, but much of this has to do with the interaction of the oxygen with tannins and other stuff in the wine - http://www.allbusiness.com/trends-events/trends/11429124-1.html [allbusiness.com]). The oak or whatever wood being used is porous, and this allows some of the alcohol to evaporate (particularly with distilled stuff, wine doesnt spend as much time in the barrel, so it doesn't lose as much in the way of alcohol) . Good stuff does stay in a cask for a long time for just this reason, not only does it pick up more of the good flavor, but the "angel's share" is greater, which mellows the alcohol. New casks are required in America, where it is law that no barrel be used twice, in Europe however, there is no such law, and barrels are used multiple times because this imparts different flavors, which is how you can get a sherry-wood scotch, its literally a scotch aged in a barrel once used for sherry.
          • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

            by analog_line (465182)

            I believe new casks are required by law only if you want to call your whiskey "bourbon".

            http://www.straightbourbon.com/whatisbourbon.html [straightbourbon.com]

            If you don't mind calling it "whiskey" or making up your own name for it, you can do it however you want. (Southern Comfort, Jack Daniels, rye whiskey, Georgia Moon, for examples) The only real reason there isn't a lot more experimentation in the US-origin whiskey market is the gigantic outlay required for getting licensed as a distiller, and the VERY long time horizon

        • Re:Whiskey? (Score:5, Informative)

          by clam666 (1178429) on Thursday October 02, 2008 @05:00PM (#25238533)

          My family has been distilling for generations, and finding ways to "age" things has been around forever. "Aging" is a nice ancient technique to make up for not having advanced technology at their disposal.

          As far as cask aging, which I saw a few posts on, it has nothing to do with evaporating heavier alcohols (where would they go, and, there's is only one alcohol, ethanol).

          Many distilleries use white oak casks, which receive a 1200 degree firing of the interior to charcoal the insides before the product is added. This is one of the causes of the "brown" color of those liquors that use this method as well as the "smoke" flavor, and is used to basically create an activated charcoal filter that the product lives in for "years".

          When the barrel is fired (and then extinguished with steam blasted in) the char has all these nice little pathways and tiny cracks whose job is to grab all these taste screwing large molecules that give a harsh taste to the product. Just like activated charcoal is used in a water filter for drinking water, the same technique mellows the flavor of the liquor. The "aging" is the act of, as summers and winters went by, the casks would "breath" due to the contraction and expansion of the cask due to temperature variation which would circulate the product in a fashion to get the filtering going with pressure changes. The more that occurs, the more it is filtered, the cleaner the taste.

          These molecules that we're trying to get rid of are some of the products of the distillation. When you distill your mash or beer, you have a variety of products separated from the water, the heads (where the majority of your flavors come from), the ethanol, and the tails (fuseoils, which are the disgusting taste). When distilling you carefully test the product coming out and separate it into the various products (if using reflux distillation with plates). The heads are high volatility and the tails are high weight. The tails are smelly and screw up your taste so you have to be careful distilling to get the correct balance of the middle of the distillate, but not losing the flavoring agents of the heads or tails from the heart of the product.

          If you distill and filter over and over, you get "pure" ethanol or the basis of vodka. The ethanol purity is only about 95.6% as the distillate reaches azetrope, meaning you can't really separate it from what it's being boiled off of. There are methods to get beyond this such as vaccuum distillation to separate your distillates or post distillation methods (steam blasting through oeatmeal for example or even using gasoline) to use adsorption to remove the last remaining bits of stuff you don't want. Of course, if you leave a bottle of 100% ethanol out, it'll go back to 95.6% as it exchanges water from the air.

          Aging has no real meaning these days. The point of aging is to use activated charcoal to remove things you don't want. You don't want the big molecules that cause bad taste, you want it filtered from the product. You do want to keep some though, which are in the "heads" because they have the specific flavors you want to distinguish your liquor. You can't use a perfectly pure vodka base, because then you've gotten rid of all those

          Today, as part of your distillation process, after the product has gone through fractional (reflux) distillation through your column, it is common to "force" it through several packs of activated charcoal, in order to quick filter it. This is used to get the purest base ethanol in vodka creation, and why you see different marketing of "triple filtered" or "6 filtered" vodka, claiming how many filter processes it goes through to remove taste impurities.

      • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

        by lamaleader (197070)

        Whisky ages by evaporating bad alcohols while retaining tasty ones. Flavours from the barrel wood and the sea air are a secondary effect. This cannot happen through a glass bottle, so bottling indeed stops the aging process. This explains why all whisky isn't 25 years old. Slashdot readers have surely wondered why we can't fill the pipeline and always have 25 year old whisky. The answer is that about 2% of the alcohols evaporate each year. Waiting 25 years means you lose about half the alcohol.

        • Re:Whiskey? (Score:5, Insightful)

          by Chris Mattern (191822) on Thursday October 02, 2008 @03:00PM (#25236615)

          Whisky ages by evaporating bad alcohols while retaining tasty ones.

          This statement is nonsensical. Whisky, and any other alcoholic drink for that matter, has one and only one alcohol, ethanol, C2H5OH. At least, it better, since any other form of alcohol is quite poisonous.

          • Re:Whiskey? (Score:5, Informative)

            by Idarubicin (579475) <allsquiet@@@hotmail...com> on Thursday October 02, 2008 @03:37PM (#25237245) Journal

            Whisky, and any other alcoholic drink for that matter, has one and only one alcohol, ethanol, C2H5OH. At least, it better, since any other form of alcohol is quite poisonous.

            Yes, the other alcohols are toxic (to varying degrees), but no, ethanol isn't the only alcohol present in fermented beverages. For that matter, ethanol is toxic by itself, if you take enough of it. It's the dose that makes the poison.

            Small amounts of methanol can be produced in fermentation, as well as a number of heavier alcohols. These heavier alcohols are collectively called fusel alcohols or fusel oils, and may impart significant flavour to the final beverage. Whiskeys are generally fairly high in fusel oils; these heavier alcohols contribute some 'spiciness' or 'heat' to the drink.

            That said, I agree with part of the parent post. The idea that fusel oils are lost to evaporation during aging is indeed nonsense. If anything, these higher-mass alcohols will have a lower vapour pressure than ethanol, and will be concentrated relative to ethanol. (Fusel oils are - partly - removed during the distillation process, not during aging.)

          • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

            by the_womble (580291)

            Whisky ages by evaporating bad alcohols while retaining tasty ones.

            This statement is nonsensical. Whisky, and any other alcoholic drink for that matter, has one and only one alcohol, ethanol, C2H5OH. At least, it better, since any other form of alcohol is quite poisonous.

            Most alcoholic drinks contain some methanol - and the [nih.gov] drinks that contain more give you worse hangovers [bmj.com].

            It is actually quite likely that methanol evaporates out of ageing significantly faster than ethanol, so he may well be right, but

      • Re:Whiskey? (Score:5, Interesting)

        by Colin Smith (2679) on Thursday October 02, 2008 @02:40PM (#25236311)

        Also... 8 year old malts *are* paintstripper. You need 12 years at an absolute minimum for something drinkable. Preferrably 15 or more years.

        Adding a few ml of warm water will reduce the catch at the back of the throat for those lesser beverages.
        Also, try with crystalised ginger to complement.

        Ice? Coke? Go on, get off my lawn.

        • by tolan-b (230077)

          I like a good whisky, I like it with a splash of water too, even if it's a good whisky.

          I do drink whisky with coke too, if I'm out at a club or something, beer just doesn't agree with me, and neat whisky doesn't really last in that situation.

          However it always makes me laugh when I'm asked *which* whisky I'd like to butcher with my coke. I mean seriously, as long as it's not bourbon who cares? :p

          • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

            by GeckoX (259575)

            Interestingly, I have had a recent change of heart with respect to Bourbon. Having only ever sampled crap like Jim Beam and Wild Turkey didn't exactly make me want to partake again, and I happily moved over to Scotch. However, I was in Kentucky this summer and went on a few Bourbon tours. There are actually some very good Bourbons being made today, some very nice small batch stuff that is not blended, and is aged quite nicely. Apparently up until the mid 80's or so, NO bourbon was aged more than 4 years or

        • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

          by RockModeNick (617483)
          Longer aging doesn't always make a good whiskey better, IMO. Certain characteristics mellow - I like a good single malt a bit younger, but blended whiskey older, since it has less distinctiveness to begin with and thus largely only gains from more aging. It also depends on how strong the flavors of a particular whiskey are to being with - scotch I like older, Irish whiskey and bourbon less so.
        • 12 Years? (Score:3, Informative)

          by saudadelinux (574392)
          Try Laphroaig Quarter Cask, it's a beautiful malt, and is probably aged less than 12. The regular Laphroaig 10 is good, too.
        • Re:Whiskey? (Score:4, Informative)

          by Gilmoure (18428) on Thursday October 02, 2008 @04:56PM (#25238471) Journal

          Obligatory: I like my women like my scotch; 12 years old and mixed up with coke.

      • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

        by VoidEngineer (633446)
        Well, if you're familiar with aeromatic molecules, you'll know that most flavorful compounds (flavids?) are moderately large molecules, with benzene rings, carbon backbones, and the like. An ultrasonic wave would likely break many of those compounds in half, leaving tasteless molecules. By the same token, the extra energy in the system would cause random molecular collision, resulting in a small, but statistically significant, number of reactions to form new molecules. That's how 'subtle' flavors are gen
      • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

        by Brigadier (12956)

        maybe you can't turn fruit punch into pineapple juice, but who says you can't make it taste like it ?

    • Re:Whiskey? (Score:5, Interesting)

      by xgr3gx (1068984) on Thursday October 02, 2008 @02:14PM (#25235935) Homepage Journal
      I think you're right. It's the barrel the does the aging.
      I saw a "Modern Marvels" episode about Whiskey. I recall them saying that aging a bottle of whiskey is pointless.
      If you age a bottle 8 year old whiskey for 2 years, you don't get 10 year old whiskey, you get a 2 year old bottle of 8 year whiskey.
      • True, but if it is a good blend (or year, for vintage releases) then you shouldn't recklessly mix the whole bottle with a liter of coke. The guys blending change, as do the quality of the crops.
        • Re:Whiskey? (Score:4, Informative)

          by afidel (530433) on Thursday October 02, 2008 @02:40PM (#25236305)
          Most celebrated distilleries that do blends try very hard to maintain consistency in the taste and so all years bottlings should be very similar. I know a similar show I watched showed a distillery where they kept a bunch of ~100 year old samples around as a reference so they could maintain their classic taste.
          • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

            by thedonger (1317951)

            I saw that show, too. I think it was Makers Mark, which surprised me because I didn't realize they had such a long history.

            That's also why, while single malts are often touted as the holy grail of scotch, blends can be just as enjoyable, and usually cheaper, too.

      • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

        by fabs64 (657132)
        Correct. This is why the number of years listed on a bottle of scotch (by law I think) has to be the number of years that it spent in the cask.
    • Re:Whiskey? (Score:4, Insightful)

      by kaaona (252061) on Thursday October 02, 2008 @02:14PM (#25235939)

      You're right. Whiskey can't age in the bottle because it's absolutely sealed. Wine, on the other hand, has a cork through which air can seep oh so slowly. I'm thinking Mr. Jones' "invention" is nothing more than an ultrasonic bottle cleaner.

      • Re:Whiskey? (Score:5, Funny)

        by pete-classic (75983) <hutnick@gmail.com> on Thursday October 02, 2008 @02:16PM (#25235973) Homepage Journal

        It's an ultrasonic wallet-opener.

        -Peter

      • Whiskey doesn't age in the bottle (supposedly some malts and brandies will age; brandy is grape-based, so maybe that has something to do with it), but not because the bottle is sealed. I think it is related to the differences between distilling a spirit and fermenting fruit juice. A distilled spirit is mostly free from impurity, and rather stable. Wine - particularly unfiltered - still has particles of organic matter in it.
    • by BigGar' (411008)

      That's what I thought.
      All the sites I can get to from work take about aging in oak barrels, because the various compounds in the charred wood in the barrel are absorbed over time.
      This process would stop once the product was bottled.

      http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Whisky [wikipedia.org]
      http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Scotch_whisky [wikipedia.org]

    • Re:Whiskey? (Score:5, Insightful)

      by Anonymous Coward on Thursday October 02, 2008 @02:19PM (#25236007)

      Yeah, the quack scientist who "discovered" this doesn't know the first thing about whisky, or wine for that matter.

      What separates four-dollar (yes, the article says pounds, but in case you didn't realize, the UK has enormous alcohol excises that more than make up for the lousy exchange rate) wine from hundred dollar wine isn't that the more expensive is aged, it's that it's better made to begin with. Most cheap wine, if you age it, just gets worse over time. The region it's made in, the type of grape used, and the climate of particular vintage are what makes the biggest difference, an unaged bottle from a good vintage is usually far better than an aged bottle from a lousy one.

      tl;dr Dude doesn't know what he's talking about.

      • Re: (Score:2, Interesting)

        by philspear (1142299)

        Well, the blurby summary may be off, but your analysis is too. Cheap wine aged may get worse, but I'm more inclined to believe that's because of impurities which degrade the flavor over time. Since this isn't actually aging, that might not be the case.

        Since I have no idea how or if this thing works, and don't know what makes good wine (my standard would be does it have EtOH in it and can I put it in my stomach and not die) this is all conjecture, but keep in mind it's not a time travel machine. However i

    • Re:Whiskey? (Score:4, Funny)

      by camperdave (969942) on Thursday October 02, 2008 @02:24PM (#25236083) Journal
      Sure you can. Just ask Herb Tarlek. All you need is a funnel and an empty bottle of 40 year old scotch.
    • by Joe Snipe (224958)

      Liquor undergoes flavor changes due to the conversion of the sugars into alcohol. Can someone explain to me in science terms how vibrating alcohol can change it's refractory level or it's flavor as the inventor claims?

    • Whiskey? Probably not.

      However, there is an old method for improving cheap whisky which is traditionally used on scotch stuff. Just add a few drops of cold tea, and the tannins have much the same effect as an extra few years in the barrel. The improved whisky is then transferred to a bottle with a better label, and typically served "on the rocks" to morons who can't taste the difference anyway.

      It would not work on whiskey, since that is usually consumed at room temperature (perhaps with a drop of water, but

  • by Kazymyr (190114)

    Makes my booze taste better? SOLD!

  • It would be cool (Score:5, Interesting)

    by InlawBiker (1124825) on Thursday October 02, 2008 @02:16PM (#25235959)

    Were it true. But unfortunately you can't make bad wine into good wine just by aging it. It just becomes older bad wine.

    Typically the 'age-worthy' wines are made with the choice fruit, and are designed to age by balancing the acid content with the fruit content. As the fruit mellows over time so do the acids (tannins). It is an art as much as as it is a science.

    So call me a wine snob if you want, but I've tasted plenty of aged cheap wine and it's really not very good.

    • by Lord Ender (156273) on Thursday October 02, 2008 @02:23PM (#25236067) Homepage

      Have you tasted it in a blind taste test? Or are you, like most if not all "wine snobs," simply fooling yourself into thinking expensive==good?

      • by dreamchaser (49529) on Thursday October 02, 2008 @02:26PM (#25236135) Homepage Journal

        I forget where I saw it on TV in the last six months or a year, but they did a test like that in a wine shop. Almost every single vinophile picked the cheap bottle of wine that they were told was more expensive over the aged bottled that was in reality the more expensive bottle.

        • Re:It would be cool (Score:4, Informative)

          by camperdave (969942) on Thursday October 02, 2008 @02:34PM (#25236229) Journal
          They did that on Mythbusters once, but it was with vodka, not wine.
          • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

            by geeknado (1117395)
            Yep, and on Mythbusters, the expert taster actually got the order of quality correct on the first go.Interestingly, the Mythbusters themselves did not fare so well-- as I recall, one of them picked the absolute cheapest as the best.
        • I feel better about preferring cheap wine to expensive now:-)

        • by powerlord (28156)

          The way I've usually heard it described is that, with a more expensive bottle of wine, you are usually more likely to get a "good" bottle of wine. With a cheap bottle of wine, you can also get a "good" bottle of wine, but on average its much more of a crap shoot.

          Considering some of the ones I've enjoyed the most have started out cheap, and then become more expensive as other people have discovered them and demand increased, I'd tend to accept that as true. :)

          The corollary to this is that when you are buyin

      • by thermian (1267986)

        Have you tasted it in a blind taste test? Or are you, like most if not all "wine snobs," simply fooling yourself into thinking expensive==good?

        I've preferred vintage wine myself for years. Vintage of course means 'from a specified year and vinyard', not old as such. Non vintage means cheap shit for the most part, usually mixes of wine from different vinyards or even years. Its worth avoiding it for that fact alone.

        I can tell the difference between a good wine and a bad one. Good wines are wines I can buy a

      • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

        by Feanturi (99866)
        I'm not sure what you are bitter about (anyone calling other people snobs tends to have a bone to pick for some reason unrelated to the argument at hand), but there are good reasons why expensive tends to equal good, and it is just plain sensible once you realize the expense that goes into making something better than the next thing over. One should not be blinded by this fact, because it is not always true, but you really do get what you pay for.
        • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

          by Muad'Dave (255648)
          In wine, however, expensive does not necessarily equate to a quality product. There are _very_ few people that are comfortable enough to admit that they like a less expensive wine. The parent is absolutely correct in that 'wine snobbery' is quite rampant. My wife's favorite wine is a Adolph Mueller Rheinhessen Niersteiner Gutes Domtal Spatlese. It's about $10/bottle. She absolutely adores it much to the chagrin of the chardonnay and merlot snobs at the wine store.
    • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

      by BobMcD (601576)

      Actually, I am calling you a wine snob. You're overlooking the question at hand, and the intended-value of the device:

      Does it make (wine) taste better?

      If it really does improve 'cheap' wine, then would not be worth (x money)? No, it doesn't replace the 'good' wine, but the inventor himself admits this.

      We can all agree that we're adding science to wine that lacks art, but this doesn't really impact the design of the device...

    • by owlstead (636356)

      OK, that's practically a given. Now, could it age wine that was good to start with? I presume that the aging process will take quite a lot of money. Changing a bad whiskey into a good one? Nah, won't work. But I would not be surprised if you could create a good whiskey much faster given the right ingredients.

      Obviously, it won't sell. Many bottles of whine are still sold with a cork, even though that does nothing for the quality of the wine (one thing the ausies got right, just use a turning cap). But genera

    • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

      by philspear (1142299)

      Typically the 'age-worthy' wines are made with the choice fruit, and are designed to age by balancing the acid content with the fruit content. As the fruit mellows over time so do the acids (tannins). It is an art as much as as it is a science.

      Are the two chemical processes related by any chance? It seems to me that this process could artificially mellow the tannins and the fruit, even in cheap wine. Since we don't know how or if it works, it's possible. Why is it that bad wine doesn't get better with age?

      This definitely seems like an area where science could take out the need for art.

  • Yeah but... (Score:5, Funny)

    by Entropy98 (1340659) on Thursday October 02, 2008 @02:17PM (#25235977) Homepage

    Can it make regular snake oil taste like 30 year old snake oil?
    --
      Blackshot [blackshotfps.com]

  • by Anonymous Coward on Thursday October 02, 2008 @02:17PM (#25235979)

    I know a certain special lady who is about to have the best bottle of Boone's Farm in the world.

    Only after she finishes the debate tonight.

  • According to the article, it makes wine older and makes orange juice fresher. I'll bet it also shines copper and builds a patina on iron too!

  • English winemaker? (Score:4, Insightful)

    by thedonger (1317951) on Thursday October 02, 2008 @02:22PM (#25236035)
    When it gets the nod of a French winemaker or a vintner from California I'll be a little more intrigued.
  • by nweaver (113078) on Thursday October 02, 2008 @02:22PM (#25236043) Homepage

    As an extra special bonus, it acts to rapidly age cheap snake-oil from the rancid dead rattler-junk it started out as to something equivelent to the finest age tawny boa extract.

  • It sounds like the editors need to listen to a frank discussion concerning where lies the Burden of Proof [frontrowcrew.com].

    In other news, I call shenanigans on this "claim."

    • by ferat (971)

      Yeah, clearly the inventor should go back to things he's good at, like beating up ninjas with hockey sticks.

  • by slashkitty (21637) on Thursday October 02, 2008 @02:23PM (#25236055) Homepage
    They didn't like the effects of ultrasound.. http://www.ajevonline.org/cgi/content/abstract/14/1/23 [ajevonline.org]
  • >your run-of-the-mill £3.99 bottle of plonk

    What idiot thinks that a £3.99 bottle of plonk would age well? It would just turn into vinegar

  • by jandrese (485) <kensama@vt.edu> on Thursday October 02, 2008 @02:25PM (#25236093) Homepage Journal
    Oh ultrasonic waves, is there anything people won't claim you can do? Had this device come out 5 or 10 years ago, it would have been exactly the same except the "ultrasonic waves" would have been replaced by magnets, because that was the in thing at the time. Colliding alcohol molecules? What in the world are they talking about?

    If this thing actually works as advertised I'll eat my hat.
    • Re: (Score:3, Funny)

      by suggsjc (726146)

      If this thing actually works as advertised I'll eat my hat.

      While you are going on the record, I think I should add in the qualifier that you can't use said device to age your hat so that it tastes like an older more expensive hat.

  • You could age Boone's Farm for 1,000 years, and it would still taste like spiked fruit juice.

    Have you noticed that a lot of alcoholic beverages that started out and fruit wine or wine coolers (Boone's Farm, Bartle's and James) are now "flavored malt beverage"? In other words, they're now a kind of beer, "malt beverage" or "malt liquor" being used for a beverage that's essentially beer, but doesn't meet TTB restriction on flavor, alcohol content, etc.

  • is a barrel of sewage.

    But a teaspoon of sewage in a barrel of wine is a barrel of sewage.

    This thing works on exactly the same principle as fuel line magnets.

  • empirical (Score:3, Interesting)

    by bugs2squash (1132591) on Thursday October 02, 2008 @02:42PM (#25236353)
    The booze manufacturers must be experimenting with something though. After all, it's not like their failures are unsellable. I would not be surprised to see at least some casks surrounded by magnets, copper, plutonium, ultrasound baby imagers, etc.

    I'm surprised that they have not filled the LHC with wine.
  • ...it is, I suppose, some kind of audio-vibratory, physio-molecular transport device?
  • But I still have an old AT computer with a Gravis Ultrasound in it. All I need to do is how to connect a bottle of wine to a 1/8" speaker output...

  • The reputation English winemaking needs to be taken into account in evaluating this invention. From a physicochemical perspective, the alcohol molecules are going to collide as a result of thermal motion, whether or not ultrasound is present. Ultrasound might help a bottle of wine approach equilibrium in dissolved oxygen slightly more quickly, but it is not going to change to equilibrium concentration of oxygen and therefore is not going to alter the rate of oxidation.
  • A man who has pills that turn water into gasoline!

  • Given that wine experts fail blind taste tests, often choosing a $20/2-year-old bottle of plonk over something aged half a century and worth kilobucks, I wouldn't bet on this invention holding up under blind ABX testing. i.e. I sincerely doubt that, under a blind ABX test, tasters would consistently choose the buzzed wine over the unbuzzed.

    However, if they could at least show that people can distinguish buzzed from unbuzzed *anything*, I'd be impressed. For example, the article claims that buzzed oran
  • Suspicious... (Score:4, Interesting)

    by D'Eyncourt (237843) on Thursday October 02, 2008 @03:05PM (#25236711)
    He said: "Casey took one of our bottles and brought it back for us to try after it had been in the machine. I was amazed, it had definitely aged.

    Hmm...odd that the bottle would have to leave and come back considering the "aging" device looks like it can be easily moved and takes only 30 minutes to perform its magic.

  • From TFA (Score:4, Insightful)

    by meiocyte (455845) on Thursday October 02, 2008 @03:08PM (#25236757) Homepage

    "He said: "Casey took one of our bottles and brought it back for us to try after it had been in the machine. I was amazed, it had definitely aged."

    ..my continuation:

    "..now that I remember it, he insisted that we not be actually present when the machine was in operation. It had to do with the molecules and such, he said."

  • by philspear (1142299) on Thursday October 02, 2008 @03:08PM (#25236771)

    "The look and bouquet of the drink is improved and because of the chemical changes, the alcohol is easier to absorb by the kidneys and therefore, hangovers are virtually eliminated.

    After reading that, I'm inclined to think this guy is clearly a con. This makes no sense, I don't believe it's possible to chemically modify the alchohol to make it easier to be cleaned out of the system, if it were chemically modified it wouldnt' be ethanol anymore. I could be wrong but I think the liver, not the kidneys, are the limiting step here. And hangovers aren't caused by leftover alchohol, a lot of the effects are due to dehydration, as alchohol acts as a diuretic to increase your urine output.

    This guy is full of shit.

  • by SETIGuy (33768) on Thursday October 02, 2008 @04:29PM (#25238097) Homepage
    "ultrasonic waves collide alcohol molecules together in the bottle" Bullshit. Sound waves increase molecular collision rates only to the extent that they cause pressure/density/temperature increases. Let's suppose that by some miracle the sound wave causes a factor of two pressure increase as it passes. Averaged over the wave that's about twice the collisions that the molecules in the wine would have had without the ultrasonic device. So you can increase the rate at which wine ages by a factor of two. Maybe. If you also double the diffusion rate of oxygen through the cork. You'd probably be better off trying to heat your wine bottle in the microwave.

    I think we can be pretty sure this device does exactly nothing. But once you've spent $800 on this thing are you going to admit you are an idiot that was swindled out of $800? No... You're probably going to tell your friends how much better it makes your wine taste.

A CONS is an object which cares. -- Bernie Greenberg.

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