Wine Talk

Snooth User: Mark Angelillo

Wine Fraud Detection Again: This time it's atomic

Posted by Mark Angelillo, Sep 3, 2008.

I suppose if you're already selling the finest wines at auction you can afford to rent a particle accelerator for an hour or two.

I'm not sure why the scientific community is so interested in this problem, but there's been a lot of this in the news lately. Maybe there are links between the techniques for detection of wine fraud and other topics in organic chemistry?

Or is it just a few disgruntled folks with deep pockets who have been duped and are championing the cause?


Reply by Rodolphe Boulanger, Sep 9, 2008.

Excellent stuff.

Selling fraudulent bottles at auction for tens of thousands of dollars is a sexy news story. What news editor isn't going let their writers loose on that one?

Interestingly, they are able to tell the age of the bottles... but that won't stop anyone from passing off a 1928 Chateau Haut Passeloup as a 1929 Chateau Lafite.

From a scientific standpoint this is a great challenge... almost like Schrödinger's cat. How can you know if the wine is genuine (and unspoilt) without opening the bottle and tasting it? Fortunately for the majority of us whose heads spin during discussions of quantum mechanics, I don't think anyone is going to argue that the wine is simultaneously real and fake, in a quantum superposition of coexisting states!

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