I think the folks over at The Onion got hold of today’s wine business news feed. Those sneaky little devils. The article that raised both my eyebrows was today’s report that nano-scientists have introduced a robotic wine taster of sorts. We all know someone who works in nano-technology, right? You probably go out of your way to invite them to every cocktail party for their amazing ability to make small talk (sorry). I’m not convinced the young woman shown in the PR release is even a scientist – she’s far too cheerful.
Yeah, a group not known for their sense of humor, I’m guessing. But these very same Nano-scientists announced their wine-tasting machine in today’s news – here’s a link to the full article, which I’ll summarize below.
Now admittedly, wine critics don’t need to fear for their jobs just yet. The new nano-sensor can only measure the level of tannin (astringency) in a wine. But it can do so at any stage of the winemaking process, unlike their carbon-based counterparts (um, that’s you and me) who can sense this important element of red wines at the end of the process, when it’s too late to make natural adjustments (other than additives, shhhh).
For those who fear the machine’s eventual replacement of all things human, fret not. Buried towards the end of the article is the good news that human saliva is still needed for the machine to accurately measure astringency. Mini-mouth, you complete me.