French researchers have found a way to sniff wine to an extent that it can identify where the drink was made and in which barrel it was fermented. This is done by an electronic nose called mass spectrometer, which can make even the most experienced wine expert nervous.
The complex mix of thousands of compounds found in bottles of wine that gives the drink slight different scents and taste is exploited. The scientists analysed the compounds in vapourised wine to give out detailed chemical signatures that could be matched with a set of characteristics to identify the source of wine.
This was done using a type of an electronic nose known as mass spectrometer. The device can tell the variety of grape the wine is made from, the region and the vineyard where it was produced. It can even tell the source of wood used in barrel. Regis Gougeon of University of Bourgogne in France, leading the research, said that many processes can slightly change the characteristics of wine.
Wine experts use eyes, nose, and mouth to differentiate wines according to age and grape variety. The use of electronic nose depicts the very high and yet unknown chemical diversity of wine. Regis further said that it was an exciting experience to observe such diversity, where compounds in low concentration contribute to the body of wine.