Ladies and gentlemen, it’s National Wine Day in the USA. However, we can all be sympathetic, no matter where we are at the moment, right?   *** sympathy mode on > grabbing a glass of wine ***   I did some research about its origin, but unfortunately I wasn’t able to get any real result. Pity…

Well, let’s get back to the birthday-boy here now, shall we? What is wine? You can click here to see one of the first articles here in the blog. Personally, I take the traditional concept of wine, which is an alcoholic drink made by fermenting grapes, where the yeast turns sugars (from the grape juice, the grape must) into ethanol. But don’t take it for granted …


Memories: “Molecular Wine”

I’ve read something quite peculiar a couple of years ago, about a sort of lab-wine from Ava Winery (San Francisco, USA – now Endless West?) and their claim got my attention “We can turn water into wine in 15 minutes.” The company, founded by Mardonn Chua and Alec Lee, has tried to replicate Moscato d’Asti and the Don Pérignon Champagne from scratch, by mixing different amino acids, acids, sugars, volatile organics (responsible for the aromas) and ethanol, to name a few. Meaning: no grapes are used in the process! Why would they do that? This is Ava’s reason why:

In 2015 we found ourselves face to face with a $10,000+ bottle of wine that permanently changed the wine industry and legitimized wines from the new world. That bottle was a 1973 Chateau Montelena, and it was hopelessly out of our reach. But what if we could recreate it, molecule by molecule? Certainly it should taste the same. And while the replica might not bring as much pleasure to our egos as drinking a $10,000 bottle of wine, it should bring pleasure to our palates.

We started Ava with the goal of making the great vintages accessible to all. While the Mona Lisa is one of a kind, its replicas would not exist if they did not bring some enjoyment to their owners. In many ways, widespread distribution of the replicas helps reinforce our appreciation for the originals. Ava’s mission is to recreate the experience without having to recreate the process.


It looks like the company’s concept has worked out, in the end. Endless West now has one type of wine for sale: Gemello. According to the company:

Gemello, which means “twin” in Italian, is the world’s first molecular wine. Created without grapes, it contains zero pesticides or sulfites, and requires 95% less water, 80% less land, and 40% fewer carbon emissions to produce compared to conventional winemaking.
Unapologetically indulgent, Gemello is leicht effervescent with notes of orange blossom and mango, and hints of peach and lychee.
750 mL | Neutral Spirits with Carbonation, Natural Flavors, Caramel Color and Beta Carotene for Color. 6% alc. by vol.

Fancy Science Fair project? Or a valid alternative to wine? You name it! However, they would have a hard time selling it in Europe under the name “wine”, as the European laws consider wine “the product obtained exclusively from the total or partial alcoholic fermentation of fresh grapes, whether or not crushed, or of grape must”.


Memories: 2 + 2 = 4 and 2 * 2 = 4

Further reading has drawn my attention to another company that is into replicating wine – but it seems like they’re doing it with real grapes. Guess the name of the company??? Replica Wine!

They basically urge people not to spend a fortune just to buy a fancy bottle of wine, as you can buy their replica for a smaller price – carefully reproduced by their well-experienced staff:

Our chief wine officer, Brett Zimmerman, is one of fewer than 200 master sommelier active in the world today. Brett approves every single wine before it ever finds its way into a bottle.

Back then I wondered why a Master Sommelier would join the wine-replication business…


The BIMW way of celebrating it tonight…

Even though it would be nice to taste the “wine” and the wines mentioned above, I’ll stick to a good glass of sparkling Verdicchio tonight – Ale! Warm weather is finally here – and that screams for aperitivo!

What kind of wine will you drink today?