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Wine Tasting Taken A Step Farther

May 26, 2009

Researchers have taken wine tasting a step further by using complex chemical analysis to determine the home forest of the oak barrels that are used in the casks where wine is aged.

Regis D. Gougeon of the University of Bourgogne in Dijon, France led the research, which was published in Tuesday’s edition of Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences.

The study consisted of four types of French wines made in 1998 that were aged in oak barrels from nine different French forests.

The researchers used mass spectrometry to find the thousands of various compounds in the aged wine to pinpoint which forest had provided the wood for each barrel.

The researchers said that the findings could prove useful to wine connoisseurs and historians, adding that their results produced “chemical representations of the way such noble nectar can shape, on the (tongue) of the wine taster, some of the outlines of the scene of its birth.”

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