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Courtesy niko siSouth African entrepreneur and former pro rugby player, Guy Kebble, has supposedly invented a method of purifying wine that could eliminate some of the negative side effects of drinking. The side effects in question include headaches and nausea, which nobody likes. There’s still no word as to whether the new wine filtering technique will have any affect on some of the other side effects of drinking, like dangerously creative dancing, or telling that dude what you really think of his fauxhawk.
Before we get into the specifics of Guy’s technique, let’s learn a little bit about hangovers.
As we all know, hangovers are primarily the result of an epic scale battle of wills between the mind and the body. Always at war, a night of drinking might be considered a specific “battleground” between the armies of the brain and the body, an opportunity for each faction to make the other do something it knows is a bad idea. The desolation of the morning after, however, has time and time again shown that, in war, no one wins.
Ethyl alcohol is the active component of beer wine and liquor. We drink it, and things get a little goofy. Ethyl alcohol, or ethanol, is not to be confused with methyl alcohol. Methyl alcohol, or methanol, can be distilled from wood, and differs from ethanol by a single carbon atom and a couple of hydrogens. When we drink methanol, however, things get really goofy. Like, we go blind and die.
Aside from the goofy stuff, ethanol is a diuretic—it makes us pee more. Because of all this peeing, we get dehydrated after boozing it up. Dehydration gives us dry mouths and aching heads. Also, being dehydrated can cause or little brains to shrink slightly and pull away from the sides of the skull, which is kind of unsettling.
Along with dehydration, when our body metabolizes alcohol things get a little crazy. Shortly after consuming alcohol, our bodies turn it into acetaldehyde. Acetaldehyde is a flammable, fruity smelling liquid, and it’s found naturally in fruit, coffee, and fresh bread. And it causes hangovers. The acetaldehyde is then converted in the liver to acetic acid, a reaction that redirects glucose (sugar) from our brains, and when our brains don’t get their sugar fix, they get angry. Also, they get tired, weak, moody, and unable to concentrate.
Finally, the presence of other chemicals mixed in with the alcohol, called congeners, can cause trouble. Congeners are products of fermentation, and are sometimes added to drinks to enhance flavor. They also can make us sick.
This is where the South African wine scheme comes in. Most wine, it seems, has sulphites added to it, to help preserve it from spoiling. Some people are intensely allergic to sulphites, but most of us just get headaches from them. But the alternative is drinking spoiled wine. Or no wine at all, if you want to get technical.
Guy Kebble claims to have invented a machine that purifies liquids using “ultra-violet technology,” making it unnecessary—in wine—to add sulphites to kill the little wine-dwelling microbes. And without the sulphites, all that stands in the way of joyful mornings-after are dehydration, acetaldehyde poisoning, and hypoglycemia.
That’s all? This Guy’s going to be rich.
Courtesy lanier67I don’t know that much about wine. Basically, I’ll drink some wine and I either like it or I don’t. I’m not sure why. And I’ve always been a little suspicious that there’s a bit of a con job going on with the high-priced wines being so much better than their low-rent cousins.
The findings of a new study show that there might be a lot more “wine experts” out there who are more like me than they’d like us to believe. Using some misdirection in labeling during a taste test of wines, the study shows that more often, tasters will express a preference for more expensive wines.
Here’s how it worked. Study participants were asked to taste test five different samples of red wine. The only thing participants saw that differentiated the wines were price tags by each glass showing the cost of each bottle of wine. They ranged in cost from $5 to $90 per bottle. The catch, the $5 sample and the $45 sample were actually the same $5 sample.
Taste testers were hooked up to a MRI machine to measure their brain activities while trying the wines. Overwhelmingly, the brain scans measured the tasters getting more enjoyment from tasting the “$45” wine than the “$5” wine. And when the prices were taken away, participants generally enjoyed the $5 wine the best – according to their brain scans -- out of the full range of wines they could sample.
Researchers say this shows that marketing and pricing can have a big impact on our perceptions of a product before we even actually use it.
What this study tells me: Boone’s Farm, Thunderbird, Night Train and other “econo” wines need to raise their prices significantly. Here’s a link to learn more about cheap wines.