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Wine

Fingerfood - never lose another prawn

This adorable idea takes the notion of “finger food” quite literally. A tiny plate attached to a ring that slips over your finger, the Fingerfood is the perfect way to balance your snack and glass of wine at a party.  Read More

Wine tasting goes electronic

Could this new electronic wine-tasting tongue challenge the finest wine tasters in the world? Invented by European scientists, this handheld device has a multi-sensor chip which senses distinctive characteristics of wine varieties. By analyzing the sugar content, acidity and alcohol, the machine can also determine the year and grape variety of the sample and instead of waiting days for laboratories to analyze wine samples, wine industry specialists will be able to get a sample result at the touch of a button.  Read More

EuroCave's Sowine wine bar preserves your wine at the right temperature for up to ten days...

Sowine is a home wine bar that enables you to preserve your opened bottle of wine at the perfect temperature for up to ten days. It also allows you to bring your bottles of wine to the correct temperature before serving. The air-tight refrigerated storage unit has two separate compartments that are temperature-controlled to suit the type of wine you are storing. You can store a bottle of red wine and a bottle of white wine at the same time as the units are completely separate. As the storage unit is air-tight, the bottles are also protected from oxidation, therefore helping to prolong the life of your wine.  Read More

USB key for wine lovers

October 29, 2007 If sniffing, swirling and sipping isn’t enough to cure your craving for wine, perhaps this novel new USB key is. Loaded with information about the Grand Cru Classé winery in Bordeaux, the USB key comes in the shape of a bottle of the vineyard’s Pontet-Canet.  Read More

The combination wine cabinet and refrigerator

October 20, 2006 Liebherr is well known for its high quality wine cabinets and also makes a range of superb refrigerators so it was only a matter of time before someone got the bright idea for combining them. If you’re a regular wine drinker, it’s heaven sent as the wine cabinet holds 32 bottles and has two zones for storing and/or serving wine at the exact temperature desired, ranging from +41°F (+5°C) to +64°F (+18°C). In all, the SBS 24I5 unit has five different climate zones and ensures everything is kept as it should be. As such, we figure it qualifies as a new and innovative appliance that allows you to store all food and drink under perfect conditions.  Read More

The wine-tasting robot

September 8, 2006 The evolution of information technology that imitates the five human senses of sight, hearing, touch, smell, and taste is important in the advancement of a ubiquitous society. Undoubtedly one of the leaders in this area is NEC System Technologies which continues to push robotic development as can be seen from these stories (here, here and here) on its technologies, all of which seem to be able to be shoehorned into the tiny PaPeRo form factor. More recently, the research has moved from areas such as personality, social skills, companionship and English-Japanese language translation to technologies that support the prevention of lifestyle-related diseases through dietary therapy. Last year we saw Papero transformed into a “health food adviser robot” which analysed food using infrared spectrum analysis and did so WITHOUT opening the packet. Not only did it report on the fat and sugar content, the robot actually identifies several types of cheese (Edam, Gouda, Camembert, etc.), meat products (ham, bacon), and bread (pain de mie, baguette, croissant,). This year they set out to build a robot that could differentiate between different types of wine, a far more exacting task using the same technology. The new wine-tasting robot can now discriminate between wine types but the sensor is much larger, needs to touch the surface of the wine and must be cleaned for each tasting.  Read More

The WinePod micro winery kitchen appliance

September 5, 2006 Man has been making wine for more than 10,000 years but never has it been this easy. The WinePod is a new domestic device for artisan winemaking – a US$2000 micro winery just being readied for launch and seeking international distributors and we see this as a winner because it is just sooooo sophisticated. The insulated, self-cleaning, fully computerised, three foot tall, metallic urn-shaped appliance includes everything required to make 75 litres of the wine of your choice and is above all, easy to use. It wirelessly connects to your PC/Mac, which monitors Brix, pH and temperature to keep things happening exactly as they should and the WineCoach software mentors you through the wine-making process to obtain the best results for the particular variety of grapes you choose. Wine Coach enables you to collaborate with professional winemakers who are dedicated to the different wine types so you can learn the fine art of winemaking from your own personal consulting enologist. The software also enables you to compare notes and interact with fellow wine enthusiasts using the system and it can all be self-contained in an apartment or in a cupboard with the obvious rewards that the final product will bring. The waiting list already runs to April 2007 but a few orders might prompt an increase in production and we’re very bullish about the prospects for this baby.  Read More

First commercial use of new glass wine closure

May 11, 2006 Wine has been amongst man’s greatest pleasures for at least 10,000 years, having played a prominent role in the Phoenicean, Greek, Egyptian and Roman civilisations. Initially, the bitterness of wine spoilage was masked by flavouring the wines, and many different methods have been used to prevent spoilage, such as topping wine containers with olive oil, leather tied with vine, clay stoppers, oily rag closures and most successfully, cork. But cork is inconsistent and still has an unacceptable spoilage factor and ever since French microbiologist Louis Pasteur discovered wine spoilage was caused by microorganisms, the search has been on for the ideal closure system. We recently wrote about the Zork wine closure system, and now there’s another. Vino-Seal is a new glass closure developed by Alcoa as an alternative to traditional corks and synthetic stoppers for wine. With a design similar to a decorative decanter stopper, Vino-Seal uses an inert o-ring to provide a sterile seal, preventing contamination or oxidation. Whitehall Lane Winery of Napa Valley will be the first to use the new glass closure commercially.  Read More

Monogram Walk-In Wine Vault

January 14, 2006 If you’re considering the fit-out for your next luxury home and you’re one of those wine enthusiasts who anxiously awaits each November for the Beaujolais Nouveau to arrive, then feast your eyes on General Electric’s latest - a complete, turnkey walk-in wine vault. The US$35,000 GE Monogram Walk-In Wine Vault combines advanced cooling technology, an electronic inventory-management system, insulation, racking, and lighting - all in one spacious, self-contained unit that can be installed in as little as a day. The Monogram Wine Vault offers the ideal location for storing or displaying wines.  Read More

The Electronic sommelier

As the world’s wine consumption increases, the supply of staff capable of offering knowledgeable advice on wine matters at the point of sale has fallen well behind demand. That was what inspired the creation of the wine expert – kiosk-based sommelier software with a simple interface that assists customers in choosing the most suitable wine for an occassion. Customers can search the stock of the store by characteristic (sweetness, dryness, etc), country and region of origin, price category, grape variety or by specifying the type of food you intend to consume with it and having the wine expert suggest the most complementary vino. Developed through extensive field trials, the service can be implemented painlessly by the sales outlet as it requires no maintenance and monitors the store’s ordering of wine and electronically updates the kiosk each night with tasting notes, food matches and recipe ideas – even awards and recommendations – for every wine in stock. Now if you think that’s clever, there’s also a version that runs on a wireless tablet and functions as a winelist for restaurants – so instead of looking at a list of wine names, the customer can make intelligent decisions about wine choice with all the information.  Read More

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