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Personalised wine blends

Scientists have developed a new device that could revolutionise how we order wine, giving drinkers personalised wine blends on demand.   Vinfusion, the name of this new invention, is designed to serve the glass of wine you want every time.

For many drinkers ordering wine can be a confusing experience, given the huge choice available.  This new invention claims to be capable of blending a wine to an individual’s preferred taste, rather than having to guess what is in the bottle when choosing from a wine list.

Cambridge Consultants, an English technology company behind the project, undertook a survey to find out the level of customer satisfaction when ordering wine and to understand how consumers describe the taste and style of wine. It was notable that consumers were reluctant to try a wine that was unfamiliar to them. The survey also found that 70% of consumers were frequently disappointed by the wines they ordered.  Drinkers were confused by the terms used to describe wines, so they were asked to choose simple adjectives to describe wine.  The most popular descriptions were ‘light’, full bodied’, ‘dry’, ‘mellow’, sweet, sharp and fiery.

With this information the scientists then chemically analysed twenty different types of wine to find out which provided the spectrum of perceived flavours preferred by consumers.   The results indicated that four wines, a Pinot Noir and Merlot from Chile, a Shiraz from Australia and a Muscat from France, were most suitable to blend together to give hundreds of different flavour variations.

Using touch screen graphics you can make personalised wine blends.  Firstly you choose a wine on a scale between light to full bodied, soft to fiery and finally how dry or sweet.  The machine then selects the proportions of each of the four wines as you watch them being swirled together in a blending vessel then poured into your glass.

Sajith Wimalaratne, of Cambridge Consultants, says that the blending process is similar to what happens in a winery when wines from different tanks are blended depending on their aromas and flavours to make a particular style.  One of the aims of Vinfusion is to make it easier for drinkers to experiment and find the style of wine they prefer.  The company is hoping that restaurants and bars will use their device giving customers more choices and making it easier than choosing a wine ‘blind’ from a list.

I like the idea of this machine for drinkers to experiment and try different styles of wine, which can only be a good thing.

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I am a Northern Irishman based in Valencia. My career in wine began more than three decades ago, in London. I am the founder of TheWinePlace.es, an online store, where wine enthusiasts can enjoy a selection of international wines and Verde Marte, a company dedicated to exporting Spanish wines. Also, Thewineplace.courses, an "approved program provider" of the courses of the prestigious WSET. I share my passion for wines through my media work writing weekly columns for the Spanish newspaper El Mundo and 5 Barricas, an online wine magazine.

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