A couple of wine experts from San Francisco are apparently able to perform a miracle otherwise credited to Jesus Christ himself – they claim they can turn water into wine in a mere 15 minutes! The synthetic wine, made without the use of grapes, is produced by combining water and ethanol with flavor-compounds that can mimic the taste of real wine.
Mardonn Chua and Alec Lee, founders of the start-up Ava Winery, said they were inspired to create the grape-free artificial wine after spotting a bottle of award-winning Chardonnay at a winery in California’s Napa Valley last year. They couldn’t afford the bottle of Chateau Montelena, but they got to thinking of ways to make wine that anyone can buy. “I was transfixed by this bottle displayed on the wall,” Chua said. “I could never afford a bottle like this, I could never enjoy it. That got me thinking.”
So they skipped the expensive step of growing and fermenting grapes, and instead started off with ethanol, the major component in most alcoholic beverages. Then they added compounds like ethyl hexanoate for that fruity flavor. Their initial attempts were disastrous, but they kept trying and eventually achieved some decent results, including a very close replica of the sparkling Italian white wine Moscato d’Asti.