JAN 24, 2017 8:58 AM PST

The Chemistry of Wine

WRITTEN BY: Jennifer Ellis

Can you turn white wine into red? Yes, but not really... By adding potassium thiocyanate to the bottom of one glass and ferric chloride to the bottom of the other, the resulting mixture creates a red color that makes the white wine appear to turn red. The reaction is actually used to determine if a substance contains iron or not.

In looking into the chemistry of wine, it turns out wine contains over 1,000 different chemicals. Of course, these are all natural, coming from the fermentation process and mix of grapes and yeast in wine. But could you take these chemicals and create wine without the grapes? A company in California tried this by isolating 60 compounds in red wine, creating them in the lab and mixing them together. If you are a wine aficionado, you would most likely be able to tell the difference. However, many testers believed the compound mixture did indeed taste like wine. So, pay attention to your wine ingredients, as synthetic wine might just be the next thing on the shelves.

(Video: Montreal Gazette and Dr. Joe Schwarcz)
About the Author
  • I love all things science and am passionate about bringing science to the public through writing. With an M.S. in Genetics and experience in cancer research, marketing and technical writing, it is a pleasure to share the latest trends and findings in science on LabRoots.
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