As reported today in decanter. the Barcelona institute of Microelectronics is currently developing the e-tongue, a device that is sensitive to sour, salty, sweet, acidic and savory flavors, and can even discern the varietal and vintage of a wine.
Using tiny synthetic membranes, each sensitive to different chemical components in a wine, the e-tongue can already distinguish the differences between the Chardonnay, Malvasia, Macabeu and Airen grape varieties. It can also tell whether the same wine is from the 2005 or 2004 vintages.
The device is still in it’s early stage of development, but it’s developers insist that it will be more accurate that it’s human counterpart. The hope is that it could help in the fight against wine fraud.
The Barcelona team isn’t alone in the race to provide accurate wine analysis. Teams from Japan, Europe, and Australia, have all been working on similar solutions for quite some time now. In what could become a very profitable industry, the race to produce an accurate affordable testing machine seems to be nearing the finish.