A mate of mine, who lives out in Germany, got in touch the other week to ask if I’d have a look at a new product his company are involved with. It’s a thing called a Wine OLED and it’s for checking the colour and see-through-ness of a glass of wine. I’ll be honest, my initial reaction was a bit on the skeptical side, but surely people wouldn’t have spent time and energy on this thing if it didn’t do a job, right?
First up it’s worth noting that checking out a glass of wine with your eyes is the first thing most tasters do. It’s used for checking all kinds of things. Quite a lot of wine faults will show up as gunk in the glass in some way, shape, or form. You can also get indicators of a few charachteristics from the colour, notably the age of the wine and an indication of the kind of grapes used to make it.
So given it’s part of Wine Tasting 101, it’s useful to have a decent place to do it. Not that many places in the wine tasting world have immaculate white walls and perfect natural light all year round. I know a few PR companies that have got a bit of a rollicking from grumpy wine sniffers (not me!!) if the space they hire for a trade tasting doesn’t have the right atmosphere for them to do what they need to do.
So it’s an important first step when tasting, and there’s not many places that are perfect for it all year round. So that’s where this Wine OLED comes in. The light coming off this thing is as close to natural light as you’re going to get, and it’s consistent. All of a sudden it doesn’t matter what the weather’s like outside, or whether the interior designer was having a dark mood when they were taking on this room. It’s the same every time.
Is it for everyone? No. Not even the biggest wine geek is going to be putting this one on their birthday wish list. But as a tool for the wine trade to standardise that first taste with the eye no matter where they are in the world? Yeah, it’s got legs there definitely. It’s lightweight, it’s easy to use, and I thought it looks good too.
I’m no longer a skeptic, which is always nice!