Scientists at the University of California, Berkeley, among others, have begun to improve systems for determining the age of wine through radioactivity studies, highly important for our palates.
Peter Hosemann is a professor in the department of nuclear engineering at the University of California, Berkeley, and he explained that radioactive element cesium-137 is present at very low levels in the environment. This radioactivity research has started running in all wines from 1945 to the present, with regard to the year of first test of nuclear weapons and is very beneficial for our health.
About cesium-137, Hosemann said: ?It comes from nuclear tests and is on the floor, having the possibility to get into plants and fruits through the roots. In the case of wine, the small amount that gets into the grapes is trapped in the liquid during the bottling process?, so it is necessary to confirm or exclude the presence of the radioactive element before it hits shelves. Probably all bottled wine from 1945, either red or white wine, contains traces of isotopes.
Meanwhile, researchers at the Agricultural University of Athens are in agreement about the effectiveness of this technique used by Hosemann, after a document elaborated in 2012, on the determination of the geographical origins of food, by the analysis of rare elements on land, such as radioactive particles.
This type of chemical analysis has begun to be applied to products as varied as are tomatoes, dairy products and honey, among others, to help determine their geographical origin. Scientists think of these techniques as an effective means to combat food and drink fraud. ?The analysis of isotopes of main elements makes this method very robust, and a reliable counterfeiting test, since an artificial modification is very difficult?, according to a 2013 paper in the journal Food Chemistry.
So now we know that there is a way to determine the age, legitimacy and geographical origin of wine and other foods through radioactivity tests, ensuring a little more safety to consumers in what they purchase and take home, especially in higher-priced wines.
Today we recommend two great wines prior to 1945, to enjoy a radioactivity-free wine:
Château Mouton Rothschild 1944
Château Lynch Bages 1943