London: Scientists have developed a new way
to spot fake wine from vintage one using `carbon dating`.
A team of researchers led by Graham Jones from University
of Adelaide in Australia found that radioactive carbon dioxide
produced from atomic bomb tests in the atmosphere was absorbed
by grapes and can be used to accurately determine wine
They were able to distinguish vintage wine from the poor
one by measuring the traces of carbon absorbed by vines and
into the wine.
The team compared the amount of carbon-14, which was
released from the bomb testing in the 1940s to 1960s, to
The radioactive carbon has gradually decreased over the
time and scientists were able to identify the year when wine
was made by measuring the amount of carbon in it, the
"Misrepresenting the vintage ? the year the wine was made
is an ongoing problem. It is thought that up to five per
cent of fine wine sold is faked," Jones said.
"The problem goes beyond ordinary consumers being
overcharged for a bottle of expensive wine of a famous winery
with a great year listed on the label.
"Connoisseurs collect vintage wines and prices have
soared with `investment wines` selling for hundreds of
thousands of dollars a case at auction," Jones said.
The method was tested on 20 Australian red wines made
between 1958 and 1997 and it was accurate to within one year,
according to a report presented at the American Chemical
Society meeting in San Francisco.
First Published: Monday, March 22, 2010, 17:46