Soon, you'll be able to go to all those wonderful wine tasting events you've been excluded from, because you couldn't tell the difference between Chianti and Chardonnay. An electronic tongue will do the hard work for you.
Researchers at Barcelona's Unversitat Autonoma have designed an electronic tongue that can actually ID three different cava wines and classify them based on the amount of sugar in them.
It's all math and biosensors, really. Here's the breakdown on how the electronic tongue calculates and classifies its "taste" findings:
Brut Nature (<3 g/l, no sugar added), extra brut (<6 g/l), brut (<12 g/l), extra dry (12-17 g/l), dry (17-35 g/l), medium-dry (33-50 g/l) and sweet (>50 g/L).
The "e-tongue" isn't quite there yet, as it's still a little wonky and can only ID Brut, Brut Nature and Medium-Dry, but the researchers hope that with a little more work, they can perfect it.
You're thinking an electronic tongue sounds gross. How would you install this thing in your mouth without cutting your own tongue off? Well, it's obviously not meant to replace your real tongue, but if the technology can be implanted into, say, a tooth cap or as an invisible brace of some kind, it could help those with weak taste buds regain some sense difference in the wine they're drinking.
That, and knowing different types of wine would make the nerdier and geekier guys a bigger hit with the ladiers