Which Wine Goes Best with Semiconductors? A 2009 Beaujolais, Apparently

By Veronique Greenwood | March 23, 2012 12:58 pm

red

Heads turned last year when Japanese scientists announced that heating iron telluride in red wine did wonders for its conductive ability. (They are mysteriously quiet as to how they decided to do this experiment.) Sake, white wine, and other alcoholic drinks were also, uh, sampled, but none had the vigor-inducing properties of a full-bodied red.

They’ve now taken the matter further and tested which kinds of red have the strongest effect. Their results, posted on the ArXiv and summarized in the figure above, indicate that the winner is a wine made from Gamay grapes, a 2009 Beaujolais from the Paul Beaudet winery in France. Beaujolais are known for being acidic wines, and indeed, when the researchers did a component-by-component breakdown of the wine, testing to see which of the substances in it was the one having the effect, they narrowed it down to tartaric acid.

tartaric acid
The acid in question.

To test their findings, they mixed tartaric acid with water and found that the mixture did boost iron telluride’s conductivity. But not as much as wine itself, which indicates there’s something else in the wine that’s contributing to the effect.

Neat, eh? There’s still a lot up in the air, though. How, exactly, does wine do it? While we wait for the scientists to figure that out, we’ll take another bottle of the Beaujolais, thanks.

[via the ArXiv Blog]

CATEGORIZED UNDER: Food, Nutrition, & More Food
  • Mark Lilleyman

    Surely this is a prime candidate for an igNobel prize?

  • jhertzli

    “I heard him then, for I had just completed my design
    To keep  the Menai Bridge from rust by boiling it in wine.” — Lewis Carroll

    I was reminded somehow.

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