Daily Archives: April 19, 2009

Why Wine Turns into Moonshine

bachusthe-god-of-the-wine-oil-on-canvas-50-x-40cmitaly-2003Today, I enjoyed a cheeky little chardonnay in the glorious Somerset countryside. But according to an article yesterday in my favorite paper, “The Guardian,” it should have tasted more like cat pee. Apparently, this weekend is a time of ‘root’ where wines will taste at their worst because they are best drunk only on fruit and flower days. This is the wacky belief of “biodynamics,” where produce is thought to taste better on days according to their position in the astrological calender. Wine tastes better on fruit and flower days and I presume vodka (made from potatoes) tastes better on root days.

According to the proponents of this crazy idea, wine is a living organism and therefore like other living organisms, it is subject to the effects of the lunar cycle. Oh dear… naïve biology, belief in astrology and sympathetic magical reasoning again (and a basic misunderstanding of what wine is!). Still, the wine buyers for both Tesco’s and Marks & Spencer’s apparently believe it, as they only invite critics to taste their wines on fruit and flower days. What’s more is that the Guardian tested the theory for their article and found that five out of seven bottles showed a marked improvement!

Now this is the newspaper that features Ben Goldacre, the skilled critic and scourge of bad science. Ben… you need to have a word with your fellow journalist and tell him about how to design a proper scientific study.


Filed under In the News, supernatural