Wine DNA

Emma Marris in Nature:

Wine enchants because of its complexity, but that very trait makes it difficult to regulate. That bottle full of aromatic red liquid with hints of cherry may be genuine Pinot Noir from the California coast, or it may be a New Jersey Merlot, diluted with water and tarted up with sugar or sophisticated synthetic flavourings.

In the arms race between the adulterators and the regulators, detection systems have become ever more sophisticated, as have the cheaters. But at least one common ruse – claiming that the wine is one variety, when it is actually entirely or partly another – may come to a sudden stop if DNA can be successfully extracted from wine on the shelf.

More here.