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Watson, Meet Robert Parker

Scientists in Australia have invented a so-called “electronic tongue” that can analyze and measure compounds in a wine and then mathematically formulate a “fingerprint” of the wine. According to Dr. Xavier Ceto Alseda, a research associate at the Future Industries Institute at the University of South Australia, the electronic tongue can even identify the type of barrel in which a wine has been aged. The electronic tongue operates in much the same way we taste—by recording sensations of sweetness, bitterness, acidity and so on, and then synthesizing those sensations into a coherent impression. The researchers hope to soon be able to use the electronic tongue to predict sommelier’s and critic’s scores of any given wine.

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