Bottoms Up

Beer and wine in the Bay Area and beyond

Electromechanical sommelier

By Jessica Yadegaran
Wednesday, September 6th, 2006 at 10:16 am in Uncategorized.

It took two years, but Japanese scientists have created a robot that identifies wines and cheeses using an infrared spectrometer in its arm. I guess the reflected light is analzyed to determine the chemical composition of the object. It then rattles of notes and flavors and suggests pairings, even nudging its owner that a food may be too fatty or salty for his diet. Watch out, McDonald’s!

Does the robot bear a strange resemblance to Robert Parker, you ask? Not yet. For now, he is green and white with big eyes and a head that swivels. Like Parker’s when he doesn’t get his dose of big fruit.

As for our fabulous human sommeliers, don’t worry about losing your job anytime soon. As of now, the robot costs the same as a car (tho Hyundai or Lexus, I don’t know) and can only store a few dozen wines in its memory banks.

And considering that the chemical composition of a wine begins to transform the minute the cork is popped, I’d imagine the robot job market will plummet faster than it started.

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