Cosmic Cabernet: Meteorite-Aged Wine Debuts in Chile

A British winemaker in Chile has combined his two passions — winemaking and astronomy — to create the world's first space wine.

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Inky, oaky, voluptuous, smoky — sophisticated wine connoisseurs can detect the subtlest of tastes. But even the most seasoned oenologists might have trouble with this one: a trace of meteorite.

Prepare your palates, because Chile-based winemaker and astronomer Ian Hutcheon has concocted the world’s first Cabernet Sauvignon aged with a meteorite. Hailing from the asteroid belt between Jupiter and Mars, the three-inch space relic crashed into northern Chile’s Atacama Desert 6,000 years ago. Hoping to combine two of his passions, Hutcheon obtained the meteorite from an American collector and decided to get creative.

“The idea behind submerging it in wine was to give everybody the opportunity to touch something from space; the very history of the solar system, and feel it via a grand wine,” Hutcheon told the Drinks Business. Adding a little space-infused flair gave the wine a “livelier taste,” he said.

Dubbed Meteorito, it was made in the Cachapoal Valley’s Tremonte Vineyard, which Hutcheon bought in 2009. Through a process called malolactic fermentation, Cabernet Sauvignon grapes sat for a year in a wooden barrel with the meteorite before being blended with another batch of traditional Cabernet.

Currently, the cosmic wine can only be purchased in Chile at Centro Astronomico Tagua Tagua, an observatory Hutcheon established in 2007. But stay tuned, because plans to import the most-likely-astronomically-priced Meteorito could be launched any day now.

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