Monday, November 7, 2016

Macro wine diamonds

Oh, the exciting life of a retiree! I know you are all living vicariously through me.

Today's project was to photograph the bottom of a cork from some wine we had the other day. There were both red and clear wine diamonds on the cork, and I wanted to see how well they would photograph. I know perfectly well how to build a light box, and even have the materials, but that's so pro, and I'm not quite there yet. I'll build one when I want to photograph the paperweights I made.

But first in case you don't know, wine diamonds are are particles that separate from the wine, usually while aging in the bottle if the wine is subjected to cold temperatures. They are mostly made up of potassium bitartrate. These natural occurring tartrates are not fully soluble in wine and may precipitate onto the cork or settle into the bottom of the bottle. Higher levels of tartrates can be expected in cooler climates that have naturally higher levels of acidity in the grapes.

Wine diamonds are completely harmless, tasteless crystals that are a natural part of the winemaking process. They also have no negative affect on the quality of the wine. In fact, they are often an indication that the wines have been made more naturally with less winemaker intervention.

Behold my high tech setup.

Here's a couple of the photos, gradually getting closer and closer. Keep in mind the cork is 20 mm across, and the white crystals are about 1 mm across. The red one is bigger.

Oh, and I added some cedar mulch to the back garden. It's ready for Linda's seal of approval, or maybe it needs a bit more mulch put down in places. Believe it or not there's still a bright green plant. It must like snow.

Great swim this morning, chasing two recent Roth Challenge finishers. 2K overall, 1K 18:55 long course(!), 5 x 100 hard, 500 easy. The kick is coming along, and I'm faster in the water with less effort.

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