Video A biophysicist has found a way to save precious wine drops from leaking down the side of the bottle after it’s poured into a glass.
There are ways to prevent spillage with nifty devices inserted into the bottle neck. But Daniel Perlman, a senior research scientist and inventor at Brandeis University in Massachusetts, America, wanted to change the wine bottle itself. “I didn’t want there to be the additional cost or inconvenience of buying an accessory,” Perlman said.
The painstaking three-year study started with analyzing videos of wine being poured in slow-motion. Perlman discovered two things: drippage is worse when a bottle is more full, and the trickle of wine tends to curl backward and run down over the edge of the opening because the liquid is attracted to the hydrophilic glass (and so it spreads instead of beads).
Perlman realized if he created a groove around the neck of the bottle – just below its lip – it could stop the last dribbles of wine from escaping. Using a diamond-studded tool, Perlman and his colleague Greg Widberg, an engineer, found the perfect width of the indentation to be roughly two millimeters in width and a millimeter in depth.
Now a wine droplet has the hard task of fighting the effects of gravity to make it past the groove.
The special diamond-cut bottles could be making their way into supermarkets soon. Perlman is said to be in discussions with bottle manufacturers about adopting his design.
Preventing alcohol spillage seems to be an active area of research in physics. Last year, researchers found that drinkers should “suck [their] beer into a straw and turn that horizontally” to decrease the likelihood of splatter.
It’s a worthwhile area of research, too. A recent study shows that moderate drinking is actually better for your health than being a teetotaler. ®