Scientists Pouring Over Results Of Experiment To Blast Wine Into Space

CBS News correspondent Tina Kraus has more on the out-of-this-world experiment.

Video Transcript

- And a dozen bottles of French wine blasted into space a year ago, and they have since returned to Earth.

- And scientists have spent the last few months poring over the results of their experiment. Must be fun. CBS 4's Tina Kraus is in London with what the experts have learned.

- Station to Houston on 2. All [INAUDIBLE] separation visually confirmed.

TINA KRAUS: The International Space Station carried 12 bottles of Bordeaux for a year not for astronauts to sip, but for scientists to study. The fine wine was packaged inside steel cylinders and remained uncorked until it landed back on Earth.

- [SPEAKING FRENCH]

TINA KRAUS: The $6,000 a bottle red is being sniffed, sampled, and studied. And experts say the bottles that went into orbit taste, smell, and look different than those that stayed on the ground.

JANE ANSON: The one that had remained on Earth, for me, was still a little bit more closed, a bit more tannic, a bit younger.

TINA KRAUS: The mission focused on how gravity and oxygen affect fermentation, bubbles, and the aging process.

- [SPEAKING FRENCH]

TINA KRAUS: The mission organizer says gravity creates tremendous stress on any living species and accelerates some of the natural progression. Researchers found weightlessness didn't ruin the wine and seemed to energize grapevines brought on board. Snippets of Merlot and Cabernet vines grew faster than those on Earth, despite limited light and water.

It's too early for scientists to know why, but they say the cosmic conclusions could start the countdown for grape-growing and winemaking in space. Tina Kraus, CBS News.

- That'll be interesting. Researchers say their findings could reveal a way to artificially age fine vintages and help make plants on Earth more resilient to climate change and to disease. Anything to improve wine, right?

- Yeah. Why not? So--