It´s enough to make sommeliers splutter into their spittoons: a wine-blending machine that lets drinkers craft a glass specifically to their personal palate, rather than having to pick a tipple, possibly as a result of guesswork, from the range a restaurant or bar chooses to stock in its cellar.
Vinfusion, as the machine in question is called, was launched this week by Cambridge Consultants, a British technology company. In designing it the firm’s researchers first undertook a study of the wines people buy in pubs, bars and restaurants. They found that most customers are stick-in-the-muds. Instead of sampling different regions, grape varieties and vintages, they tend to order the same plonk every time they go out.