Most people have never given any thought to the challenges of drinking wine on a space ship, or for that matter drinking anything on a space ship. But, there are unique challenges to drinking in a low gravity environment. Liquid does not flow in a low gravity environment the way it does on earth. Instead, it pools into droplets that look almost like floating bubbles. That is why astronauts drink water, and other drinks, through a straw.
That is fine for water and juice, but it is not a good way to drink wine. Fortunately, a young designer, Octave de Gaulle, got curious about drinking wine in space and spent a lot of time, studying the problem. According to him:
Nowadays drinking in space is no longer a technical problem. However if you drink alcohol from the existing plastic bags, you ruin everything beautiful and good in wine.
You just have to look at modern wine glasses to understand this. These objects are the result of several centuries of research: they sublime wine and involve our sense of smell in tasting thanks to their balloon shape. These glasses channel wine aromas to the nose… I had to find a shape – contrarily to a straw – which preserves the smell aspect of wine consumption.
For his space bottle, Octave chose a round shape. This prevents the wine from collecting in one part of the bottle to avoid contact with air, and makes it so that the wine will be easy to drink. The ring-like shape also means that the wine will be easy to carry and transport.
Octave has chosen the 2009 vintage of Château Haut-Bailly for his first vintage to space. The wine is an exceptional one, from an exceptional year, making it a perfect complement to a unique design and unique mission.
After entering the artistic residence program at the CNES (Centre National d’Etudes Spatiales,
Observatoire de l’Espace), Octave de Gaulle is currently exhibiting “Civilising Space” at the
of Decorative Arts and Design of Bordeaux.