Peter Bignell, a distiller in Australia has brought recycling to new places. He is using wine that has been spat-out at a wine tasting and is turning it into a spirit entitled Kissing a Stranger.
Bignell, from Tasmanian Belgrove Distillery came across the idea for the first time in Sydney, at Rootstock festival, where winemakers from across the globe come together and aim to find sustainable methods for winemaking. While in a group tasting, he noticed that most of the wine was spat out. This is done mostly to allow wine testers to experience a wide variety of wines without getting too drunk. However as Bignell saw it, it was a shameful and unnecessary waste of quality wine.
He expresses that he absolutely hates waste. He asked the crowd who would drink from the spit bucket if he were to take it home, distill it and bring it back a year later, and all hands went up.
Bignell arranged with the heads of the Rootstock festival that the spat-out buckets of wine would be collected with the plan to later distill it. The buckets had some pieces of cheese and beer mixed in too.
Instead of having all of the buckets of wine shipped back to his distillery, Bignell found a local distillery nearby to the festival and used their machinery to process the wine.
A year later, he managed to transform the bucket of spit wine into a clear spirit which he named Kissing A Stranger, tasting similar to unaged brandy. He brought the majority of his spirit back to the Rootstock festival and saved some to age it.
Following his success, the Rootstock festival will continue to collect spat-out wine to make more wine.
There is of course some concern that it could be rather unsafe to drink distilled spit, but a food microbiology professor has confirmed that it should be safe to drink, especially since the distillation process kills most germs.
Sustainability at it’s finest.