The World's Biggest Wine Preservation System

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Behold the largest wine store-and-pour system in existence, according to the Guinness Book of World Records. The massive winekeeper is located at Panorama Wine Bar in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. It works by pumping nitrogen gas into the bottles, displacing the oxygen that the bacteria that spoil wine after you uncork it need to grow. The bottles are also held at a constant temperature, which is good for keeping wine tasting fresh.

Though the system has been in use since the early 1990s, it was just last year that Guinness certified the Panorama system as the "Largest Winekeeper" in the world. I happened to end up at the place during a quick trip to Philly and couldn't help marveling at 120-wine bottles all hooked up to individual taps. Single-pour systems may have caught on first in Europe, but it took Americans to scale them up into something that somehow reminds me of an organ.

As for the wine that came out of the machine, it tasted good to me, but I have a decidedly low-to-middle-brow palette in these things.

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Alexis C. Madrigal

Alexis Madrigal is the deputy editor of TheAtlantic.com. He's the author of Powering the Dream: The History and Promise of Green Technology. More

The New York Observer has called Madrigal "for all intents and purposes, the perfect modern reporter." He co-founded Longshot magazine, a high-speed media experiment that garnered attention from The New York Times, The Wall Street Journal, and the BBC. While at Wired.com, he built Wired Science into one of the most popular blogs in the world. The site was nominated for best magazine blog by the MPA and best science website in the 2009 Webby Awards. He also co-founded Haiti ReWired, a groundbreaking community dedicated to the discussion of technology, infrastructure, and the future of Haiti.

He's spoken at Stanford, CalTech, Berkeley, SXSW, E3, and the National Renewable Energy Laboratory, and his writing was anthologized in Best Technology Writing 2010 (Yale University Press).

Madrigal is a visiting scholar at the University of California at Berkeley's Office for the History of Science and Technology. Born in Mexico City, he grew up in the exurbs north of Portland, Oregon, and now lives in Oakland.

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