This article in the San Francisco Chronicle discusses three synthetic (or “molecular”) alcoholic drinks produced by US startup Endless West: wine, whiskey and sake. The drinks are produced by mixing plain alcohol (from corn) with natural flavourings (e.g. from plants or yeasts) rather than traditional distillation methods (e.g. fermenting grapes to make wine).
The article notes that the products could gain prominence as climate change affects the taste of wine from vineyards, since the synthetic versions might be quicker to make and more consistent in taste. It is not clear how the environmental impacts of Endless West’s products compare to those of conventional alcoholic drinks.
Read the full article here. See also the Foodsource chapter Impacts of climatic and environmental change on food systems.