Inebriated Fruit Flies

November 02, 2009 By: erik Category: Damn, Nature!, Photos, Weird, Wine 187 views

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Drunk Flies (crop)…or Why You Should Put The Cork Back In The Wine Bottle. Yesterday I opened a bottle of wine to have with lunch, as I often do on Sunday. Normally, however, I either put the cork back in it when I’m done, or insert a plastic cap. Yesterday I forgot, and today when we went to pour some leftover wine for our midday meal, we found some intruders were in there enjoying our delicious beverage.

At least some of them were alive and swimming around…perhaps drunkenly.

Drunk Flies
Looking down into the wine bottle.

Drunk Flies (crop)
Here’s a crop of just the intruders.

So we poured it through a colander and drank it anyway.

I wonder if a professional wine taster could distinguish a regular glass from one that had been “drosophiliated“.

  • Michael

    almost certainly they couldn’t. you always have fruit flies in wine. we do our best to minimize them by covering the primary fermenters with cheese cloth and then reracking several times during the aging process (siphon off the wine, dump out the sediment, pour the wine back in). but some percentage of your wine will always be fly parts.

    • That’s funny. And good to know.

      I suspect that some percentage of all our food consists of fly parts. Mmm, fly parts…

      So do they have decanters with screens to allow oxygen in but keep flies out?

      • Michael

        sure, but just letting everything settle in a regular decanter and pouring slowly without stirring it up is sufficient for most everything. port typically has more crap in it so you can get special funnels that have a mesh built in.

        before everyone gets completely grossed out, most of the sediment is going to be wine skins, seeds, and spent yeast cells.

        • These guys were paddling around on the surface, though. Maybe with more time they’d settle to the bottom.

          While it was tempting to let them dry off and try to fly around drunkenly after I filtered them out, I opted to just wash them down the drain instead.

  • Also, as an aside, the reason that the little snacks they give you with your wine in Spain are called “tapas“, a word that literally means “cover” or “cap”, is because they were originally used to put over your wine glass to keep the flies out.

    …or that’s the myth anyway.

  • Tommy luca

    Thanks for sharing this information. Because hereafter I ll be very careful when i drink the wine. Definitely I check whether any flies has settled in my wine or not. Thanks for making me to be aware of this. Hope your experience with wine will save others life on the earth.