"Water Into REAL WINE" by John Keyes

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jkeyes1000
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"Water Into REAL WINE" by John Keyes

Postby jkeyes1000 » June 27th, 2013, 1:09 pm

The greatest disadvantage to the typical variation of this routine is that the beverage is either toxic or vapid to the taste.

Here we have a means (two methods really) of producing potable wine.

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The ancient or 'traditional' version of the miracle (reminiscent of The New Testament), involves grapes that are crushed in a rain barrel. "Water" is poured into the barrel to mix with the grapes, after which the concoction is poured into an amphora or a carafe, evidently dyed a deep reddish purple. But--it may be served and enjoyed by the crowd!

I made a very poor quality video of the entire routine if anyone wishes to follow it for educational purposes:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ZKEn2doLKJo

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The modern approach is to pick up a bunch of ornamental PLASTIC GRAPES from the centrepiece of a dinner table or a sideboard and drop them in a clear glass pitcher of "water" and crush them with a wooden spoon or similar implement. The "water" changes colour right before the public's eyes, gradually becoming tinctured until it is dark red. Likewise, the wine may be sampled and even judged by the guests in attendance.

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The secret is in the fact that the "water" is actually WHITE WINE (I prefer to use a white Rioja, or a white Burgundy, but--in a pinch, you might manage with a Soave or a Chablis. Try to avoid really distinctive white wines such as Chardonnay or Sauvignion Blanc, as the flavour might suggest the answer to a connoisseur).

The dye is BEET POWDER, which may be obtained from any health food store. It gives just the right shade, and more importantly, it lends an earthy quality to the white wine which so nearly mimics the nature of red wine (in its savour as well as its texture, right down to the 'dregs') that even an expert is unlikely to suspect that it is anything other than a red wine.

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The procedure for the traditional method is to conceal the beet powder in the concave lid of the amphora. When the lid is passed over the rain barrel in order to stop the amphora, the contents may be surreptitiously added to the white wine in the barrel. After swirling the mixture about, it may be poured into glasses for imbibing.

As for the "modern approach" (which is much sleeker and more efficient), all you need to do is to buy a bunch of plastic grapes from a department store (like Walmart) and slit a number of the hollow spheroids with a razor blade or a box cutter (ten or twelve should be sufficient, but--it depends on how much "water" you are intending to dye). Fill the 'grapes' with beet powder by opening them as you would one of those flat ovoid coin purses that banks used to give away to their valued customers.

Carefully wipe off the excess beet powder, but--do not rinse with water! Place the prepared bunch of 'grapes' on a table in full view prior to the festivities. Chances are that no one will be stupid enough to try to eat the plastic fruit. If they do, then forget the trick.

When the supply of wine runs low after dinner, suggest that you will make some more, using your skills as a magician. Act a little tipsy as you pick up the bundle of plastic grapes and folks will think you're a fool.

You will have prepared a pitcher full of white wine (well measured so that the dye will colour it perfectly in accordance with the hue of the 'grapes'), which stands before a YELLOWISH or SLIGHTLY GREENISH backdrop, such as a mustard or an avocado refrigerator, or a wall or a curtain so decorated. This will help to disguise the true tint of the "water".

Toss the grapes into the pitcher and very little should happen straight away, as the 'grapes' shall retain the beet powder. Get a wooden spoon or spatula or pestle long enough to reach down to the bottom of the pitcher and start 'crushing' and stirring the grapes. The beet powder shall rise up prettily from the artificial fruit, much to the astonishment of the spectators.

But--when you at last offer to let them drink of the potion, get ready for a truly wide-eyed reception!

--------------------------------------------

There is only one 'caveat' to this trick. Some individuals are allergic to beets and may have a severe reaction. It is best to ask the host or hostess to gain the assurance that none in attendance are susceptible to the illness.
Last edited by jkeyes1000 on July 3rd, 2013, 12:31 am, edited 8 times in total.

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Re: "Water Into REAL WINE" by John Keyes

Postby Edward Pungot » June 27th, 2013, 3:06 pm

This was one of the very first tricks I learned. No joke.
I learned it in kindergarten. I went to a Lutheran school and one day during the bible portion of our "education," Mrs. Pabst performed this for us and showed us how it was done. From that day on I knew I wanted to become a magician and a hard-nosed skeptic.

Thanks for the additional tips. This is great at parties.

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Re: "Water Into REAL WINE" by John Keyes

Postby Brad Henderson » December 1st, 2017, 11:31 pm

unless they taste the water before hand, you have no effect

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Re: "Water Into REAL WINE" by John Keyes

Postby Tom Moore » December 2nd, 2017, 4:39 am

If you’re hanging around with the sort of people who can’t tell the difference between red wine and white wine with dye in it then they definitely aren’t the “wine experts” you repeatedly claim the subtleties in this method will fool.
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Re: "Water Into REAL WINE" by John Keyes

Postby Q. Kumber » December 2nd, 2017, 6:09 am

Veering slightly to the general water to wine effect, George Blake published Chris Van Bern's handling in The Magigram Vol. 3, No. 6
and a follow up piece in Vol.4, No. 2.

Chris Van Bern was a popular variety performer in the U.K and his (stage) version may be the best yet published. He did not use real wine. :o

With regard to Mr. Keyes version above, I think spectators would be only too glad to get a free drink rather than enter a debate in the middle of a show as to whether it was white or red.

It's also highly amusing that in Bible class, Mrs. Pabst was showing how Jesus accomplished his miracles. :shock:

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Re: "Water Into REAL WINE" by John Keyes

Postby Dave Le Fevre » December 2nd, 2017, 11:32 am

Tom Moore wrote:the sort of people who can’t tell the difference between red wine and white wine with dye in it

Surprisingly, many people when tasting a wine while blindfolded are unable to state correctly whether the wine is white or red. So while we'd all like to think that we can "of course" distinguish merlot from chardonnay, perhaps we can't.

I haven't tasted wine while blindfolded. I have tutored a few wine tastings, but I wouldn't call myself an expert. (Though I'd expect other people to call me one (smile).)

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Re: "Water Into REAL WINE" by John Keyes

Postby Tom Moore » December 2nd, 2017, 2:42 pm

The OP refers to convincers that will fool "experts" which heighten the effect. If someone cannot tell the difference between red and white wine (blindfolded or not) then they are by absolutely no measure at all an "expert" at wine - what is being suggested is the equivalent of saying an "expert" in playing cards wouldn't notice that the colour of playing card has been inverted when that is the entire trick being presented.
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Re: "Water Into REAL WINE" by John Keyes

Postby observer » December 2nd, 2017, 4:19 pm

Dave Le Fevre wrote:
Tom Moore wrote:the sort of people who can’t tell the difference between red wine and white wine with dye in it

Surprisingly, many people when tasting a wine while blindfolded are unable to state correctly whether the wine is white or red. S<>Dave


???
Mr Keyes didn't say anything about a blindfold.

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Re: "Water Into REAL WINE" by John Keyes

Postby jkeyes1000 » December 2nd, 2017, 4:51 pm

Tom Moore wrote:The OP refers to convincers that will fool "experts" which heighten the effect. If someone cannot tell the difference between red and white wine (blindfolded or not) then they are by absolutely no measure at all an "expert" at wine - what is being suggested is the equivalent of saying an "expert" in playing cards wouldn't notice that the colour of playing card has been inverted when that is the entire trick being presented.


If we were talking about distinguishing particular varieties of red wine, I would agrre with you, that an "expert" might frown upon it. For instance if I were to call it a Cabernet Franc.

But without knowing what variety of red wine it is, even an "expert" could only wonder.

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Re: "Water Into REAL WINE" by John Keyes

Postby Tom Moore » December 2nd, 2017, 5:04 pm

Someone who cannot tell the difference between red wine and white wine with colouring in it cannot possibly be considered an expert; a wine expert could immediately recognise the grape variety used and know whether it was commonly presented as a red or white. A wine expert would also have a sufficiently developed pallet to be able to taste the dye used and combine this knowledge with the fact that they would expect a wine from the grape they had already recognised to be white and immediately call out that what they were being offered was a white wine with something in to to make it look red.

Are you misunderstanding the definition of "expert" and instead mean "enthusiast" or "fan" perhaps?
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Re: "Water Into REAL WINE" by John Keyes

Postby jkeyes1000 » December 2nd, 2017, 5:35 pm

Tom Moore wrote:Someone who cannot tell the difference between red wine and white wine with colouring in it cannot possibly be considered an expert; a wine expert could immediately recognise the grape variety used and know whether it was commonly presented as a red or white. A wine expert would also have a sufficiently developed pallet to be able to taste the dye used and combine this knowledge with the fact that they would expect a wine from the grape they had already recognised to be white and immediately call out that what they were being offered was a white wine with something in to to make it look red.

Are you misunderstanding the definition of "expert" and instead mean "enthusiast" or "fan" perhaps?


Well this would be a good way to test an expert's ability.

Ask him or her what variety it seems to be. Then whether or not it may be a blend, what country of origin, what vintage, etc.

These factors and many others make positive identification virtually impossible. I advised in the above piece, to choose a white wine that was NOT distinctive. There are a number of white wines whose qualities are very similar to certain reds. I would prefer a relatively robust white wine (certainly not a sweet or a fruity one) that may not be easily recognised. That in combination with the beet powder (which of course lends its own earthiness and pungency) ought to throw anyone off the trail.

And who is going to tell a magician that he can't create hus own variety? You give "experts" too much credit. Their reputations are not founded on guessing utterly unknown varieties or blends.

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Re: "Water Into REAL WINE" by John Keyes

Postby Tom Moore » December 2nd, 2017, 5:53 pm

Ah ok, so when you said expert, you don't actually mean expert.

Now I understand
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Re: "Water Into REAL WINE" by John Keyes

Postby Dave Le Fevre » December 3rd, 2017, 5:06 am

observer wrote:
Dave Le Fevre wrote:
Tom Moore wrote:the sort of people who can’t tell the difference between red wine and white wine with dye in it

Surprisingly, many people when tasting a wine while blindfolded are unable to state correctly whether the wine is white or red. S<>Dave


???
Mr Keyes didn't say anything about a blindfold.

When people taste a wine, they appraise it using input from eyes, nose, and palate. Even if they're not consciously tasting it, just pouring it down their throat, they're still getting data from those three sources.

The eyes tell us the colour of the wine. (They also tell us other things, which aren't relevant to this magic effect.)

Thus if people using only nose and palate can believe that a white wine is a red wine, then I'd expect that people using eyes, nose, and palate would be even more likely to believe that a red-coloured white wine is a red wine. That was my point. My apologies for not having spelled that out.

It's surprising to learn that using only nose and palate we can get the colour of a wine wrong. Surprising to me, and presumably surprising to many of us here. I get the impression that some people here don't believe that people can be fooled in that respect. The test would be to try it, surely?

And yes, I'd like to think that I could always tell a Gewürtraminer by its nose. And I'm proved myself wrong. Most experts - real experts, not people like me - are often fooled by the grape variety. They're far more likely to get it right than the average person, but they're not infallible.

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Re: "Water Into REAL WINE" by John Keyes

Postby Tom Moore » December 3rd, 2017, 5:23 am

Again I have to stress that my issue here is the term “expert”

I don’t doubt that the average wine drinker half drunk at a social gathering would be completely fooled (and not very critical) of miscoloured wine. However anyone who is an “expert” really wouldn’t be - by definition if they were then they cannot possibly be an expert. The most basic, core, beginners skill on the road to being any kind of wine expert is being able to recognise different grape types and noticing how the wine you’re drinking now differes from the properties you have previously experienced when sampling something else made from the same grape(s). The entire world of wine experts / somaliers / wine tasting is built completely and totally on being able to identify the core ingredients and working out how this wine ring tasted now is different to your “default” profile. Throw in to this the fact that the colouring of wine isn’t generally achieved with dyes but rather chemical reactions that affect almost every molecule in the glass and you have a big problem if you think this technique will fool “experts”

If you offered any wine expert a glass of white wine dyed red they would be immediately getting “red flags” that what they are tasting and smelling should normally be a white wine. They would then look at the colour and see that the redness is from some sort of colouring agent added to the wine and would be incredibly suspicious and confused because nothing lined up correctly. If the expert has also just watched someone “magically” turn a clear liquid that looked a lot like white wine into this mysterious “red” wine by adding something that looks a lot like dye then their every suspicion will be justified and they will have the method nailed.

Again, dye in red wine will fool the average jo on the street enough for a magic show (there’s plenty of think-a-drink routines that use this method) but it absolutely won’t withstand 2seconds of scrutiny by any kind of legitimate wine expert.
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Re: "Water Into REAL WINE" by John Keyes

Postby AJM » December 3rd, 2017, 7:54 pm

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Re: "Water Into REAL WINE" by John Keyes

Postby Jackpot » December 3rd, 2017, 10:33 pm

Tom Moore wrote:If you offered any wine expert a glass of white wine dyed red they would be immediately getting “red flags” that what they are tasting and smelling should normally be a white wine. They would then look at the colour and see that the redness is from some sort of colouring agent added to the wine and would be incredibly suspicious and confused because nothing lined up correctly. If the expert has also just watched someone “magically” turn a clear liquid that looked a lot like white wine into this mysterious “red” wine by adding something that looks a lot like dye then their every suspicion will be justified and they will have the method nailed.

Again, dye in red wine will fool the average jo on the street enough for a magic show (there’s plenty of think-a-drink routines that use this method) but it absolutely won’t withstand 2seconds of scrutiny by any kind of legitimate wine expert.


I've lived in California's Wine Country (Napa and Sonoma Counties) almost all of my life. I know a lot of people who work in the wine industry. I asked them about the above statements. They said the experts can be fooled. The example most often cited concerned dying white wine red. More information about this can be found at this link:

https://www.realclearscience.com/blog/2 ... sting.html
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Re: "Water Into REAL WINE" by John Keyes

Postby Tom Moore » December 4th, 2017, 4:08 am

If you check the background you’ll see that experiment has been largely discredited - the “experts” are first year students and the process of the experiment was very biased (the time they were given “red” they didn’t get to freely describe it but instead had to choose words from a list generated based on the words they had last used to describe red wines.

I am confused as to why so many people are determined to take this off topic. Anyone who can’t tell the difference between red wine and white wine with dye in it isn’t an expert by definition of the word. Add in to this the fact they have just watched someone “dye” something that looked like white wine into something that looked like red wine and again, by definition of the word they can’t possibly be a wine “expert” if they lack the most basic skills and knowledge of the product.

Will this fool the man on the street or an enthusiast- possibly; but by definition if it fools an expert then they weren’t an expert.
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Re: "Water Into REAL WINE" by John Keyes

Postby jkeyes1000 » December 4th, 2017, 12:16 pm

Tom Moore wrote:If you check the background you’ll see that experiment has been largely discredited - the “experts” are first year students and the process of the experiment was very biased (the time they were given “red” they didn’t get to freely describe it but instead had to choose words from a list generated based on the words they had last used to describe red wines.

I am confused as to why so many people are determined to take this off topic. Anyone who can’t tell the difference between red wine and white wine with dye in it isn’t an expert by definition of the word. Add in to this the fact they have just watched someone “dye” something that looked like white wine into something that looked like red wine and again, by definition of the word they can’t possibly be a wine “expert” if they lack the most basic skills and knowledge of the product.

Will this fool the man on the street or an enthusiast- possibly; but by definition if it fools an expert then they weren’t an expert.


I am not sure which version of this trick you are focusing on. I suspect it is the "modern; one with the plastic grapes.

This is essentially a comedy routine so I don't think anyone is likely to take the wine tasting aspect if it too seriously.

But regardless of which version you refer to, you must remember that the table grapes from which the concoction is supposedly derived may be of a variety tgat is not generally used in wine making. One would have to be more than an "expert" to identify the fermented characteristics of such a beverage. One would need to be a greater wizard than Merlin.


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