Radiocarbon dating of microliter sized Hungarian Tokaj wine samples

Tamás Varga, Mihály Molnár, Anita Molnár, A. J.Timothy Jull, László Palcsu, Elemér László

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Radiocarbon-based age determination of wine samples has a great tradition worldwide, but most of the applied techniques, such as liquid scintillation counting and gas proportional counting analyses, have had large sample size requirements. However, accelerator mass spectrometry (AMS) based radiocarbon dating methods require much lower amount of carbon. Up to now, only a few available studies applied the AMS method to the dating of wine. We tested a preparation and measurement protocol for wine radiocarbon dating, not only for the ethanol fraction but for the distillation residue and submilliliter level preparation method of the wine sample without separation was also applied, using capillaries of the twenty wine samples from the Hungarian Tokaj wine region. The reliability of our method was verified by a comparison of wine time series with the Northern Hemisphere Zone 1 atmospheric 14C data as a calibration curve. The measured 14C values of the two different fractions, the ethanol and distillation residue, and the milliliter-sized non-separated samples also were in good agreement with each other, which shows both fractions could be used for radiocarbon dating of wine samples. Small sample size (∼10 μL) wine radiocarbon dating does not destroy a significant part of a bottle of wine.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number105203
JournalJournal of Food Composition and Analysis
StatePublished - May 2023


  • Accelerator mass spectrometry
  • Capillary-based preparation, isotope
  • Dating
  • Radiocarbon
  • Wine

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Food Science


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