The bottles flew up aboard a Northrop Grumman capsule that launched from Virginia arrived at the International Space Station.
"CommuBios will analyze the impact of radiation and microgravity on wine components, such as polyphenols, crystals and colloids during the aging process, in order to develop new flavors, nutritional and digestive properties for the food industry", Space Cargo Unlimited said in a statement. According to a post on Space Cargo Unlimited's website, the company launched the red wine as part of a scientific experiment known as CommuBios, which is now being conducted in partnership with NASA researchers.
The bottles of wine were packed in a metal canister to prevent them from smashing.
Winemaking uses both yeast and bacteria and involves chemical processes, making the alcohol ideal for studying in space. Universities in Bordeaux, France, and Bavaria, Germany, are collaborating within the experiment from Area Cargo Limitless, a Luxembourg startup. Similarly, a dozen bottles of red wine will also be aged on Earth.
Whatever wine is left will go to those who helped pay for the research.
This is the first of six space missions planned by the company over the next three years touching on the future of agriculture given our changing world.
NASA is opening the International Space Station to similar kinds of experiments and will eventually seek to organise private astronaut missions.
The Cygnus capsule that pulled up to the space station on Monday contains multiple commercial ventures. Also on board was an oven for baking chocolate chip cookies, as well as samples of carbon fibre used by Italy's Lamborghini in its sports cars. Budweiser has already despatched barley seeds to the station, with an eye fixed to turning into the beverage of alternative on Mars.
This was not the first wine that has arrived in orbit. A French astronaut took along a bottle of wine aboard shuttle Discovery in 1985, though the bottle remained unopened in orbit.