Forget decanting, put it in a blender


Decanting wine is a common tactic among some oenophiles, and involves pouring the drink through an aerator or into a special container to let it “breathe.” But inventor and amateur chef Nathan Myhrvold has an even better and faster way: Put it in the blender.

This agitates the wine and makes it react with air more quickly, performing the same role as decanting but faster, Myhrvold said in a speech here at the annual meeting of the American Association for the Advancement of Science on Saturday (Feb. 16).

But the real reason to do it? “The looks on people’s faces,” Myhrvold said. “If you do this with a wine expert in the room — it’s as if you committed some deeply unnatural act.”

“But it’s food,” he continued. “Why is it okay with daiquiris and not with Bordeaux?”

There are several possible explanations for why decanting, or blending, improves the taste, said Myhrvold, who holds nearly 250 technology-related patents and recently wrote a tome about the science of cooking, entitled “Modernist Cuisine: The Art and Science of Cooking” (The Cooking Lab, 2011). The practice could lead to the oxidization of certain flavor compounds, vent pent-up gases like sulfur dioxide or release other volatile components from the wine, he said.


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