Hyperdecanting: Better Wine In A Minute

Love wine but don't have the time, patience, or inclination to aerate your wine in a decanter forever before drinking? Former Microsoft CTO and master chef Nathan Myhrvold suggests a method he calls "hyperdecanting". Sounds fancy and high-tech, right? It's basically shorthand for "put your wine in a blender for a minute and it'll taste better".

Just about anyone who enjoys an occasional glass of wine will initially recoil at the idea. (I did.) Wine has an almost mystical quality for most of us and surely only an unsophisticated fool would dump a perfectly good bottle of wine into a blender. But Myhrvold takes a scientific approach to food, the culmination of which can be found in his insane $US450 book Modernist Cuisine: The Art and Science of Cooking, and in an article last year in Bloomberg Businessweek, he explains his method:

I just pour the wine in, frappé away at the highest power setting for 30 to 60 seconds, and then allow the froth to subside (which happens quickly) before serving. I call it "hyperdecanting".

Although torturing an expensive wine in this way may cause sensitive oenophiles to avert their eyes, it almost invariably improves red wines — particularly younger ones, but even a 1982 Château Margaux. Don't just take my word for it, try it yourself.

In his article, Myhrvold goes on to suggest how you might set up your own blind taste test to "determine with scientific rigour whether your tasters prefer the hyperdecanted wine". While we haven't given hyperdecanting a go just yet, decanting is a common practice, and at least in theory, hyperdecanting seems to make sense. A few folks have documented their hyperdecanting efforts, including all-things-four-hours author Tim Ferriss, a hyperdecanter who uses a submersion blender.

The wine-obsessed people at Vinum Vita tried it out, too (video at the top of the post) and at least seemed to agree that it changes the flavour of the wine.

Ever hyperdecant your wine? Share how it worked for you in the comments. As for us: We've got a (cheap) bottle of wine waiting to be blended this weekend.

How to Decant Wine with a Blender [Bloomberg Businessweek]


Comments

    Changing and improving the taste of wine are diffrerent things... Depends on the wine and the taster.

    Blind test it.

    My gosh - how difficult is it to make a blind test of this kind of experiments. Unless the testers just talking loads of BS.

    The Vinturi product in the video is apparently very good but CardiacKevin is right it all depends on the wine

    The real test would be to do a traditional decant in a decanter for several hours and compare that with the blended wine. If they are different it may well turn out that blending is a poor approximation of hours of breathing, just as breathing a young wine is a poor approximation of ageing.

    Or you could just open the bottle a while before you plan to drink...

    Once again; it is blindingly obvious that the real comparison to be done is between a wine that has been decanted and gently breathed for hours and a wine that has been brutally aerated in a blender. It is not exactly news that a blender will aerate wine.

    I can appreciate where this thought is coming from but I can't find it's place. For an everyday consumer would it not be more efficient (cleaner) to just use the Vinturi product? Anyone who cares enough to decant a wine, should give them self the time to do so. I also think this whole blending thing can potentially hurt the wine in two ways. First would be bruising, wine is delicate and I do not think ripping it apart in a blender for 30-60 seconds is a great idea. Second ( I have not tested this theory ) I could almost see the wine talking on a metal or aluminum flavor from being abused by the blender blades. With everything said, if you want to pour your 10$ Robles blend in a blender....... ok. But isn't part of the satisfaction watching your wine undress toward that final point where it is fully nude. My self when I open a drink now bottle, I enjoy half from the bottle and half from a decanter. Who said that all wine benefits from decanting ?

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