Sunday, April 03, 2011


The enitrety of info about hyperdecantenation in Incredible edibles, a recent article about molecular gastronomy in the New Yorker:
They also claim to have a way of improving wine by “hyperdecanting” it via sixty seconds in a blender—the idea being that it will benefit from the oxygenation and outgassing effects. My solemn, taking-one-for-the-team experiments with red wine have partly confirmed this for Schwarzeneggerian young reds.

I took up the gauntlet. First stop, the liquor store, where I pulled a little prank on the vintages clerk when I put on a serious face and asked for help locating a young Schwarzeneggerian red. (I imagine he's still talking about it.)

Came home with a bottle purported to be a big young Californian red: the 2008 Liberty Cab ($17), and just for fun, the cheapest Italian red I could find (year unknown, name forgotten, bottle recycled). Invited over two wine-loving friends.

Put out three glasses at each place: one for the wine straight out of the bottle, one for the hyperdecanted wine, and my Eisch "breathable" wine glasses, which I have confirmed in other wine tastings do amazing things to wine.

I hyperdecanted by blenderizing each wine for 60 seconds, starting with the Liberty.

The effect was pronounced. Right out of the bottle, the Liberty tasted stellar: rounded, layered. The hyperdecanted Liberty was good, but lost a lot of its definition. It became much more generic tasting, mellow, a bit blah. The Eisch was right in the middle: it was superb.

Some quick palate cleansing and then it was on to the Italian. (No rest for the weary.) Out of the bottle it was harsh, raw, and a bit hard to drink. (Ordinarily I'd have added a teaspoon of water to my glass to mellow it out.) The Eisch was better but still harsh. The hyperdecanted, though: oh, my. It was a transformed wine: the harshness gone.

By the way, the foaminess recedes almost immediately. The hyperdecantenation seemed to remove the "legs" from the Liberty, but added some to the Italian: I don't know if that makes any sense.

Moral of the story? Buy cheap wine and put it in the blender.


1 comment:

Andy said...

Cool! I'm not a big wine drinker but maybe this will help me to raise the taste quotient of the wines I DO buy!