This is where tradition stops and technology starts- This is also the point at which traditional die-hards take a stand against this method.
Introduced to the world by Nathan Myhrvold of Modernist Cuisine and considered by many to be witchcraft. Let’s explore.
Dave dos Santos
What is Hyper-Decanting?
Hyper-Decanting generally refers to the practice of oxygenating wine in a blender, and introduced to the world by Nathan Myhrvold.
Nathan Myhrvold’s Procedure:
See it in Action!
So, we decided to try it for ourselves.
Our aim was to compare the wine in three different scenarios:
Scenario #1: Un-Decanted
Scenario #2: Decanted in the Traditional Method
Scenario #3: Hyper-Decanted
This young Bordeaux was the subject of our experiment.
- Nose—alcohol, spice, cooked dark fruits, lead pencil shavings
- Taste—dark fruits, black pepper, dried herbs, smoke, cigar tobacco, leather, cedar, plum
- Mouth—smooth, velvety, balanced, elegant, medium finish
- The wine seemed closed and tight and slightly grippy
- Decanted for two hours
- Nose—blackberry, leather, tobacco, dark fruits
- Taste—currants, dark cherry, tobacco, leather, vanilla, oak
- Mouth—smooth, balanced, medium tannins, long finish
- The wine seemed much smoother, less grippy with a longer finish and more aromatic on the nose.
- The test was run in 15 second intervals, tasting in between each interval
- After the first 15 seconds, nose, taste and mouth—closely resembled the traditional decanted wine, but looked visually darker
- After the second 15 seconds, the wine seemed less structured, more floral and less tannic
- After the third 15 seconds, the wine was completely destroyed. The beautiful structure that was once enjoyed had been obliterated. The wine was one-dimensional and seemed dead. Limp.
*Nathan Myrhvold suggested between 30-60 seconds. We used three-quarters of a bottle and after each interval, we poured out of the blender, lowering the volume of wine in the blender. This could have affected our results.
In our opinion, traditional decanting is still the gold standard. The wine is elegantly presented, and the wine experiences a less forced transformation that encourages the development of the wine’s bouquet.
Hyper-decanting just sounds so super cool, and we had a lot of fun playing with it. To be used with caution. If you intend to use this method, we recommend taste-testing until you are satisfied. This will completely horrify a traditional, die-hard wine connoisseur, but it is fun.