Firstly, what on earth is hyperdecanting?
Of course nearly all wine lovers know the process of decanting red wine which involves pouring the wine into a larger container, often through a distribution filter. This aerates the wine before drinking, making it smoother and enhancing flavor.
Hyperdecanting takes this process to the extreme so that instead of pouring the wine into a decanter and allowing a gentle process of oxidation to occur, a blender is used to significantly increase the air content in the wine in a dramatically short time frame.
The whole idea of hyperdecanting comes from Nathan Myhrvold, joint author of the benchmark reference “Modernist Cuisine: The Art and Science of Cooking.”
Mr. Myhrvold says “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.” “
So, does hyperdecanting improve red wine tasting?
The short answer seems to be yes, although I am yet to try the exercise and so rely on the opinions of others. Judge for yourself.
I was very pleased with the results of my hyperdecanting experiment. I don’t like to spend a lot of money on wine, but that doesn’t mean I don’t want to drink the most pleasing wine my wallet allows. I think my blender will get even more use from here on out.
Hyperdecanting won’t improve every bottle of wine. A really good bottle of wine that has fully matured might be ruined by hyperdecanting. And some bottles are just so bad that nothing can help them. But, for that $10 bottle of red that you know improves from regular decanting, hyperdecanting might just improve it even more. Read the full hyperdecanting article here.
Certainly the above experimenter, like Mr. Myhrvold, noticed an appreciable improvement in the red wine tasting after hyperdecanting.
In no way am I a wine snob, but for me there is something unnatural in the process of using a blender on a natural wine product. Hyperdecanting is almost an insult to the wine maker who has painstakingly overseen the choosing and picking of the grapes, plus the manufacture and maturation of the wine.
Even if the wine is only a few dollars per bottle and the quality is average, surely paying for what we get is the number one law of consumerism.
Not wishing to offend or put anybody off drinking red wine ever again, I deliberately did not place a photo of hyperdecanting on this page. However if you really want to see the gory process in full flight, below is a very short video which will give you the idea.
Beyond that please leave a comment below if you have an opinion or experience about hyperdecanting and red wine tasting.
(Finally, a disclaimer: if you used the link above to buy the Modernist Cuisine book by Nathan Myhrvold I may get a small commission. Thanks if you did – I have bills too.)