Nathan Myhrvold, former Chief Technology Officer of Microsoft and likely prototype for the characters on Big Bang Theory, displays the nerd’s affinity for substance over form:
Wine lovers have known for centuries that decanting wine before serving it often improves its flavor. Whatever the dominant process, the traditional decanter is a rather pathetic tool to accomplish it. A few years ago, I found I could get much better results by using an ordinary kitchen blender. 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.”
It is difficult to imagine sentimental and more intellectually constricted wine lovers beating the crap out of fine wine in a blender. Myhrvold acknowledges the horror he advocates, but challenges the curious to conduct a “scientifically rigorous triangle test” to see if he is right or not. He recommends involving at least ten people, to get a meaningful statistical sample.
You’ll probably find that hyperdecanting does clearly change the flavor of the wine. To determine with scientific rigor whether your tasters prefer the hyperdecanted wine requires a more complex trial called a “paired preference” test, or “square” test. But a blind side-by-side comparison works passably well, too, and requires no math.
Myhrvold is, by the way, a trained chef and lead author of the five-volume, 40-pound cooking guide Modernist Cuisine.