Can a blender aerate a wine better than a decanter?

Ask Dr Vinny

Hello there! I'm Dr. Vinifera, but you can call me Vinny. Ask me your toughest wine questions, from the fine points of etiquette to the science of winemaking. And don't worry, I'm no wine snob—you can also ask me those "dumb questions" you're too embarrased to ask your wine geek friends! I hope you find my answers educational, empowering and even amusing. And don't forget to check out my most asked questions and my full archives for all my Q&A classics.

Dear Dr. Vinny,

I would love your take on "hyperdecanting," or decanting your wine in a blender. Decanting any wine this violently seems to fly in the face of common sense. Please give us your thoughts.

—Frank K., Vancouver, British Columbia

Dear Frank,

Yes, I’ve seen some buzz about Modernist Cuisine author Nathan Myhrvold's assertion that a blender is a better, faster tool for aerating wine than a decanter, and that 30 seconds at high speed does a better job. I can open the bottle with a chainsaw faster than with a corkscrew too, but that doesn't make it the better tool.

Over the years, I’ve seen countless devices that purport the use of crystals, magnets, glass straws or special metal stirrers and the like to help age or aerate a wine. I understand the desire for experimentation, and I relate to the spirit that we need to conquer science to make it work faster or more in our favor. I also get that wine has an air of mystique to it, and that means that people are either trying to play into that or debunk it.

But to me, it’s really quite simple. Open a wine and pour yourself a glass. If it seems like it needs some more air, you can decant it, or just enjoy watching it evolve in your glass. Will putting a wine in a blender aerate it? Absolutely. Faster? Sure. Better? I’m not so certain. It won’t make a bad wine magically good, and a very delicate older wine might have only a brief period—a matter of minutes—when the wine is in full bloom, as opposed to a younger wine, which could bloom for hours. Hyperdecanting could miss that magic moment, just as decanting it too soon would.

—Dr. Vinny

Serving Wine Decanting Ask Dr. Vinny

More In Dr. Vinny

How can I preserve an intentionally wine-stained shirt?

Wine Spectator's expert Dr. Vinny explains the pros and cons of using red wine as a fabric …

Aug 16, 2019

What exactly does it mean that a wine can express "terroir"? Is it a smell? A taste?

Wine Spectator's expert Dr. Vinny explains the elusive concept and expression of terroir.

Aug 14, 2019

What is the ideal "total acidity" for Cabernet Sauvignon?

Wine Spectator's expert Dr. Vinny explains total acidity, and how it interacts with other …

Aug 12, 2019

Are some wines better-suited to being canned than others?

Wine Spectator's expert Dr. Vinny explains which wine styles have been most successful in …

Aug 9, 2019

How can a wine taste like fruits other than grapes?

Wine Spectator's expert Dr. Vinny explains how all those complex flavors and aromas get …

Aug 7, 2019

Why are people so fascinated/obsessed with wine?

Wine Spectator's expert Dr. Vinny explains a few of the reasons we love wine.

Aug 5, 2019
WineRatings+

WineRatings+

Xvalues

Xvalues

Restaurant Search

Restaurant Search