Wednesday, March 23, 2005

Decanting - Day 8
A couple of days ago I provided links to various internet sites under the guise of a search for “well documented, peer reviewed, evidence on the virtues of decanting”. Nothing could, of course, be further from the truth. While the internet does pretty much cover the known universe, the links and quotes given provide little more than anecdote and personal opinion.

There are other more appropriate databases to search for studies that have been done on the effects that decanting (i.e. aeration) may have on wine. They include Ovid Technologies, Inc. which I can access at work. And should be accessible at any university library. It includes (among others) Biological Abstracts (Indexes life science research reported in nearly 5,500 journals. Coverage is international and includes biological and medical research findings, clinical studies, discoveries of new organisms, biotechnology, pharmacology and botany.) which goes back to 1980, and Agricola (Index to materials acquired by the National Agricultural Library and cooperating institutions. Includes journal articles, monographs, series, and materials in many non-print formats covering a broad range of agricultural topics. 1970-1985 international in scope. 1985+ focuses on U.S. related publications.) which goes back to about 1979.

Searching a number of literature data bases I’ve come up with, how can I put this politely, less than might be expected given the opinions that are voiced on this topic. There is this one paper.

Avakyants, SP. Changes in bouquet substances during wine aeration. Izvestiya Vysshikh Uchebnykh Zavedenii Pishchevaya Tekhnologiya (1). (1972) 95-98.

No, I did not make this citation up. Now its possible that so few papers were identified because the searches did not go back far enough in time. Certainly no work from Peynaud was identified; his book was first published in 1980. But sensory evaluation of taste is a growing field and it includes wine. Just do a search of PubMed to see what I mean. Whoa, “decanting, wine” gives some hits! Scientific American: How does decanting red wine affect its taste? And why is it suggested for red wine, but not white?

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