Wednesday, August 17, 2005

An Apology to The Wine Doctor
I received an email today from Chris Kissack of The commenting on my posts about decanting and wondering about one in particular. It was the March 22, 2005 post entitled Decanting – Day 7 which was a little tongue-in-cheek comment on one method of decanting. What’s to apologize about? Well the link I provided was to Chris’s web site when it should have been to

Chris, while you didn’t ask for this to be done so publicly, my sincerest apologies for any problems my error might have caused. I have no explanation as to how the error appeared other than a mix-up between the sites I had collected that have comments on decanting. But I really have no excuse as I am responsible for checking my links to make sure that they not only link to a site but that the site is correctly quoted.

One thing I am sure about is that Chris was very gracious in his email when it was not necessary for him to do so. In fact more than gracious, because he provided me with a piece on information on aeration of wine that I was not familiar with.

Work done by Kari Russell of the University of Tennessee in Knoxville, and reported in the New Scientist, looked at the concentration of phenolic compounds in a Merlot as it sat in three different glasses: a flute glass, a Martini glass and a wide Bordeaux glass.

According to the New Scientist “Russell found that the concentration of a phenolic compound called gallic acid increased, presumably because the action of pouring triggered reactions that converted gallic tannins in the wine into gallic acid.”

“Russell thinks this is because a higher surface area of the wine is exposed to air in a Bordeaux glass. Oxygen drives the formation of compounds called catechin-gallate esters from the gallic acid. When esters pass your lips, they precipitate the proteins in your saliva, making the wine taste dry.”

After pouring the wine back into glass beakers a panel of tasters, mostly students, tasted the wine that had sat in different glasses. With one exception they did not notice any difference.

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