Wednesday, October 17, 2007

Tannin-rich foods pt. 2: Wine

Wine, particularly red wines, can be tannin-rich. The tannins in wine are often blamed for red wine headache, and impart a dry bitterness and distinctive taste. The tannins come mainly from skin, seeds and stems present during the fermentation process (which is why red wines tend to be more tannin heavy) but can also be imparted from oak barrels that are often used for storage. Anti-oxidant tannins also play an important role in the aging process - as a wine ages, the tannins precipitate out reducing the harshness of the wine. Because of this, tannin-rich wines benefit more from the aging process than those with a lower tannin content.

Now, I don't have time to wait around several years for my wine to age properly. That's why I drink beer. But if you love wine and are impatient here is the product for you. The Perfect Sommelier is essentially a powerful magnet. Place a bottle on the magnetic coaster, and replace the cork with the magnetic cap - wait 15-30 minutes and presto! your wine tastes as though it's been aged for years. (This is not unlike the wine clip which claims to do the same thing, only faster!) Both products have 'scientific'" explanations for how they work - something about using the magnets to align polar tannin molecules - and oodles of testimonials. I'm not ready to cry 'quack' yet since the nuances of wine taste are a difficult to measure and any such test would be subjective, but I don't think I buy it. Of course, my unrefined palate and I are skeptical of Sideways-esque wine tasting and wines with "the faintest soup├žon of asparagus and just a flutter of a nutty Edam cheese." Still, one independent test showed that tasters were unable to tell the difference between treated and untreated wine, or identfied a difference but were wrong half the time (the writer of that critique also has "a background in Electromagentic fields from MIT" and claims there "really is no scientific explanation as to why a little magnet would change the tannic structure or acidic content of a wine").

So, rather than try to make a bad wine good with an overpriced magnet, save your money and invest in learning about real good wines, like with Sommelier for the Nintendo DS. Or just buy a few bottles, do your own tasting, and find ones you like. I'll even help you pick them, but I am NOT drinking any fucking merlot!

1 comments: said...

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