India's First Wine, Food and Hospitality Website, INDIAN WINE ACADEMY, Specialists in Food & Wine Programmes. Food Importers in Ten Cities Across India. Publishers of delWine, India’s First Wine.
Skip Navigation Links
About Us
Indian Market
Wine & Health
Wine Events
Retail News
Contact Us
Skip Navigation Links
Wine Tourism
Book Review
Photo Gallery
Readers' Comments
Video Wall
Media Partners
Ask Wineguyindia
Wine & Food
Wine Guru
Gerry Dawes
Harvest Reports
Mumbai Reports
Advertise With Us
US Report on Indian Market Released
Top Ten Importers List 2015-16
On Facebook
On Twitter
Delhi Wine Club
Please do not try this Stunt at Home

Posted: Saturday, 22 March 2014 12:55

Blog: Please do not try this Stunt at Home

Mar 22: It may be his idea of adding some spice to life, oops wine, but a recent statement by Nathan Myhrvold, former COO of Microsoft-and not the red wine, should be taken with a pinch of salt and I won’t advise our readers to try this stunt at home unless you are drinking a cheap red Carlo Rossi from Gallo.

The former Chief Operating officer of Microsoft is now a lot more into food than technology; he can well afford experimentation with all the money he would have made at Microsoft. With degrees in mathematics, geophysics and space physics form UCLA as well as a doctorate in theoretical and mathematical physics and a master’s degree in mathematical economics from Princeton University, Nathan came to the attention of the food world in 2011 with “Modernist Cuisine,” a six-volume 2,400-page book on the science of cooking but came into wine news last year when he suggested that wine should not be decanted but churned in a blender for 30 seconds before pouring “When you decant you’re doing two things,” he says.”You’re taking oxygen from the air and oxidizing some of the compounds in the wine; you’re also allowing the wine to off-gas. Typically, there’s going to be sulfur dioxide, which comes from the sulfites they use. You get that out,’ he said, justifying the churning.

He now advocates adding a pinch of salt to your glass of red wine in order to smooth out and balance the flavours.

A report in Bloomberg yesterday came after the discovery during a dinner with Californian winemaker Gina Gallo singing praises of savoury tones in Cabernet Sauvignon and when she said she tried not to have them sweet or too fruity. “I said ‘I can make it more savoury. So I added a little salt to the wine, which totally changed it,” Myhrvold reportedly told Bloomberg, adding, “I start by adding just a tiny pinch of salt and what it does is to balance the flavours. With most wines, they immediately taste smoother.” He was perhaps being served Carlo Rossi red wine- a supermarket wine.

We have many different types of flavor receptors,” says Myhrvold. Unlike what most of the wine world which believes there are only four types of flavours out tongue can differentiate- salt, sweet, bitter and acid with umami (as described in Japanese food)  now added as the fifth flavour, he estimates that there are 40 such flavour receptors on the tongue.

Myhrvold told Bloomberg. “When you taste something, you have this cacophony of different tastes and your brain tries to summarize that. A tiny bit of salt changes the overall impression, which is why chefs salt food.’’ But he did not mention that generally the chefs fume when you add extra salt to the food, thus creating unbalance to the dish-personal individual tastes for salt notwithstanding.

Mercifully, he clarifies that this should be restricted to young reds than the fine vintage wines.  And who knows he may be right? Barely a few centuries ago we believed the earth was flat! And thanks to scientists only we know now that it is round.

Using his logic, one could add sugar through sugar syrup to make a white wine like Riesling more palatable with the spicy Indian food. How about adding some mild spices to the flavourless cheap Shiraz- the list goes on and on and on with artificial ways like this. (Incidentally, there is a list of items that may be legally added to wine during winemaking-like sugar and acid. Adding salt is not one of them- so far).

But I would strongly recommend to our readers not to try either the salt trick or the blend –not-decant trick at home-unless you are drinking Carlo Rossi red- or an equivalent wine!

Subhash Arora



Mike Favre Says:

Mister Subash, With my class of winemaking student we try yesterday both of the strange proposition of M.Mhyvold. We did follow the regulation of blind testing, triangular testing. The sample was a quality red wine about 32 US dollars price range. The résult was absolutly not what we were expecting. Stastisticly we were unable to prove or to show a difference beetween the 2 (3) sample. We respect exactly the 30 sec of blending. Very surprising indeed, we will do it again to secure that résult, result against all my conviction. For the salt, it was easy to see the difference but a clear disagreement between the for and the against. If you can find me an email for M.Myhvold, it will be great because we have here a with wine "petite-Arvine" who has a salty taste in the end of the mouth, and if possible to send him a bottle to have his appreciation on genuine salty taste wine Best Regards Mike Favre Oenologist Switzerland.

Posted @ March 28, 2014 17:39


Subhash Arora Says:

You are only partly correct Remie. I am a traditional but also love to be experimental. I believe many wines can be drunk on their own. Many more need food or else they are not drinkable. The excitement is for the wines that enhance the taste of food and wine together. I am also very experimental and do not believe in toooooo much worrying about food and correct wine. There is not that much of wine choice with us in India anyway,with very wide spectrum of foods available. I advise people to stay away from the conflicting matches, is all. Subhash

Posted @ March 28, 2014 12:29


Remie Says:

Subash, you are very much a traditionalist when it comes to wine. I very much respect that but Nathan is upping the ante for those, who drink without (savoury) food. As we know, wine enhances food, food enhances the wine. Basically, he has just informed the (silly) Americans, what wine culturalists know, i.e. that wine goes better with (savoury) food and (savoury) food needs the accompaniment of wine. The greatest insight into this concept is the Spanish law that dictates that wine be served with a tapa.

Posted @ March 28, 2014 12:05


Want to Comment ?
Please enter your comments in the space provided below. If there is a problem, please write directly to Thank you.
Generate a new image

Type letters from the image:

Please note that it may take some time to get your comment published...Editor

Wine In India, Indian Wine, International Wine, Asian Wine Academy, Beer, Champagne, World Wine Academy, World Wine, World Wines, Retail, Hotel


Copyright©indianwineacademy, 2003-2020 |All Rights Reserved
Developed & Designed by Sadilak SoftNet