A few weeks ago, I was forwarded an article in which the writer lamented that when he ordered wine on a plane, it never seemed to taste as good as it did when he was on the ground. He then said he had developed a trick to fix the problem – shake the wine. I was dubious that this simple trick would really make the wine taste better, since we don’t recommend the whole hyperdecant idea for when you’re drinking on the ground. So, on a recent flight, I decided to test it for myself and have another passenger try the wine as well. After shaking the wine, I asked the passenger to try both the shaken wine and the unshaken wine. The test was blind, she did not know which glass was shaken and which one was not. Guess what, the trick works!
Watch the video below to see how it’s done and the science behind why the simple act of shaking your bottle of wine can make a basic bottle of wine you purchased in coach taste like you’re flying in first class*.
*If you’re lucky enough to be flying in first class, there is probably no need to shake your wine, because most of the time, that wine is decanted for a while before it is served. When you shake the wine, all you’re doing is “decanting” the wine, just really really fast. I realize it’s not the ideal way to decant wine, and actually may not taste that great if you did this trick when you were on the ground, but it works in a pinch when you’re 30,000 feet above the earth. That’s the chemistry plus the flying environment at work!
Also, yes that’s Michael Shannon sitting in the window seat in the video. I thought about asking him to join in the experiment, but he was consumed with his Rolling Stone. However, he may or may not have finished the leftover wine I offered him.