Technology that can age wine within minutes sounds like it belongs in the same too-good-to-be-true boat as those ads for that “one food that kills belly fat.” But the inventor behind a device that claims to do just that, the Sonic Decanter, recently invited to me to test out this fantastical technology. Does it work? As it turns out, tasting a bunch of wines is fun either way.
By zapping your bottle with ultrasonic frequencies, the creators of the decanter say it softens the tannins and expels the sulfur dioxide—the stuff added by winemakers to preserve the wine longer, even though it can change the way cheaper bottles taste. “It appears that the changes we generate in 15 to 20 minutes are the same changes that occur in the components of the wine when they bottle age for five to eight years,” says Mike Coyne, the creator of the device, over the phone. Basically, it sounds like alchemy for wine.