There are very few times that I will ever share anything that could fairly be described as a life hack, because, for the most part, what works for one person doesn’t always work for someone else, and also, I don’t know, aren’t there whole websites for that sort of thing?
And yet. Sometimes you come across a trick that changes everything for you, or, at least, changes one very significant thing for you, and you suddenly understand why there are all those websites and BuzzFeed videos devoted to hacking lives and you just want to share your knowledge with the world. Such is the case with me and this trick I found out which makes drinking cheap wine infinitely better. And considering the amount of inexpensive wine I drink, this is actually life-altering.
At this point, I can’t even remember where it was that I first read an offhand reference to putting inexpensive red wine in a blender and significantly improving its taste. I think it was Bon Appetit? But maybe not? It doesn’t really matter, because all I know is that I read about it a couple weeks ago and I finally tried doing it last Friday with a bottle of $9.99 malbec, and it kind of changed everything. I tried it on a whim when a friend came over; we poured half a glass straight from the bottle to use for comparison and then just poured the rest of the bottle into a Vitamix. We both agreed that the unblended wine was… not very good! It tasted rough, crude, and without much nuance. None of which means we wouldn’t have guzzled it, but that’s because we wanted to drink.
And so then we tried the Vitamix wine. First, there was a truly alarming minute when the super-powered blender really got going: The wine frothed up to an alarming degree, so much so that I was worried I hadn’t rinsed all the soap out after cleaning it. “You’ve ruined the wine,” my friend said, cold as ice. And because she’s nothing if not a chill bully, I knew that I might have irreparably fucked up.
I stopped the Vitamix, took off the lid, and we watched the bubbles fizzle down until the wine looked potable again. But we remained skeptical. After all, ten seconds before, it had been a bubbling mess. I poured a little out for both of us and we tried it. While we are in no way wine connoisseurs, we can taste when something is not bad. And this wine, which previously had been, we’d agreed, “bad,” was now pretty good! It tasted smooth, with a subtle richness, and a more defined minerality that lingered on our palates in a pleasant way. This changed everything! No more splurging on $25 bottles. Not that I did this that often, but I would never need to do it again!
To further test the wine-in-the-blender technique, I conducted more research when hosting an OC sleepover-night, and found that the wine trick worked just as well on cheap pinot noir and cheap cabernet sauvignon as it did on cheap malbec. What was this blade-induced magic? And why had neither I nor my friends ever heard about it before?
Well, perhaps we just hadn’t been paying attention. After all, Lifehacker posted about it almost three years ago, and this hack was part of a video BuzzFeed did on booze hacks a little more than a year ago, but also, the act of decanting wine in a blender was first introduced by Nathan Myhrvold over four years ago in his book Modernist Cuisine, who explained that this might seem like a brutalist way to aerate wine, it’s really just effective. (And you can read more of his take on it here.) Still, though, this is the kind of life-altering trick that so vastly improves the experiences of all us broke wine-lovers out there that I just had to share it again. So, you know, hack your wine-drinking by letting your blender literally hack your wine. It only takes about 60 seconds on high. There’s no looking back.
Follow Kristin Iversen on twitter @kmiversen, where she will never again offer tips to hack your life, but may continue to reference The OC if you’re lucky