Ray Isle (@islewine on Twitter) is Food & Wine's executive wine editor. We trust his every cork pop and decant – and the man can sniff out a bargain to boot. Take it away, Ray.
The other day, I felt the time had come to Vitamix some Bordeaux. Any reasonably sane person, of course, might wonder why. After all, the Vitamix (or at least the Vitamix Professional Series 750) whizzes its razor-sharp steel blades around at 24,000 rpm, which is fast enough to liquify pretty much anything. You could toss a license plate and some pool balls in there and end up with a smoothie; a weird one, but a smoothie nonetheless.
The reason I decided to frappé my French red, though, was to check out the idea of “hyper-decanting,” which is the inspiration of Nathan Myhrvold, ex–chief technology officer of Microsoft, all-around mad-scientist foodie and author of the monumental (meaning it weighs 50 pounds) book Modernist Cuisine. Myhrvold’s idea is pretty straightforward: Ordinary decanting - i.e., pouring your wine into a decanter - achieves its benefits because the wine is exposed to air. Blending it intensifies the exposure, and thus the benefits.
Before we get to the results, I should answer a basic question, which is: “Why the heck decant a wine in the first place?”
If you're concerned about the ethics of livestock production but don't want to become a vegetarian, consider this: It may be possible to grow meat in a petri dish.
Dr. Mark Post, professor of vascular physiology at the University of Maastricht in the Netherlands, is working on creating meat from bovine stem cells. And he's planning to unveil a burger created this way in October, he said Sunday at the annual meeting of the American Association for the Advancement of Science in Vancouver.
Croplands and pastures occupy about 35% of the planet's ice-free land surface, according to a 2007 study in Proceedings of the National Academy of Science.
"Meat consumption is going to double in the next 40 years or so, so we need to come up with alternatives to solve the land issue," Post said.
Read - One stem cell burger: $330,000
For dining devotees and fans of innovative cuisine, a reservation at chef Ferran Adria's elBulli restaurant in Roses, Spain is something of a Holy Grail. It's said that there are several million requests annually for the restaurant's 8,000 seats during their dining season - and even those are no longer available.
On July 30th 2011 elBulli - often cited as one of the world's best restaurants - will cease to serve the dining public and instead begin a transformation into a "creativity center" and "think-tank for creative cuisine and gastronomy" which will open in 2014.
For her book The Sorcerer's Apprentices, journalist Lisa Abend spent a season in the kitchen with Adria and his team of chefs and stagiaires to explore and document the dedication, innovation, bravado, sweat and tears it takes to craft the meal of a lifetime.
We spoke with Adria and Abend about process, creativity, fear and what's coming up next.
Anyone who follows food has likely heard of "molecular gastronomy," a term that’s been floated around for the two last decades to describe a scientific exploration of food and the cooking process.
Some of the best restaurants in the world, such as Chicago’s Alinea and Spain’s El Bulli, have become famous for their out-of-the-box thinking when it comes to mixing food, science and technology in this way.
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