It was to be over a year before my second breathing experiment. This time I used an inexpensive (but absolutely delicious) Spanish garnacha, and conducted the experiment with my wife, my daughter, and her boyfriend. The methodology was the same as described in the previous post. I asked people not only to choose the odd wine out, but also to identify whether it was from the bottle or the decanter. Here were the results:
Once again I was the only person to choose correctly, and, unlike the last time, I correctly identified the source as well. It would be strange if this trend continued; random guessing would lead to one third the people getting it right in the long run. But it is too early to make a big deal about it. Here are my notes:
Aroma on 3 seemed slightly faded. Palate indistinguishable.
This experiment confirms my hypothesis that one effect of breathing is decreased complexity in the nose.
One thing I worry about is that bottle variation can confound the results of these experiments. So after this experiment I purchased a Coravin™ (for Science!) and will use it next time to decant half of one bottle. Stay tuned.