Salt found to improve red wine flavour

21st March, 2014 by Lucy Shaw

The former chief strategist of Microsoft believes consumers should add salt to red wine in order to improve the flavour.

As reported by Bloomberg, Nathan Myhrvold, who was also Microsoft’s former chief technology officer, advocates adding a pinch of salt to your glass of red in order to smooth out and balance the flavours.

Myhrvold, who has a degree in mathematics, geophysics and space physics form UCLA, came across the discovery during a dinner with Californian winemaker Gina Gallo after she sung the praises of savoury tones in Cabernet Sauvignon.

“I said ‘I can make it more savoury’ so I added a little salt to the wine, which totally changed it,” Myhrvold told Bloomberg.

“I start by adding just a tiny pinch and what it does is to balance the flavours. With most wines, they immediately taste smoother. We have many different types of flavor receptors,” he added.

Myhrvold estimates that in addition to sweet, sour, salt, bitter and umami, humans have around 40 other taste receptors in their tongue.

“When you taste something, you have this cacophony of different tastes and your brain tries to summarise that.

“A tiny bit of salt changes the overall impression, which is why chefs salt food,” Myhrvold told Bloomberg.

Unafraid of ruffling the feathers of wine snobs, instead of decanting, he advocates putting red wine in a blender for half a minute in order to aerate it.

However, Myhrvold limits this iconoclastic practice to young reds rather than the likes of vintage claret.

8 Responses to “Salt found to improve red wine flavour”

  1. Patrick Schmitt says:

    Thanks Lucy. You could add some pepper to your Syrah too.
    P

  2. Didier GRANDEAU says:

    May be if Californian red wines had less residual sugar, you would not need to add SALT !!

  3. I guess adding sugar to dry whites would help them get more suitable for Indian food!! Hotter the spicy hot food,more the sugar powder!! And who needs a Cabernet- Merlot blend?!! Buy the two varietals and blend them in the glass.Each drinker can tailor make it!! A wine revolution may be in the offing!!! Subhash Arora

  4. What a nonsense! As an Oenologist (science degree that studies the wine and vine), I may say that disagree completely. Pasteur must be looking down at this individual. You can add what ever you want just do not dare to call it wine as is offensive for professionals who dedicate their life to the wine production. Supermarkets want a tasty cheap unhealthy wine to create revenue! People want wine that taste good, affordable that does not boost the modern illness created by the capitalist society. With so many dedication and knowledge, this gentleman could explore the natural potential of the grapes instead of lobbying this unhealthy non sense! Or did he actually did a deep research about the medium long term effects that could have in the wine or consumer! If you add a Base in an acidic environment they will react as he knows!

  5. Chris Scott says:

    Salt has been shown time and again that it stops you tasting bitterness (tannins in wine). By suppressing bitterness you will often find the fruit and sweetness in the wines tend to be exposed making a smoother wine. But you don’t need to add salt to the wine, the same effect can be made by eating salty food such as peanuts etc.

    If you add sugar to the wine it does the same by masking the tannins, that’s one of the reasons why many high volume commercial reds have a little bit of sugar. But be careful if you eat something sweet it actually hides the sugar and fruit in the wine bring the tannins up and making the wine harder.

    So salt and sugar in the wine doe the same thing if added to the wine.

  6. KiwiGordo says:

    How about Bacon – Bacon makes everything taste better!

  7. JohnMel says:

    I wonder if red wine will improve the running of Windows?

  8. Vinod bahl says:

    Well.. No jokes….
    Dissolve one tiny pill of ‘SACCHARIN ‘, to a tablespoon of lukewarm water. Wait till the bubbles disappear . Add to you wine, balancing your individual taste. Works wonders….

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