Monday, October 22, 2007

The Catania Wine Enhancer; Magic or Hoax?

~~This thought of the Wine Enhancer from Wine Spectator.~~
Yes, it was fun to ridicule the girl down the hall in college who wore black, burned incense and swore by the healing power of crystals. But how would you feel if it turned out she was right about magic and the strange forces of the universe? That's how we felt when the Wine Enhancer--a heavy, funky-looking resin coaster containing about a dozen different metals, crystals and stones--arrived in the mail. Its creator, Robert Catania, a hotel and restaurant owner in Sandwich, Mass., claims that the device helps soften the tannins and lift the aromas of red wine by simply having the bottle placed on it for 10 minutes. "It's energetically bringing in a combination of Orgone energy, zero-point energy and then the frequencies of the crystals and the gemstones. And the enhancers tweak that energy as it comes in," Catania claims. Yes, it sounds crazy--as if putting a cup of coffee on your mouse pad rather than directly on your desk will make it taste different. But

~~This thought of the Wine Enhancer comes from Jim Myers in the Tennessean newspaper.~~

Is it science or magic?

The most fanciful of the lot, a product that conjures images of leaping unicorns and faculty parties at the Hogwarts School, is the Catania Wine Enhancer.

Here's what the PR pitch promised: "[It] creates a harmonically balanced resonate frequency that balances a wine's tannins and boosts the flavor and aroma. Additionally, the Wine Enhancer has been known to reduce or eliminate headaches among wine drinkers, based on many users' testimonials."


"That has highest hooey factor of all of them," says David M. Hercules, the Centennial Professor of Chemistry Emeritus at Vanderbilt University. "Copper or silver wands could conceivably selectively remove tannins, or react with organic sulfur compounds. And magnetic fields can have an effect on molecules, but you need electromagnetic fields like the kind used in an MRI."

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