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The Wine Clip


docsconz
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My little brain can understand how Riedels work (I own I think 12 different shapes, please don't beat me because of it). The shape of the bowl (controls where the wine goes in your mouth, accentuates aromas), the length of the stem (controls the speed of the application of the wine), I can see how it works. Applying a magnet to a bottle of wine might need some explaining, ie what happens to the tannin chain besides shorten it, how long it remains altered, what happens to the other charged ions floating around etc. And at the end of the day, if you think that Reidels are garbage, then at least they serve a useful purpose, which is to allow me to drink wine out of a nice glass.

Taste tests are great, but the human factor is present. I laud Mark for his tests, and know the parties well that attended the tests, and respect their palate. To prove that the clip works, I would like to know how the wine is affected physically, which according to Dennis, is not going to happen. Otherwise, this product to me is the opti-grab.

Firefly Restaurant

Washington, DC

Not the body of a man from earth, not the face of the one you love

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If anyone can entice Mr. Riedel to join us here, I will ask him for copies of any patents or research reports he may have, just as I asked Mr. Clip for his.

Why does he need to join here? People are regularly slammed that never even heard of eGullet. They've made a public claim on a public website. Here is their e-mail address:

info@riedelusa.com

Rick Bayless never appeared here. Look what happened to him. :shock:

OK, I'll shoot them an email today and see what comes up.

But there are thousands of other sites out there making claims that may or may not have any scientific basis. I asked Mr. Clip to support his because I woke up one morning and there they were in my face on eGullet. The claims sounded quite unusual. Even those like Mark who now think it has an effect were skeptical initially.

I wanted to read a copy of the patent Mr. Clip said he had, which he now says he does not have. He says it is pending, but anyone can fill out some forms and have a patent pending for a squirrel-powered car or whatever other crazy invention they can think up. In fact, here is a book about how to get a patent pending in 24 hours. Patent pending doesn't mean the patent will ever be granted, or even applied for, or that the invention does anything. I asked for a report from the Ph.D.s he said had tested his product. I haven't gotten it yet. There may be an inconclusive report on another product somewhere on the web, but I haven't been able to find it.

Chief Scientist / Amateur Cook

MadVal, Seattle, WA

Proud signatory to the eG Ethics code

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If anyone can entice Mr. Riedel to join us here, I will ask him for copies of any patents or research reports he may have, just as I asked Mr. Clip for his.

Why does he need to join here? People are regularly slammed that never even heard of eGullet. They've made a public claim on a public website.

Sammy, I know you don't want to accept that the claims made by the two companies are different in nature and extent -- but the fact remains that they are. Riedel doesn't have to provide you with research confirming that one's perceptions of wine are influenced by the glassware from which the wine is consumed. There is a large body of such research in support of this in the scientific community. So, on that count Riedel has nothing to prove to us.

As for the other elements of their marketing claim -- that it "smooths it out" or "brings out the fruit" or whatever -- those are purely subjective considerations. Obviously the people who designed the glass felt that it influenced one's perceptions of wine in certain directions. However, it very well may be that what one person desires in a Syrah is not the same thing that the Riedel designers desire in a Syrah. There is the addional complication of the fact that "smoothing out" and "bringing out the fruit" means different things to different people and is almost impossible to define from a scientific standpoint. That said, Riedel enjoys a place of high prominence among wine professionals and there is a general level of agreement with the perceptions of the designers among the most experienced people in the field whose business is precisely to evaluate and agree on such subjective measures that Riedel glassware does indeed do things like "smoothing out" and "bringing out the fruit" and whatever else they are designed to to for the various wines.

To sum up again: the unanswered questions for the Wine Clip are: (1) does it do anything, (2) if it does something, it is due to the magnets or something else, (3) if it does something to the wine, does it have the specific effects on the perception of the wine that are claimed by the manufacturers. For the Riedel glass, on the other hand, we already have answers to questions 1 and 2: (1) the glass definitely influences the perception of the wine in a characteristic way, and (2) it is the design that is responsible for the influence. The only question to be answered is 3: (3) does the Riedel glass influence one's perceptions of the wine in precisely the (very subjective and individual) way they claim. Big difference.

--

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I asked for a report from the Ph.D.s he said had tested his product.  I haven't gotten it yet.  There may be an inconclusive report on another product somewhere on the web, but I haven't been able to find it.

I'm confused about this. I think he said the PhDs tested a magnetic wine coaster, not the Clip. I think he said some students or other folks in a lab "tested" the Clip. I suspect this means they did taste tests.

I'm hollywood and I approve this message.

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The Riedel claim of enhancing the enjoyment of wine has been proven over and over again - for decades. There is no argument among any industry professionals that I am aware of concerning this fact.

You can debate all you want as to HOW they improve it, but in fact they do - as does other fine glassware.

Try to find a serious winery where that doesn't pour their wine in Reidels anymore. They know how to sell wine.

I had invited him to do a Q and A. Looks like that is out of the question.

Forget about brands and how long they have or have not been in business. Can someone give me the fundamental difference between the two claims?

TWC:

You'll instantly experience a smoother, less tanic taste and enhanced bouquet similar to that of wines which are aged for years-and-

Reidel:

"This glass smoothes out the rough edges, emphasizing the fruit, allowing wines to achieve a balance that would normally take years of ageing to acquire."

It appears to me that both are based on user experiences. Both more or less say the same thing.

It takes years to develop a brand. Who is to say that TWC won't be accepted by wineries, experts and the general wine drinking public in years to come.

For the lack of a better example: Who'd ever guess that a guy from Ca. would see something being sold on the web from a seller from NY, send a check to the seller from NY (whom he'd never met) with the hope that the guy from NY would first cash the check and then actually send him the merchandise. Especially when the guy from NY had no prior rating as a seller!

Skeptical if not crazy to imagine. And as an internet expert that's why I didn't buy eBay on day one. What a mistake that turned out to be.

Edited by michaels (log)
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One of the reasons I am sceptical is that there is a long history of 'quackery' in the use of magnets,

see Water pseudoscience

Now I think there is still a lot we don't understand, even about water, and when it has big complicated molecules like tannins moving around, and we know they do polymerize in a way that is still not clear, ...

So I still have an open mind. It might be a real effect. It might not. The only way to find out is to do a proper test. The obvious person to do it is the wineclip and the fact that he isn't going to do it, and clearly doesn't care makes me much more sceptical.

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Forget about brands and how long they have or have not been in business. Can someone give me the fundamental difference between the two claims? 

TWC:

You'll instantly experience a smoother, less tanic taste and enhanced bouquet similar to that of wines which are aged for years-and-

Reidel:

"This glass smoothes out the rough edges, emphasizing the fruit, allowing wines to achieve a balance that would normally take years of ageing to acquire."

Some differences:

1. Tannin is one of the easiest flavor components to test. Therefore, TWC's claim of "less tannic taste" is quite easily verified via research. Riedel only claims "balance" with respect to the aging, which is a nebulous quality that could mean many things to many people. In other words, it is easy to prove/disprove the tannin claim via the scientific method whereas the "balance" claim it not testable this way and is only able to be evaluated by expert opinion. TWC has not been tested for the tannin claim whereas Reidel is widely accepted in the expert community.

2. That the perception of wine is influenced by glassware design and materials is widely accepted and has been demonstrated in research. That magnets funamentally change wine on a molecular level and influence the perception of wine is not widely accepted and has not been demonstrated in research.

I don't know if it can get more fundamentally different than that.

--

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But does a user's experience need to be scientifically proven in order to say something is more enjoyable or less enjoyable?

I have said several times now that the Wine Clip does not need to work as advertised, or via the mechanisms claimed -- or indeed to work at all -- to provide enjoyment to the people who use it.

And couldn't it be said that the marketing babble for both companies is the same?

No, it couldn't.

--

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It appears that there has been some independent research done on the extent to which glass shape influences wine chemistry and taste. Here is a summary of some work done last year. Unfortunately, I think the only way to get the full report is to get your hands on a printed back issue of New Scientist.

Chief Scientist / Amateur Cook

MadVal, Seattle, WA

Proud signatory to the eG Ethics code

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Reidel:

"This glass smoothes out the rough edges, emphasizing the fruit, allowing wines to achieve a balance that would normally take years of ageing to acquire."

This demonstrates that even respectible companies resort to snake-oil claims in their advertising. It's true in the computer field; why shouldn't be true in the wine field as well.

Bruce

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That the perception of wine is influenced by glassware design and materials is widely accepted and has been demonstrated in research. That magnets funamentally change wine on a molecular level and influence the perception of wine is not widely accepted and has not been demonstrated in research.

You have lost me on the "widely accepted" as a criterium. From a scientific viewpoint, that smacks of statistics.

edited: to take account of Vengroff's link.

Edited by gsquared (log)

Gerhard Groenewald

www.mesamis.co.za

Wilderness

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That the perception of wine is influenced by glassware design and materials is widely accepted and has been demonstrated in research. That magnets funamentally change wine on a molecular level and influence the perception of wine is not widely accepted and has not been demonstrated in research.

You have lost me on the "widely accepted" as a criterium. From a scientific viewpoint, that smacks of statistics.

When I wrote "widely accepted" I used it in the sense one might say: "the Theory of Evolution is widely accepted among scientists today." Which is to say, whether or not it is "true" is not a subject of debate among scientists and experts in relevant fields.

--

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What happened to Alex's tests?

I've posted a couple of preliminary results and anticipate doing more testing at the Heartland Gathering this weekend. I'd still like to encourage you and Klinger75 to do some as well. I'll wait for the results before attempting any kind of statistical analysis. A potential problem is that the methodologies used so far don't quite match and, as FG said somewhere in his rants, we've managed to control most, but not all, extraneous variables. I'll do the best I can, though.

Dennis said that tester could opt to keep the clip for $20 (the same price he's now charging all eG members); if returned he would send the tester $10.

After reading and following all of this nonsense I have decided not to do any tests and am going to determine for myself and only myself.

I have also decided to return the clip to Dennis.

There is so much immaturity out there towards someone none of you know that it amazes me. I thought many of you were professionals.

Aparently not

Adios-

Klinger

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After reading and following all of this nonsense I have decided not to do any tests and am going to determine for myself and only myself.

I have also decided to return the clip to Dennis.

There is so much immaturity out there towards someone none of you know that it amazes me. I thought many of you were professionals. 

So, you're just gonna take your Wine Clip and go home?

Edited by hollywood (log)

I'm hollywood and I approve this message.

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One of the reasons I am sceptical is that there is a long history of 'quackery' in the use of magnets,

see Water pseudoscience

Now I think there is still a lot we don't understand, even about water, and when it has big complicated molecules like tannins moving around, and we know they do polymerize in a way that is still not clear, ...

So I still have an open mind. It might be a real effect. It might not. The only way to find out is to do a proper test. The obvious person to do it is the wineclip and the fact that he isn't going to do it, and clearly doesn't care makes me much more sceptical.

There is a FTA report regarding MHD and its effect on hard water and scale control. The report states that based on visual inspections, MHD does prevent corosion and erosion. The US Navy and other fed agencies employ its use. Much about MHD remains a mystery and I'd be hard pressed to believe that the government would conduct a test about magnetic wine :biggrin:

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One of the reasons I am sceptical is that there is a long history of 'quackery' in the use of magnets,

see Water pseudoscience

Now I think there is still a lot we don't understand, even about water, and when it has big complicated molecules like tannins moving around, and we know they do polymerize in a way that is still not clear, ...

So I still have an open mind. It might be a real effect. It might not. The only way to find out is to do a proper test. The obvious person to do it is the wineclip and the fact that he isn't going to do it, and clearly doesn't care makes me much more sceptical.

There is a FTA report regarding MHD and its effect on hard water and scale control. The report states that based on visual inspections, MHD does prevent corosion and erosion. The US Navy and other fed agencies employ its use. Much about MHD remains a mystery and I'd be hard pressed to believe that the government would conduct a test about magnetic wine :biggrin:

I am aware of one report that was subsequently withdrawn. If there is another could you provide a pointer to it?

The one that was withdrawn is discussed on the page Magnetic scams. This may be the one you are referring to.

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Some us are professionals with extensive scientific backgrounds and investigation histories. I for one have degrees in Nuclear Engineering from the University of Wisconsin and a resume that starts at Plasma Physics experimentation to Root Cause Analysis along with 27 years in the Commercial Nuclear Power Industry in between. We understand the world from a perspective that allows one to analyize whether something is 'Voodoo Science'. We also understand how an experiment must be performed to determine what is affected along with how an individuals perception can lead to false positives.

I stand by my original assertion that objective testing of the 'Wine Clip' is impossible. Not only from a perception aspect but from control of variables i.e. the wine changes with time.

Reidal has been making a fortune on their line of glassware and even though I doubt all their claims, I do use their glassware but only have a set of tasting glasses because I like the hollow stems and rolling around on the table and a set I purchased for cheap at 'Sams'.

All Clad tries to sell 'copper cookware' but when you ask them for the thickness of the layers of copper, they will tell you that information is propietary. In effect, thier cookware is aluminum with a thin copper veneer. I purchased Falk Culinair.

About the Heisenberg Uncertaincy Principle. Their is a lot of misunderstanding of this famous equation. The equation more correctly states that if one measures the position of a particle to a precise degree, than one loses all measurement of its momentum. This is for sub atomic particles where the measurements are made by light and since the particles are so small, the light being used to measure, affects the particle path. In the non atomic world, it is possible to measure with high precision many things. The 'Wine Clip' just isn't one of them.

-Dick

Edited by budrichard (log)
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We understand the world from a perspective that allows one to analyize whether something is 'Voodoo Science'. We also understand how an experiment must be performed to determine what is affected along with how an individuals perception can lead to false positives.

I stand by my original assertion that objective testing of the 'Wine Clip' is impossible. Not only from a perception aspect but from control of variables i.e. the wine changes with time.

About the Heisenberg Uncertaincy Principle. Their is a lot of misunderstanding of this famous equation. The equation more correctly states that if one measures the position of a particle to a precise degree, than one loses all measurement of its momentum. This is for sub atomic particles where the measurements are made by light and since the particles are so small, the light being used to measure, affects the particle path. In the non atomic world, it is possible to measure with high precision many things. The 'Wine Clip' just isn't one of them.

-Dick

Wow, great post, Dick. Is it then possible to draw conclusions about TWC merely by tasting? How does or can science measure pleasure and taste among different people?

Mark

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Needless to say, people of all sorts read egullet. A CEO of a magnet company became aware of the Wine Clip controversy and read through both threads. Because of the tenor of the conversation, he is unwilling to use his name or the name of his company. I understand that you may then think he is a fraud and a snake oil salesman for not using his name and company but we've already seen what happens to some that are willing to use their name. Anyway, he was quite interested in the discussion. As I was probably the most outspoken as to the poor treatment received by Mr. Wine Clip, I was asked to post the following from him. I believe it is well thought out:

"Here is my responce to the e-gullet thread. I have read each of the

responses completely:

There are two different issues here - one is the science of what actually

happens when a fluid passes through a magnetic field, and the other is

whether or not these changes in the fluid actually affect the taste of wine.

One is science, and one is subjective.

Here is the science: When a conductor or conductive fluid (in this case

wine) passes through a magnetic field, an electrical charge is created.

That charge can have an effect on molecules that are suspended in the

fluid - loosely bonded molecules can have those bonds broken, resulting in

smaller molecules. We can hypothesize that the taste of many small

molecules is smoother than the taste of fewer large molecules. There is no

proof of this, however. There is no scientific data that stipulates that

smaller tannin molecules taste better than larger ones.

We can give you a technical explanation of the science, but that has nothing

to do with whether or not there is a difference in taste. How can you prove

in a lab that one thing tastes better than another thing? Example - I

believe in my soul that beer tastes better out of a nice pint glass than it

does out of a paper cup. Now, take the beer into a lab and analyze it in a

nice pint glass and in a paper cup and I am sure that you will find no

measurable difference in the two beers. Science simply cannot explain the

difference that I perceive.

A vast majority of people who try it can taste the difference, that's the

important thing. Any product can be held up to the scrutiny of science and

be made to look like a placebo.

People buy beautiful wine glasses because they think it enhances the wine -

try to prove that in a lab.

People believe decanted wine tastes better than non-decanted - try to prove

that in a lab.

People believe 18 year old scotch is tastier than 12 year old - prove it

scientifically."

"These pretzels are making me thirsty." --Kramer

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Unfortunately I must object to such second hand information. Put in this context it seems contrived and put up for commercial reasons. It seems to me disingenuous and is trying to prove a point other than the quality of The Wine Clip.

I would suggest we stop this pointless argument and let the results of the various tests stand on their own merits.

I am quite confident that eGullet members are qualified to make their own decisions.

Frankly I let this discussion go farther out of line than I should of and now I must pay the price. The discussion should be only focused on the product and the tests and that is all. Both sides went way out of bounds here on what could have been a great thread if everyone had exhibited a bit of self-control.

Thanks to Mark, Doc and Alex for their fine efforts. Perhaps those of us without Wine Clips should listen more and type less.

Sammy I will let your post stand, but I find these second hand, gotta hide my identity, types of things detrimental to the argument at hand and of a clearly political nature to prove someone's point. I think you know I have respect for the position you have taken (regardless of if I agree with you) and would request you keep your posts to real data as that is what we are trying to deal with in this thread.

Once again, please stay on topic.

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