The Stupidest Thing You’ll Read Today

Shockingly, it does not seem to involve right-wing politics in any way. It’s this explanation of why swirling wine in your glass clockwise produces different effects than swirling it counter-clockwise. a sample:

Like all living things wine cells have a magnetic polarity, just like humans and the Earth. The positive pole is more highly charged, just like the North Pole of the Earth, which is why there are Northern Lights in the Arctic Circle, but not Southern Lights in the Antarctic. This polarity tends to keep wine cells generally upright, spinning on their axis when they are being swirled. This magnetic action within a liquid is commonly demonstrated in laboratories. Because plant molecules are mostly liquid, when they form they are also subject to the electromagnetic forces that are a component of the rotation of the Earth. As a result, the pores on the surface of the molecules develop based on that rotation, like the shingles on a roof.

Derek Lowe has more, if you need it.

I had been planning to say something scathing about this bit of fatuous and self-important nonsense, but really, “wine cells” is so over-the-top that there really isn’t much point.

27 thoughts on “The Stupidest Thing You’ll Read Today

  1. “Like all living things wine cells have ….”

    That’s all the stupid my feeble brain could handle.

  2. I wondered if the arctic light phenomena are also related to the bands of antimatter (and the canceling out with matter) as recently discovered.
    What’s your thought on that?

  3. That really is the stupidest thing I’ve seen all day. I haven’t read any youtube comments though, so there’s still time…

  4. I have to say that I was impressed by this when I saw it on Derek’s weblog. I really enjoy wine, and have read a fair bit about it, much of which was rubbish in simple forms (overuse of vague adjectives, transparent confirmation bias, conclusions drawn on grossly insufficient evidence, etc.). This, though, is a much higher degree of nonsense: It elevates oenphile stupidity to the level of audiophile stupidity. And, like some audiophile stupidity, it’s not entirely clear to me that this isn’t satire.

  5. “Which way am I supposed to swirl my wine in the Southern Hemisphere?”

    It must depend on whether the Aurora Austalis exists or not.

  6. Gosh, I never knew that wine had cells, or that all these cells are little magnets. Makes me wonder why Magneto requires metal to use his powers on people when he could just use the magnetic properties of their cells.

  7. That’s some serious weapons-grade stooopid there. “Not even wrong” is being too kind. Remind me not to do business with this tour company if I ever go back to Napa County.

  8. From the original article:-
    “Now, as a master herbalist and aroma-therapist, and as someone who has lectured extensively on natural health, anatomy and physiology I know a thing or two about plants”

    Thank you Prof Orzel, funniest thing I have read, or likely to read, for a week.

  9. I stopped at “wine cells.” Are they the kind of cells that reproduce, so I can just drink enough cells to maintain the population and thus stay drunk for the rest of my life?

    “Wine cells?” Who writes this stuff? Is this another Sokal hoax?

  10. but not Southern Lights in the Antarctic

    Yeah, that’d be how my father got such stunning pictures of the Aurora Australis….


  11. Where can I get me some wine-cells? Can I buy them in packets at my local health-food store?

    I want to make some great wine, and I can’t think of a better way to do it than cultivating a batch of the finest wine-cells I can buy!

    I’m going to grow some killer merlot!

  12. To be fair, he clarified the issue in a follow-up to his post. He admits “cells” was the wrong word…what follows though gives his first post some serious competition for the title of “Stupidest thing you’ll read today”. Ye be fair-warned, say I. Proceed at your own risk.

    Someone quite rudely took exception with my use of the word cell, which is in fact incorrect. The proper term would be molecule or even atom. Everything has a polarity right down to the atomic level, and when put into suspension in a liquid it rotates in relation to that pole. Because we are on a planet that has both a polar system and a consistent rotation, everything forms with a pole and a circular patterning. Wind it one way and it tightens and wind it the other and it unwinds.

    When you swirl the wine counter-clockwise you are pushing against the molecules nap, just like stroking the fur of a cat the wrong way, this dislodges anything on the surface. Since the flavor from the barrel is introduced fairly late in the wine’s development it tends to concentrate in the outer layers. When you swirl the wine counter-clockwise it dislodges that flavor, while at the same, pushing liquid into the pores, inhibiting the fruit flavors that are inside the cell from coming out.

    In comparison, when you swirl the wine clockwise the pressure of the surrounding fluid forces the fruit flavors out through the pores. It also pushes any flavors concentrated on the surface down onto the skin of the molecule. The fact that the wine is alive, electrically charged, and still changing is why this happens. So, when you swirl the wine to the right or left think of it as if you are stroking your favorite pet. Sometimes they like it rough, but mostly they like it smooth.

  13. From the segment cited by the OP:

    As a result, the pores on the surface of the molecules develop based on that rotation, like the shingles on a roof

    and cited in Daniel J. Andrews’ comment:

    It also pushes any flavors concentrated on the surface down onto the skin of the molecule.

    So molecules have “skin” and “pores”, eh? ‘Not even wrong’ pretty much sums things up perfectly.

    Oh, I like this part too:

    Sometimes they like it rough, but mostly they like it smooth.

    Rough, eh? Just the way your mother likes it, Trebek.

  14. Wine cells? WINE CELLS??? Does he have a meaning for that?

    Oh, I see Daniel Andrews has posted his explanation for wine cells. Fabulous!


    *brain explodes*

  15. Avoid his tour? If I lived closer, I’d be tempted to get a group together for his tour and have a prize for the person who was last to literally fall on the floor laughing and another for the person who is first to laugh wine out of their nose or do a “spit take”.

  16. Nick: thanx for pointing out that some audiophoolery may actually be satire. Something like Poe’s Law may be at work. I propose a new law: A sufficiently advanced stupidity in indistinguishable from its parody. It certainly covers Christian fundamentalism, -the subject of Poe’s Law-, enophile-speak, most health-related woo, and even decorator-speak (my wife loves real-estate porn on H>V).

  17. Looks to me like cheap red wine in a box doesn’t kill as many brain cells as that hifalutin’ kind.
    Must be the lead cover over the cork, or somepin’.

  18. So…who wants to build some electromagnetic wine coils to sell to the oenopaths who believe this crap?

  19. “Wind it one way and it tightens and wind it the other and it unwinds.”

    awesome. he apparently subscribes to the “righty-tighty/lefty-loosy” theory of molecular behavioralism(Vila et al, 1989)?

    I anxiously await his next publication. should be enlightening. or, something.

  20. Oh, but he corrects the “wine cells” bit. So, what is a “wine atom”? I’m having a bit of trouble finding it on the periodic table.

  21. And lo they found themselves upon the great trackless plains of ignorance and misinformation where every point is in the middle and there are an infinite number of ways to be, and degrees of, stupid.

  22. There was some talk back in the 80s about subatomic particles called winos. I think they were super-symmetric partners to the W+ and W-. Does this have something to do with CPT parity violations. It might explain why they can’t find the Higg’s because they’re pumping the protons the wrong way down the LHC in the northern hemisphere.

    My personal experience is that it doesn’t matter which way I swirl the wine as long as I swirl it enough to aerate it a bit. I’ve tried swirling left and swirling right enough times being horribly clumsy and all.

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