We ran a test, semi-scientifically and everything.
My guests brought something called a "wine clip," which is a magnet device that fits over the neck of a bottle of wine. It's supposed to be a special "rare earth" magnet, and when the wine pours through the magnet, the magnet's supposed to instantly aerate it. Uh huh. When my guests first told me about this gadget, I was skeptical and dropped an email to one of the physics profs here at NWU, because seriously, if a little magnet could rearrange the molecules in wine that fast, what would an MRI do to people? Or one of those electromagnetic turbines making electricity in a hydroelectric dam?
He kindly emailed back agreeing that my skepticism was reasonable, and sent me to this website reviewing the thing. As you can see, the reviewer wasn't impressed.
But we decided to run a test, though only with one bottle for the moment. (Ideally, I wanted to test it with a couple of bottles, but we only opened one at a time. Great restraint we have, eh?)
I sent my guests out of the room, flipped a coin, and poured one glass without and two with the magnet, putting a marked index card face down under each glass. Then I sent my guests in to do the taste test and left the room.
I asked them to record their observations, but they just wrote down their conclusions about which glass(es) were treated. So much for our scientific method.
Statistically, they failed. There's a 1/3 chance that they'd guess correctly about any single glass, and they hit that pretty much.
Now the question is, why did my guests actually think a magnet could do anything to wine? And for when a magnet really is working (on my refrigerator, for example), why would it matter if it's "rare earth" or just magnetized iron? Isn't a magnetic field a magnetic field?
So much for Thanksgiving Day science at the BardiacShack!