New Scientist has an article entitled "How to make cheap wine taste like a fine vintage." They note that there are many who have claimed to create a magical process to turn base vinegar into liquid gold, but most of them have been fakes. In this case, there seems to be someone who has traded in magic for science. It looks to be something of an old-fashioned technique, as far as science fiction might go, though perhaps classical is a better term. Apparently a chemist from South China University of Technology in Guangzhou named Xin An Zeng came up with the technique, adapting it from a technique from the '80s for treating food. One of the interesting things about the technique is that it's been peer reviewed. Also, it's been subjected to blind taste tests. Also, it's been around for 10 years. I think it's just now being talked about because it wasn't published in a peer review journal until 2008. If I were more of a wine person, I'd plunk down the $31.50 to buy the article and see if I could recreate the setup that makes bad wine tasty. However, I am not, so I'll leave it for some wine geek to recreate. If you see a diy version, please let me know. I do love electricity mixing with food.
Make Magazine's blog tells us all about Raphael and Max who have set up a Jacob's Ladder*, staple of Mad Scientists everywhere, and they discover which foods cook… well, not better, but at least more easily with some high-voltage electricity. I say not better because there's a comment about it smelling like burnt hair, and you really don't have a lot of control over electricity, so repeatability is going to be tricky. On the other hand, it's unbelievably cool and dangerous. If someone tries to be all macho with their flambé, you can show them this trick and make them feel weak and timid. Seriously, high-voltage electrical projects are dangerous, so if you try this, learn about the appropriate precautions and take them. You'll likely hurt yourself or others, but nothing's really safe in life, is it? *- Not the movie