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Now I do like the odd bottle of wine and red is my usual choice particularly a 100% Australian Shiraz (should anyone want to buy me a bottle). The only trouble is red wine needs to breath to be at its best and this can be done by decanting for a certain length of time or if you don't have a decanter, open, pour about half a glass and leave the bottle un-stoppered for about half an hour. What to do with that half glass - well why waste it - down the hatch.
I received this little device a few months ago and I have used it a few times with different bottles of wine since and the results have been very mixed but, for me, not impressive most of the time.
What does it do?
As you pour the wine in at the top (whilst holding it over a glass naturally) air is drawn into it and mixes with the wine to quickly get the wine to breath. The stand provided can be used to keep it on the table without splashing your nice white table cloth with wine. Also included is a sort of mesh filter. This can be put in the top of the device and pour the wine through via this filter. This will trap any bits of cork or sediment in the wine.
My use, results and thoughts:
Well when using it the sound is frankly horrible which is a loud slurping that sounds like a vacuum being used in a toilet bowl or a toad farting in custard whichever you can more easily imagine. If you don't hold it correctly you can end up blocking the holes which the ait is drawn in through. Also it is a bit of a pain to carry this round everyone's glass whilst hosing a dinner party when serving the wine - if you are using it that is.
The major floor with this is that it draws the same amount of air into every wine that is poured through it. This is majorly wrong as different wines need different lengths of time to breath in a decanter so will need a different amount of air drawn through it for this to work properly. This means some wines have too much air others not enough both of which don't do the flavours much good.
I find it although it can take the harshness off some wines it also destroys the complexity of others. This is a major problem for me, as using this device with the Shiraz I love it just doesn't taste right. In fact it makes a £7.50 bottle taste like a £1.50 knock off from some ones garden shed. The complex combination of the taste of red fruits and the dark cherry notes seem to be removed by it leaving the wine tasting like a rather flat, alcoholic, watered down grape juice. An older Rioja which has quite delicate flavours is frankly completely ruined by this device and should be allowed nowhere near it. I haven't tried this with a 100% merlot and going by the results of the Shiraz and Rioja I don't think I will either, I like my merlot as it is.
Wines made with a blend of grapes are, however, somewhat improved by using this. The harshness of some of the base flavours of the cheaper grapes is softened and the aroma of the wine is opened up much more. This has helped to give the wine a much more rounded flavour.
The issue for me is that I tend to go for single grape variety wines so for me most of the time the wine is made much worse by this device and not better as it claims.
People's taste for wine is personnel and there are some wines which others have raved about which when I'm given a glass am looking for the nearest plant pot to pour it into so how much you think this device improves or ruins wine will be very individual.
A device which for me is a case of clever claims and psychology about saying it will taste better as you know red wine has to breath, don't you... but I think lacks real independent trials and frankly I don't think it lives up to its claims.
The Vinturi wine aerator is simply brilliant. It won't turn a cheap bottle of wine into a Chateau Le Tour, but it does make any red wine taste better.
I'd seen this type of idea before and always considered them to be a bit of a gimmick that would never make much of a difference, but after been given a blind taste test by a friend using a normal glass of wine and another that had been poured through the Vinturi, I was amazed by the change. Both the flavours and boquet were fuller and more discernable and the wine seemed smoother as a result of a quick gurgle through the aerator.
As someone who likes a nice glass of wine I bought one the following day and it has more than lived up to the initial impressions I had. Any type of red wine I've run through it has tasted notably better and when I've tried it with visitors who know far more about wine than I do it has passed the taste test every single time.
The only downside is that it does have a habit of dripping but either a quick shake over the glass or moving the drip stand to the aerator rather than vice versa avoids the need for any wiping up red wine off the table.
There are cheaper versions of the Vinturi available and as the principle of air being drawn into the wine as it flows through is so simple I would imagine the less expensive models would do much the same job. Having said that the Vinturi model looks great sat next to a bottle in its little drip stand and always draws attention from anyone that hasn't used one before.
At about £35-40 they aren't cheap but it'll more than pay for itself with the enjoyment you'll get from a better, smoother, fuller tasting wine and you even get a nice satisfying gurgle into the bargain.
Venture Innovations Ltd / aerates wine as you pour it.