In case you missed my post about decanting, you can find it here.
Decanting is a process of exposing the wine to oxygen which softens the taste and brings out additional, complex flavors. This is also referred to as “letting the wine breathe”. Simply put, wine tastes its best once it’s been exposed to air for awhile.
The old school way of doing this is to pour the bottle into a decanter, like this one, and let it sit there for an hour or two to achieve it’s maximum potential. The wide bowl of a decanter is designed to give the wine maximum surface area, exposing it oxygen the old school way. You’ll see this a lot at most high end restaurants that serve expensive wine.
Now there’s absolutely nothing wrong with the old school way (I have a number of decanters and use them from time to time) but most of us don’t want to wait an hour every night before we can enjoy our wine! There’s a shortcut to almost everything and decanting is no different. Ladies and gentlemen, meet the “decanting hack”!
What does it do?
You hold the device over the glass and slowly pour the wine through the top. The Vinturi draws in oxygen and infuses it into the wine as it passes through, allowing it to breathe instantly. Instead of waiting an hour, you can enjoy the wine right away!
Does it work?
These aearators have stormed the market and are very polarizing in the wine community. Wine traditionalists hate them. Others find that they help enhance the aroma and flavor in a short period of time.
I’ve been using the Vinturi for years and I can vouch for it’s effectiveness. I like to say that it can make any bottle taste $20 more expensive. Not a bad deal given the $30 price tag for the device! But you don’t have to take my word for it. I tested out the results on some friends of mine.
I purchased a bottle of DaVinci Chianti ($12.99 from Safeway) and invited a group of 3 friends (non wine-people, just everyday folks) to blind taste the wine. I gave them each two glasses. Wine A is the just opened Chianti. Wine B is the same Chianti passed through the Vinturi. I’ve written their tasting notes below:
A little bitter. Not much fruit. Kind of tastes like soil.
Wouldn’t buy this wine. Tastes like a sour plum.
Not bad but not great. A little sour and could use more fruit.
More layers of flavor to this wine. Cherry, plum, pepper.
Tastes way better. Riper fruit flavors and not as acidic.
Velvety and delicious. Definitely would buy this.
I then asked them to write how much they think a bottle of each wine cost. I averaged out the three amounts below:
Wine A- $12
Wine B- $39
I would encourage everyone to try it for themselves. Have a sip of any wine, then have a sip of the same wine passed through the Vinturi. You’ll instantly notice the difference.
Now before I get hate mail from every wine aficionado out there, let me say that I would only an aerator under certain contexts. Here’s how I use it:
How to use the Vinturi Wine Aerator
You need one for reds and one for whites. You shouldn’t pour red and white wines through the same aerator. Even with thorough cleaning after every use, you shouldn’t chance it. Buy one for reds and one for whites.
Don’t use it with delicate wines. Rieslings and Pinot Noirs are lighter, more delicate wines and you’ll water them down by running through the Vinturi. Use them on bigger, bolder wines like Syrahs and Chiantis, which are perfect for aerating!
Don’t use it on very expensive bottles. If I’m pouring a really nice bottle (say $100+) I wouldn’t use the Vinturi. I’d rather decant the natural way rather than use a shortcut on something I’ve also poured $12 Merlots through just yesterday. Use it on your everyday wines to make them taste $20 better.
So there you have it. If you’re a regular wine drinker that doesn’t want to wait an hour to enjoy the full taste of your wine, then the Vinturi is for you. They have a number of accessories and stands to accompany it. You may want to consider a stand or carafe if you’re going to leave it out as a conversation piece. Whatever your use, I’m a firm believer in the Vinturi because it offers easy of use and consistent results.
Until next time, remember to let your wines breathe and enjoy. Cheers!