Friday, January 01, 2010

VINTURI -- a wine gadget that actually works

I'm not big on wine gadgets. My favorite decanter is a huge old chemistry lab beaker I bought at a garage sale for $2. But a friend at work prevailed upon me to try this gadget.

It's a simple wine aeration device. You hold it over your glass, pour wine into it, and the scientific "Venturi Principle" (which is based on the pressure gradient caused by a flowing liquid) causes two small jets of air to be sucked into and aerate the wine as it speeds through the device into your glass.

The result is that, for wines that are closed initially and usually don't start to hit their stride until the bottle has been open a couple of hours, the wine actually smells more open and intense from the first pour. The flavors are also more developed right away.

I have found that the improvement varies depending on how tight the wine is when first opened. For wines that drink well immediately upon opening (usually wine thats are near their maturity), there's not much difference. But for wines that are in their youthful apogee, the effect is greater. I haven't been using it that long, but so far the greatest difference I noticed was in the Chateau Bel Air reviewed below.

I have done the test where you try try one glass poured straight from the bottle and one glass poured through the Vinturi, and it really does work.

I got mine at Bed Bath and Beyond for $39 (minus the 20% because I had one of those mailer coupons), but I have also seen them at Spec's.

I recommend this device!

4 comments:

Carey said...

Tom,

Sorry to hijack this entry, but I've enjoyed reading your blog for more than a year now and I have a favor to ask . . . I'm planning dinner at Jeffrey's in Austin later this month. Any chance I could convince you to check out the wine list and make a recommendation under $75? We seem to have similar sensibilities and I'd be curious what you find to be a good deal from their offerings.

Carey

Tom Casagrande said...

Here are the under $75 wines that caught my eye:

WHITES: Josmeyer “Le Dragon” Riesling Herrenweg 2004 $46; Luneau-Papin “Clos de Allees” Muscadet 2006 $34 (I reviewed this recently); Billaud-Simon Chablis 2006 $59

REDS: Querciabella Chianti Classico, Panzano 2006 $72; Tir na N’og Garnacha McLaren Vale 2006 $69 (will likely be massive); Turley Old Vines Zinfandel California 2007 $59; Napanook (Caberenet) Napa 2005 $79; Verdier-Logel La Volcanique Gamay Côtes du Forez 2007 $32 (I know nothing about this one, but love trying Gamays from the Loire; usually they’re light and refreshing like Beaujolais but with a different minerality)

SPARKLING: Albrecht Cremant Rosé Brut Alsace, France nv $48 (just reviewed this; it’s wonderful)

CGHarrison said...

Hey Tom,
Ever since you told me you were going to review this gizmo, I've been waiting for it. Based on your comments, I ordered one (Amazon had them for about $25). Last night I tried it out with my adult son and daughter on a bottle of 2006 Louis Martini Napa Cabernet, pouring a control glass and another that went through the Vinturi. We both agreed the difference was appreciable. Next we gave it to my daughter, who did not know which was the control and which had gone through the Vinturi. She immediately picked out the correct glass on nose alone. IMHO, the immediate effect on this wine was similar to over an hour in a decanter. I view this as the first "must have" for wine lovers since the Screwpull. Thanks for the tip. BTW, the Martini Cab was outstanding, and a bargain at a little over $20 in HEBs everywhere!

Carey said...

Tom,

Thanks for the advice! I've been wanting to try the Querciabella so I'll probably go with that.

If you like the Albrecht Rose, I've been on a sparkling and champagne freak out this past year and I think there's a couple you'll really love. Central Market here in Austin carries the Navaran Rose for $40. It's astounding for the price. Measures up to Billiot and the like. Also found an amazing cava at Spec's called Cordoniu. They should have the seleccion raventos (xarello, macabeo, and chardonnay) which drinks like a well-aged champagne and the 100% pinot rose. For the money (both under $20) these are truly incredible sparklings.

Thanks again for the help!