Posts Tagged ‘vinturi’

And if you just put your glass of wine underneath like so...it's gonna taste better.

And if you just put your glass of wine underneath like so…it’s gonna taste better.

A while back, I wrote a post on hyper-decanting and how oxygen affects the aromatics of the wine right before you drink it.  Apparently I wasn’t very clear in one respect though so I’ll be exceptionally clear now: Don’t buy wine aerating accessories.  They are stupid.  Now, I know everybody that read up on my experiment shuns toys like the Vinturi, but apparently people keep buying those things; so as a PSA, please tell them to stop doing so for their own good.  If you’d like, have them read through their patent application and find where it states how their method of aerating the wine will improve the wine.  They won’t be able to because it’s not there.  Fun fact: Vinturi is gimmicky derivation of the Venturi Effect which describes the reduction in fluid pressure experience when the fluid flows through a constricted piece of pipe.  The concept is generally used to mix liquids, gases, or a combination of the two at a different pressure than they would be just dumping them together. 

This is not to say that you shouldn’t decant or swirl your wine up with oxygen (with or without a motor-powered mechanism to do so) to get those aromatic compounds moving about.  But I haven’t found a single, impartial taste test done that shows a Vinturi would be a solid purchase to aid your wine drinking habits.  Even these folks at the Huffington Post who don’t know much about wine couldn’t support it.

Let’s review the 101 on oxygen and wine aromatics:

  • Oxygen is generally avoided during the process of making wine because fermentation is an anaerobic process.
  • When oxygen interacts with finished wine, it aids in releasing aromatic compounds.
  • Different aromatic compounds have different densities.  If we could visually see what we smell in a glass of wine we would see the fruity aromas sitting up at the top and the earthy odors down towards the bottom.  This is why Riedel feels that everyone needs a different glass for every different type of wine, which I feel is slightly flawed logic.
  • There is a finite amount of aromatic compounds in a glass of wine.  The most enjoyment comes when they are at the peak of their release (or escape if you visualize them as imprisoned revolutionaries, as I do) and the varying compounds are being released in balance to one another.  I developed this popular chart and the term “Point of Diminishing Maturity” previously to assist in learning how this works:winearomaticsexperiencechart-0012
  • Usually the length of time a wine will need to be decanted, or to just sit there until you find it best to drink depends a lot on how far along the maturity path the wine already is.  If it’s an old and tannic red wine, it may take up to 2 hours in a decanter to “wake up”.  If it’s a vibrant young wine that just needs a little settling down, it could take 5 minutes.
  • Your preferences as to what you view as being “perfect” will be different than someone else’s.

Given these points, here are some reasons why one would want to decant or hyper-decant a wine:

  • Off-odors exist. A lot of these off-odors (sulfur, garlic, cabbage, rubber) tend to have a lower density than the desirable aromas and thus would “blow off” or dissipate.
  • The wine aromas seem unbalanced.  Pour it out.  Let it sit. See if they readjust themselves.  However, it could be just that the wine itself wasn’t made that well and is inherently unbalanced.
  • The wine seems “Tight” or you don’t seem to be getting much aroma off of it.  I find that a lot of this problem can be resolved by letting the wine warm up a little bit, especially with whites.  Letting the wine sit in the bottle or a decanter for awhile usually has the desired effect too.  You can also do a little Hyper-decanting if you’d like.

Oh, P.S. a milk frother works pretty well for hyper-decanting.  Bonus points: it can be done in your already poured glass of wine and it costs around $5 at Target.  Whir until fully frothy and then let it sit for 5 minutes. Win!

Now here’s Vinturi’s claim:

Traditionally, decanters were used to aerate wine. However, decanting is time consuming, cumbersome, and inconvenient.

Let me correct their marketing departments warping of a fact first:

 Traditionally, decanters were are used to aerate wine.

Now, let’s examine the remaining claims about how evil decanting is.

  • Time consuming.  The active time it takes to decant a bottle of wine is approximately 10-20 seconds depending on how fast you are pouring the wine.  Then you let the wine sit in the decanter between 0-120 minutes depending on the wine.  With decanting mentality, the time you let the wine sit depends on what the wine needs.  With Vinturi mentality, Vinturi give you one length of time for their “processing”.
  • Cumbersome.  Decanting a bottle of wine requires you to not only open a bottle of wine, but to also get a decanter out and pour the wine into it.  If you don’t become exhausted doing that, you may find the energy to drink your wine after this is complete.  The Vinturi method involves holding their device perfectly above your glass and making sure you pour the wine at the correct speed so it doesn’t overflow the device every single time you want a glass of wine.  …Yeah, their method is much less cumbersome.
  • Inconvenient.  I’m not quite sure how they are justifying that their Vinturi device is more convenient than a decanter, but I would back up the claim that it’s easier than hassling with a blender for some hyper-decanting.  However, you probably already have a blender so you wouldn’t have to spend $25 on a new kitchen gadget (compared to a $5 milk frother).  Admittedly, people spend a lot on decanters because they view them as works of art, but that means the decanter is solving a person’s need to feel “arty” as well.

To recap, the amount of oxygen that needs to be mixed with the wine before you deem it to be “perfect” to drink will vary greatly between wines and between people.  Therefore, a “One-size-fits-all” device probably can’t be justified as being appropriate to tackle the problem of getting the wine to the point where you think it’s perfect to drink.  Please file this under evidence supporting my notion that the vast majority of accessories for wine are stupid and pointless.


Read Full Post »