Every wine enthusiast ends up with drawers full of gadgets designed to enhance the flavor of wine, but a good old decanter is perhaps the best way to take both a tannic young wine or a musty old one and bring out the most pleasant characters of each without a lot of sitting around and waiting.
Vinturi attempts to go one better: This small, kazoo-sized/shaped device is designed to decant without the decanter. Just hold the Vinturi over your glass and pour the wine into the top. Holes on the side suck in air as it goes through, aerating the wine with a loud sucking sound and spitting your aerated wine out the bottom.
Nifty idea, and in my tests it worked fairly well: While fruity, young wines experienced no changes through the Vinturi (as you’d expect), some ancient cabs saw improvement by merely pouring them through the Vinturi, bringing out more fruit and floral notes and suppressing some older wines’ off flavors caused by spending too long in the bottle. In a nutshell, it’s just like a decanter and works about the same.
There are a few advantages with Vinturi over a decanter: Cleanup is far easier, and you can decant as you go. With most decanters, once you pour it in, you’re sunk. Pouring unfinished wine back into the bottle is tough if you don’t finish it off in one night, and simply stoppering up the decanter won’t save them to survive until the morrow.
On the downside, the Vinturi is loud, messy, and plastic. This isn’t something you’ll want on your elegant, white linen dining table, and even Vinturi notes that wine can shoot out the holes designed to bring air in. In fact, I never managed to pour wine into the Vinturi without some spilling out those holes. The sucking sound is also the slightest bit obscene, so warn your company in advance.
Overall, this is a great little gadget that’s perfect for when you don’t want to bother with the hassle and mess of getting out the crystal decanter.
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