Review: Ullo Florence Decanter and Wine Purifier
I’ve written at length about why you should not be afraid of sulfites in your wine, but that hasn’t stopped people from taking measures to remove them. Ullo is a new brand that combines sulfite removal with an aeration system and a nice-looking decanter. It’s everything in a single product. Let’s look at each piece in turn.
The so-called Florence Decanter is simple (17 inches tall), inspired by scientific lab flasks and featuring a fist-sized bulb at the bottom of a flared neck, all crafted from (thick) hand-blown crystal. Versatile and manageable, it’s decidedly non-flashy but feels sturdy and is easy to clean (hand wash recommended).
Up top you’ll find an aeration device, which fits snugly into the neck of the decanter. This unit features a switch letting you turn “air” on or off. With the aerator off you’re really not doing anything unless you insert a sulfite removal filter into the two-part system. With air turned on, the decanter provides a gentle but noticeable aeration to the wine as it goes into the decanter. (You remove the aerator when pouring.)
As with all sulfite removal systems, the packets are one-time-use, each good for one bottle of wine. Filters run $30 for a pack of 10, which isn’t cheap but — if you have a genuine sulfite allergy — worth the expense in order to keep you out of the hospital. They’re easy to get in and out, though used filters are a bit messy.
While I can’t comment on how well the sulfite removal process works — I presume the filter does its job, but really have no idea — I can say that the Ullo is a solid way to aerate and decant wine without a lot of fuss. A blind taste test of aerated/decanted wine from the Ullo was preferred in my household to the same wine poured straight from the bottle — but that’s just a test with a single wine, of course. Your mileage may well vary.
The bad news is that, at $130 (plus consumables, if you use them), this is a pricy decanter in a world where you have tons of options. This model isn’t available on Amazon, but you can check out this one or this one, which are made with the same general premise and identical technology.