Product Review: The Vinturi Wine Aerator

Friday, October 17, 2008

When Wine Enthusiast delivered the EuroCave wine refrigerator I ordered last year, I thought their "White Glove" service was less than stellar. I called them to complain and they issued me a gift certificate for $100. This was a nice gesture, but as I looked through the Wine Enthusiast catalog I was amazed at how expensive the products were.
So, I treated the $100 like the funny money it was and bought, among other things, a $40 Vinturi Wine Aerator. If you look at the reviews on Amazon and Wine Enthusiast, you'll see that this product gets *great* reviews. Here is a quick video review that captures my thoughts:



Overall, I'd rate this as a gimmicky wine product that actually works, and makes for a fine gift for less than $50. Every time I've done a blind tasting where I pour two glasses of the same wine and one has been aerated with a Vinturi and the other has not, the blind taster has preferred the aerated wine. Every time! It is as if the Vinturi adds 2-3 points to almost every wine you put through it. It is especially helpful with wines that benefit from aeration like young Bordeaux and bold Napa Cabs- but I've found it helps wines at all quality levels.

I think the ultimate measure of usefulness of any product is how frequently it gets used. Against that measure the Vinturi has been a very good product indeed. I can count the number of times I've broken out the old decanter since I've gotten the Vinturi on one hand- basically I use the old decanter only when I've got a wine with significant sediment or I've accidentally broken the cork into bits and I want to filter the debris out.

This product is the only one I'm aware of from the Vinturi company. I have to say- I find that to be a positive thing. The guys who invented this haven't cranked on a bunch of silly wine toys- they just created one really great product and that's their business. I like that!

In conclusion, a big thumbs up for the Vinturi.

If you find this review helpful and would like to buy one from Amazon, I'd appreciate it if you use the following Amazon Associates link:




If you'd like to learn more about the Vinturi Wine Aerator, click here to read an interview I did with Rio Sabadicci after compiling this review. Rio invented the Vinturi Wine Aerator.

If you're interested in hearing how this product compares to other options in wine aeration and decanting, you may find the results of a 4-way blind tasting we performed useful.

Question of The Day: Do you aerate your wine? Do you decant it? Neither?

13 comments:

Heath said...

I just started to decant, while visiting the Oregon Vineyards, they were all using the Soiree www.winesoiree.com. I haven't ever used a decanter, so I am not sure what to expect, but it seems to open up the wine and the flavors and aromas come out immediately. I think I will try out the vinturi wine, seems more like the method our wine distibutor uses, of putting his thumb over the end of the bottle and giving it a shake. This looks like a great product, I will be purchasing one soon!

Bob said...

I just had a look at the Wine Soiree link- and you know what? After using the Vinturi for a while now I can see where it would just make sense to bold the darn thing on the end of a bottle so you could just simply pour the wine as usual without holding the Vinturi. I guess the proof is in how well they each work.

My most trusted local wine store sells the Vinturi like crazy and has a pile of like 100 of 'em and every time I go in there the pile is half-gone.

Either way, it's a lot easier than pouring wine into an old-school decanter and waiting 2 or 3 hours for the wine to aerate (while becoming too warm especially in the summer). I think serving temperature is an even more important aspect of serving wine than aeration, which makes quick aerators even more compelling than the old kind.

Thanks again for your comments. It sounds like you really appreciate wine like I do, and it is very interesting to hear from you!

Dieds said...

Hi Bob,

That is a great post and the video is awesome. I must confess that I never really knew there was such a thing as a "wine aerator." But I will be getting one now. I'll probably get the one you recommend for $40, the "Vinturi Wine Aerator."

Bob said...

Hey Tom!

Thanks for checking in here! I hope this content is a little more interesting than EDA software (but that is a very low bar, isn't it?) :)

You won't be sorry if you get the Vinturi. A good test is to pour a guest their first glass through the Vinturi and then watch them object if you attempt to pour them wine that hasn't been passed through the device. I did it once on accident and the reaction was quite interesting. The thing actually works!

Michelle said...

I have to admit that we have never decanted. Since we rarely drink more than a glass each at one sitting, it seems like a lot of work to go through. But the Vinturi looks great! That way you can make quick work of it. The biggest difference for us was getting the proper glassware. We did a tasting at our house (ala one I attended at a local cooking shop) where we tasted a mediocre, poor and excellent bottle of chardonnay, pinot noir, and Cabernet. We tasted each wine in each of 4 Riedel vinum glasses (ones meant for each of the wines we tasted) and boy, did it make a difference in the flavor and body, aroma, etc.! No one believed it until we did the tasting. Seems such a little thing, but you can make an amazing bottle of wine taste like vinegar almost (try drinking a cabernet out of a glass meant for chablis!) Or you can make a pretty mediocre wine taste a lot better by pouring it in the appropriate glassware.

So now, we own much more glassware that we thought we ever would and I would get more if we actually had a china cabinet.

Nevertheless, it looks like the Vinturi is on our Christmas list!

Michelle said...

Hmmm. Just checked out the Wine Soiree video. It would be interested to do a side by side test of the two gadgets. The benefits to the Soiree are that it is on the bottle making for easier pouring, and its less expensive price point. What do you think, Bob?

Bob said...

The Soiree video is quite mesmerizing. I dunno- I think both the Soiree and Vinturi work similarly conceptually. I've seen both in use at wine tastings where the distributors are *really* trying their best to make their wines stand out. We're going to an event (put on by my most trusted local wine store, The Hingham Wine Merchant) in a couple of weeks- I'll check to see which product is used more and I'll report back.

Glassware! I actually already cut a glassware video, but I'm going to re-do it before I produce it because it was a little rushed.

Bob said...

Just thinking out loud here- I'm considering buying a Soiree just to do a three-way blind comparison between it, the Vinturi, and un-aerated. Now *that* would be some good TV! :)

Oh- PS: If anyone wants to pick up a Vinturi and avoid shipping- I saw them at Crate & Barrel recently.

chief rocker said...

I love the discussion. it is so important to aerate wine, and much agreed that temperature is also a key factor as well.

I know both products very well. WHen speaking with Lucy from www.calwine.com she refuses to use the Vinturi on a Pinot Noir as she says that it can actually "strip the fruit and flavor out of a lighter wine." In speaking with a wine maker in paso Robles who does not filter their wine clear, said that they had the Vinturi in their tasting room, but had several occsaaions where the Vinturi "clogged with sediment and turned into a volcano of wine on their counter". However, in crusing the california wine tasting rooms, you will see Vinturi adorning the shelves with sready frequency, and there is no doubt it works.

However,the Soiree is a fun tool as well, and way better for when you are on the couch and don't want to use both hands to pour some wine. And the Soiree controls dripping better then pouring straight from the bottle, and the Vinturi is known for dripping. Soiree also has a link on their website for a review of Imbibe Magazine ( http://winesoiree.com/Imbibe_Review.pdf ) which rated them "As effective as a full-sized decanter". Also they note it can fit all sized bottles.

In the end I found them to work quite similarly. I like the design of both them equally, but I think the price of $25 for an aerator that makes all wine taste better, and a product that just becomes a fluid extension of the bottle...The Soiree.... has my vote.

Bob, I look forward to your video review of the both of them.

sph-associates said...

Bob - thanks for the twitter response. Sequioa Grove in Napa demostrated this to me and i was impressed. and of course bought one from them. Interestingly, i was at Scoma' in SF (highly recommended) and my wine came with bubbled... just like the results of the Vinturi. so I wonder if they do this... that would explain the bubbles. anyway thanks for your twitter in response to mine. stephen

Robert said...

Hi Stephen,

Thanks for stopping in and leaving a comment. Interesting observation from Scoma (and thanks for the recommendation- appreciate it) regarding the bubbles in the wine. It would be interesting to see if restaurants aerated certain wines prior to serving them. It would make sense! In a restaurant setting you don't want to wait for decanting the first bottle and if aerators can improve the customer's impression of the wines, why not aerate?

Hope you enjoy your Vinturi!

Anonymous said...

Hi there

has anyone ever tried the Nuance Wine finer from Wineenthusiast.com?

It is far better, cheaper and nicer design. It has just won a test in Cooksillustrated.com (where Vinturi lost).

/Regards from a wine lover in Europe.

Robert Dwyer said...

I requested a sample from Nuance's marketing firm JBoyce Marketing, but I didn't hear back.

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