Because this is far and away the most common wine breathing “gadget”, we decided that a Vinturi review was the first we would do in our blog series on techniques and gadgets designed to accelerate wine breathing. Besides providing useful advise to our readers (we hope it’s useful at least or this was a colossal waste of time), I have a vested interest in seeing the results of these blogs. I’m inherently not a patient person. I aspire to learn to be as patient as a two year old in a toy shop. Yes, I’m actually that bad – well, almost that bad – I don’t believe I have actually thrown a serious tantrum since I was a kid although my wife may disagree.
We’ve had one for about five years and use it frequently so a review of the Vinturi should yield pretty predictable results…right? We’ve used it but we had never really done a side by side test. It’s entirely possible that we were just another set of gullible consumers, following a cleverly conceived marketing campaign – kind of like those who bought a “pet rock” in the 1970s (yes for those of you who are too young to remember, some one actually dreamed up selling rocks as pets and he sold over 1 million of them). At least they were low maintenance.
Wine which has been allowed to breathe tastes better. As wine breathes, it opens up, and releases its intended aromas and flavors. Traditionally, decanters were used to aerate wine. However, decanting is time consuming, cumbersome, and inconvenient. Vinturi’s patented design speeds up this process with ease and convenience. Perfect aeration in the time it takes to pour a glass.
Simply hold Vinturi over a glass and pour wine through. Vinturi draws in and mixes the proper amount of air for the right amount of time, allowing your wine to breathe instantly. You’ll notice a better bouquet, enhanced flavors and smoother finish. It’s that fast. It’s that easy.
Expectation/What It Means:
The Vinturi is one of the first, and arguably the most commercially successful of the wine aerating devices. It forces air into the wine which in essence, causes the wine to breath sooner than it would in a glass. You know it’s working if you pour wine into it and you hear a sound like a kid trying to suck out the last bit of soda from a glass with a straw. If you don’t hear that sound, you haven’t poured enough wine into the Vinturi and its not “breathing”.
For those of us who are enamored with instant gratification and have no patience and short attention spans (mine is usually measured in seconds, not minutes or hours), the thought of causing a wine to breath in seconds is manna from heaven.
The Process and Measurements:
We administered a blind taste test to 4 red wine enthusiasts to see if they preferred the wine served with the Vinturi as opposed to pouring it directly into a glass from the newly uncorked bottle. The glasses then sat for roughly 5 minutes while a friend (who doesn’t even like wine by the way…he really is a troglodyte) labeled the glasses and recorded the labels to insure that each person had one “Vinturi” and one “control” glass. Each glass had a unique label (“A” though “H”) to insure that no one could pick up on comments made by some one else about a glass with the same label. However, the tasters were free to discuss what they thought while tasting because no one knew which glass was which.
The measurement was simple…did the testers prefer one glass to the other and if so, which glass? A successful result is one where the majority of the testers preferred a glass using the Vinturi.
Drum roll please….4 for 4. Every taster preferred the Vinturi”ized” wines and it really wasn’t even close. Two of us commented on a lighter, more pleasing aroma from a glass even before tasting them. We allocated 5 minutes to allow sipping from both glasses to compare but, within about 90 seconds, everyone had come up with their favorite glass and called those results to our guest troglodyte/scribe who was keeping the notes. The results were unanimous in favor of the Vinturi.
I honestly expected to be surprised by our results of our Vinturi review but not necessarily in a good way. I believed that any benefits would be subtle and not detectable by every one but I couldn’t have been more wrong. The Vinturi performed better than imagined. The results were that positive. In fact, before finishing the wine in the control glass, every one poured it through the Vinturi because it was that much better.
Would Winery Sage Recommend This Product?
Heck yeah! We’ve tested a number of gadgets and all work to some degree although most tend to fall short of truly achieving their stated purpose. The Vinturi knocked it out of the park. Two of our friends who didn’t own one were going to pick one up in the next couple of days.
1) A 2009 Cabernet Sauvignon from Burrell School Winery in the Santa Cruz Mountains was used. While it is a well balanced wine, just after opening it has some pretty aggressive tannins and benefits from 30 minutes or so of glass breathing prior to enjoying it. The test was administered with a single bottle to avoid any bottle variation.
2) The temperature of the wine was roughly 61 degrees when the experiment took place, roughly in the middle of our recommended temperature range for Cabernet Sauvignon. If you have questions about why a room temperature wine wasn’t used, we suggest that you read our serving temperature page on the main Winery-Sage.com site.
3) Ambient temperature was quite hot, in the mid 80s.
4) When we evaluate a piece of wine equipment, we usually try and design a test that produces measurable results. In this case, tasting a wine to see how it has changed is very subjective so we decided to tabulate results using four different tasters to give us more than one opinion.
5) Identical glasses were used for all tastes to eliminate variability.
6) Each taster normalized their pallet by eating a piece of bland French bread to avoid any after tastes from previous meals contaminating the results.
Disclaimer and Winery-Sage.com Practices When Reviewing A Product
Winery-Sage.com does not take any endorsements or funds from manufacturers whose equipment we review. We attempt to impart all of the facts as we’ve observed them (the Good, the Bad and the downright Ugly). We may interject a little irreverence now and again but hopefully you’ll see that our experiments are based on scientific methods and try to rely on several opinions when the results are subjective rather than measurable.
To the best of our ability, we follow all of the instruction provided by the manufacturer.
Manufacturers are allowed to submit products for a review but if we receive a product, we will publish a review, whether the results are favorable or not.