Tuesday, November 3, 2009

Vinturi Aerator: Good for White Wine Too!

I favorably reviewed the Vinturi Aerator back in December 2008, and was amazed by how it made red wine immediately enjoyable. When the folks at Vinturi asked if I’d also review their new Vinturi White Wine Aerator, I was again skeptical. While I regularly decanted red wines, the idea of decanting whites seemed unnecessary when a few swirls around the glass seemed to do the trick. A packaging insert describes why white wines also need aeration, and the difference in the two devices -- red needs more aeration therefore a deeper cup in the aerator, whereas white needs aeration but to a lesser degree.

Our testing panel for the White Wine Aerator included one White (drinker) and three Reds. Our chosen wine for the experiment was the magnificent 2006 Tolosa Edna Ranch Chardonnay ($17), a full-bodied buttery and oaked California-style with a hint of pear and hazelnut. We “Reds,” with our usual anti-white hah-rump, were convinced that this gizmo was little more than a me-too product intended to improve the collective self-esteem of downtrodden Whites. We Reds perched at the border of Whitedom, ready to invade at the slightest sign of weakness.

Side-by-side we tasted the Chardonnay, first poured directly into a glass and then through the Aerator into a second glass. The first noticeable difference was on the nose, with wine poured through the Aerator having a deeper and more complex scent. The most important difference, however, was in the taste. Wine poured directly from the bottle was still sharp with a bit of pucker. Wine poured through the Aerator was fully flavored and long on the finish, without a hint of sharpness. The Reds announced an immediate retreat, and all proceeded to pour wine from the first glass through the Aerator into the second glass. A complete surrender (on this occasion anyway).

As I said before: Saves time. Makes wine better. If only all gadgets were this good (please don’t make one for White Zin).

Best, Joe Plonk

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