I am not a wine expert. I’ve never been a sommelier and I have a rather rudimentary understanding of wine grapes, varietals, bouquets, and all the other vocabulary that goes with being a connoisseur du vin.
So it was with great surprise when the PR company behind the Vinturi Wine Aerator contacted me about reviewing their product. Perhaps they were scouring my Facebook page, on which I list my favorite quote, “What I like to drink most is wine that belongs to others.” Or maybe they saw my #winewednesday (or, more obscure, #malbecmonday) tweets on Twitter. For sure, I’m a wine lover. But I’m hardly a high profile wine writer. Heck, I’m not even a high profile travel writer.
At any rate, I was skeptical about the Vinturi. My kitchen cabinets and drawers are full of random wine accessories that I’ve acquired via “Secret Santa” gift exchanges or ones I’ve purchased myself. And I’ve never found myself using any of them but the trusty wine key I bought at a roadside enoteca in Tuscany.
Not only do I have a lot of failed wine products in my house, but I also tend to have only cheap bottles of wine at home. I can’t say I’ve ever spent more than $15 on a bottle of wine at the store and I prefer bottles that are $10 or less. When you’re a freelance writer who enjoys drinking wine as much as I do, you kind of have to go with the cheap stuff. That’s not to say that there aren’t tons of delicious, drinkable wines at that price point. My favorite inexpensive bottles are Syrahs, Malbecs, and Vinho Verdes. But I’m definitely not and never will be Robert Parker. While I’d love to keep a cellar of wines rated “90” and above, that’s just not where I’m at financially. What’s more, it’s very common in my Italian-American household to have a bottle or two of homemade vino.
Nevertheless, I set about in earnest to use and review the Vinturi wine aerator. And here’s what I discovered:
- The Vinturi is made of heavy-duty, clear plastic, with a rubberized neck and a rubber stand (for storage).
- It also has a small filter that fits over the top. The filter is super handy when you’re drinking homemade wine – no more sediment!
- You have to hold the aerator over your glass while you’re pouring the wine. I found this very awkward. Vinturi would do better to add some small flaps to the side that you can pop up and fit on your glass. Of course, I wouldn’t recommend using these if you’re using fine crystal because of potential breakage. (On a side note, there are bigger stand models that you can purchase for about twice the price as the compact model. Check out the Vinturi shop or Brookstone online or in your local mall.)
- Vinturi makes wine aerators for red and white wines. The company gave me both models to try out, but I really couldn’t tell the difference.
- The aerator also comes with its own little velvet travel pouch that looks quite obscene if you carry it around with you…kind of like the kind of gift you’d get at a bachelorette party.
I sampled the Vinturi with a bottle of Farnese Montepulciano (a red), not my usual cheap bottle of wine – but even cheaper. I tasted the wine before Vinturi: not bad, drinkable, kind of a singular flavor. Then, I maneuvered the Vinturi over another glass and gave a pour. The wine went through with a gurgle, passing over the small air hole that is drilled through the aerator and into the glass. I gave the second glass of wine a try…and Vinturi really did make a difference. My cheap Montepulciano suddenly had a bit of complexity. It was rounder in the mouth and more of a pleasure to drink. I am a skeptic convinced.
While I have only used the wine aerator a couple of times since I first sampled it, I would recommend it to people who have an interest in wine. The Vinturi makes bad wine drinkable and good wine even better. In fact, the Vinturi is exactly the kind of accessory a wino like me needs.