Question from Jeaninne: We just recently came across a device that you pour through into your glass that decantes or enhance the aroma and taste of the wine instantly. I cannot recall the name but it runs around $50. Have you heard of this?
Reply: Thanks for writing! It’s quite a coincidence that you happen to write us about that right now because we just published a podcast episode about numerous wine gadgets including the one that I believe you’ve just described. It sounds like you’ve heard about the Vinturi. It’s a lovely product that looks and sounds like it’s doing something, but we were disappointed because, when it came to a difference in the smell or taste of the wine, we couldn’t find it. That’s just our little group, and you may have different results, but our technical guy suggested that you’re better off simply swirling the wine in your wine glass ahead of consumption. Please, let it be said again that these comments are from our testing and not designed to disparage any vendors products. The purpose of swirling, decanting or, presumably, using one of these gadgets is to release aromatic compounds called esters that are bound in solution. The agitation releases them as vapor, which brings out the aroma of the wine. Decanting takes much longer to achieve an effect than swirling, for which the rewards are immediate – just the way we like them! If you doubt this, just try your own simple experiment. Pour yourself a glass of wine – not too cold – and smell it. Then swirl it vigorously for several seconds and smell the wine again. From our own experiments, we found that swirling doesn’t cost anything and was more effective than a gadget. If you decide to get one, we’d love to hear what you think because, after all, the enjoyment of wine is subjective! Cheers! Nancy