We all know that I am not always the most patient person. No, I don’t like to wait in line, wait for batch jobs to process, or (shocker here) wait for wine to open up. While I do love the art of the decanter, if I’m saving a red for dinner, I don’t always want to wait for hours for a big cab to show her glory.
So here I sit, on a cold foggy San Francisco fall night, with a big cab. But I want it now! What is a wine blogger to do? Why pull out her handy dandy aerator collection of course!
Tonight, I will be tasting the 07 Rodney Strong Rockaway first, straight from the bottle, and then with the Vinturi, the Soiree, the Rabbit, and then after decanting.
Right out of hte bottle, the wine is tight, and full of tannins and chewy leather. once you run it through the Vinturi, it immediately softens up and shows more fruit, but is still very tight and shows licorice and dark meaty flavors. The Vinturi claims that When wine is poured through the device, the internal mechanism “creates an increase in the wine’s velocity and a decrease in its pressure. This pressure difference draws in air which is mixed with wine for perfect aeration”. I don’t know about THAT but it does force air in to the wine, speeding up the oxidation process, or opening the wine up.
Now, using the Wine Soiree, a bulbus device that you put on top of the wine bottle, and the wine flows all around it. The Soiree fits on top of the bottle, and when you turn the bottle all the way upside down, the wine flows all around the sphere. According to Soiree, the bottle top device is not just an aerator, but rather, a bottle top decanter. I rather like this description because it really is more than an aerator. First of all, you freak all your friends out when you pour the bottle upside down.
The Wine Soiree creates an “intermediary stage where the wine is infused with oxygen and then cascades into your glass”. In doing so, the subtleties are released, and you get more details out of the wine faster.
What I immediately notice with the soiree vs the Vinturi is that the wine is softer, and has more black and blue fruit coming out. The tannins are softer, and the chewy licorice has lessened. Even tasting the wine again, there is much more tightness and astringency left in that glass.
Finally, I used the Rabbit Aerating Pourer. At first glance, it looks very similar to the
Soiree; it fits on top of the bottle and has a bulbous shape where the wine flows around. It behaves in a similar way, but there was a touch of bitter coffee left in the wine. This isn’t necessarily a bad thing, but I think it doesn’t quite capture the subtleties that the soiree does.
So, what’s the verdict?
Top Honors: Wine Soiree, from $25, excellent gift sets available this season
Honorable Mention: Rabbit Wine Aerator, $30
While the Vinturi is well known, and now available at Costco for less than the retail $40, my thoght is that you can upgrade your Soiree for the same price and be much happier.