Vinturi - white + red?
I saw this gadget at a party this weekend and thought it'd be fun to own - if only as a conversation-starter. Notice on their website that they have one for white and one for red. Is there really a difference? I realize simply decanting a wine serves the same purpose as this product, but this would be for everyday use.
Any thought on where best to buy in SoCal? A friend bought hers at CostPlus for $29.99, but the location I called in Pasadena didn't have. Thanks so much.
There are some very, very long prior threads about this device. I think I could fairly sum that thread up as follows:
1. Some people detect some amount of difference when using the device, usually with some wines (younger, more tannic) more than others. Personally, I was given one as a gift and use it from time to time when I don't feel like using a decanter. I'm in the "detect some difference in some wines" camp. I think decanting is still better - besides working better, it also makes less of a mess. Of course, another alternative is to pour through a vinturi into a decanter, to "speed up" the decanting. I can't admit I've tried a side by side test of that, though I have done a side by side of "with vinturi" and "without vinturi."
2. Some people find it to be a pretty silly/useless gimmick and don't see why someone would use this thing rather than giving a vigorous few swirls in the glass or just plain decanting.
3. I don't think the prior discussion covered white vs. red vinturis, but I have a really hard time believing that whatever technology goes into it would have a dramatically different effect on white vs. red wines. Just my opinion.
As always, YMMV.
We are more than casual wine drinkers, but not hard-ass winos either. We were skeptical when we first saw these at a local beverage store LA. After reading through some of the very contentious threads on this board, I decided to plop down my money - I think it was $40 - and give it some trial spins.
We've tried it on just about every wine we drink, from reds to roses to whites (of course, not with sparklers - my wife hates sparkling wines anyway :(). We typically pour one glass straight, and one glass via the Vinturi, and whoever isn't pouring does the blind test. The results are almost always in favor of the Vinturi-poured wine. If we haven't decanted the bottle, we then pour the remainder into a decanter via the Vinturi. We've also sampled the same wines decanted sans-Vinturi versus decanted via Vinturi, and again, the Vinturi gets the edge.
Swirling wine in a glass can help open up the wine, but it just seems hard to refute that the Vinturi does offer some benefit. As jonasblank mentions, the down side of this device is it can be a little messy, and the sound can be a bit off-putting to some. It sounds like a kid (or adult) sucking in air and liquid through their mouth and passing it along their tongue, much like what you hear at wine tastings. :)
The one exception that we won't use a Vinturi on is older reds. We don't drink older reds often - we've got a small handful of 20+ year-old bottles - so this doesn't concern me often, but it's worth mentioning. I've read that aerating older reds can actually obliterate a lot of the delicate nuances. Gently decanting these is supposed to be the preferred method.
I didn't know that there was a Vinturi for reds and one for whites until I read this on a recent Chowhound blog. Now I'm obviously no traditionalist, but even I think this may be taking things too far. But then again, I don't know the difference, or what the rationale is.
«I don't know ... what the rationale is.»
<<Doubling sales, one suspects.>>
BINGO! From what I've observed Vinturi came out with the 'white' version (which appears to have only one air intake tube instead of two) after another company came out with a competitive device which is shaped like a wine glass.
bulavinaka's take on the use & effectiveness of the Vinturi seems to parallel my own observations. But.......... I would always urge anyone to taste the wine as it came out of the bottle first, for the experience and knowledge, before aerating or even decanting. Automatic aerating seems best applied to wines where you're familiar with both the wine and with the preferences of those who will be drinking it.
Thanks so much for everyone's replies. I realize this might not be the most practical $40 I've ever plunked down, but decided to buy one for use this weekend.
As far as the red vs white issue. I called the Vinturi 1-800 # and they said there was no difference between the red and the white product - seemed strange to me but maybe they were being refreshingly honest. i bought mine at BevMo and asked the white vs red question and they said you wouldn't want to use one you'd used on reds for whites as 'the tannins from the red wine would flow into your red wine." That didn't quite seem right, but I haven't tried so I'll see if wine ends up adhering to the inside of the funnel.
I am in the camp that has rarely detected any difference between using a Vinturi versus not using one. Only once or twice have I detected a really slight difference, and that may have just been psychological. My brother in law, who has a large wine collection, tells me that he can definitely tell a difference but then he buys wine pretty much based on Robert Parker's scores and judges them accordingly so I don't know what to think about whether or not he can really detect a difference blindfolded.
I have a wine blog in which I posted an article saying that I could not detect a difference and a couple of days later someone posted a really nasty, insulting comment about my wine sensing abilities. I had no idea who it was until someone else told me it was the guy who invented the Vinturi. I just laughed about it but I thought that was rather low class to be so vindictive and personal with his comments when I was expressing my opinion.
Now as to having a Vinturi for whites and one for reds, that to me is going too far. That's ridiculous. One poster in this thread said they called and were told that the two are exactly the same thing - if that is the case, don't you think it is being misleading to label one for whites and one for reds? If you use it for reds and then rinse/wash it, don't you think that would wash out the tannins? So why would you need one for each type of wine?
I have to say that the Vinturi looks really nice but functionally does nothing for me. However, YMMV.
In response to the Vinturi in general, I'll be the first to say that I think this works well on young wines, especially with pinot noir, and young, cheap (under $20) Bordeaux. I like to pour through my Vinturi, and into a decanter. I have noticed definite differences when tasting "Vinturified" wines side by side with popped and poured wines from the same bottle.
I was recently sent a white Vinturi to review, but have not performed a side by side test yet between the original and the white. From what I was told, the white has some differences, and is calibrated to let in less(or maybe it was more) air than the original Vinturi. I hope to do a side by side test this coming weekend with some '05 Kistler and Aubert chardonnays to see if there is a noticable difference. Needless to say, I am skeptical, but we'll see! Cheers! -mJ