Posted on November 10th, 2011
I’ve been taking a wine gadget, Vin Aire, for a test drive over the last couple of months.
What is the Vin Aire?
A wine aerator through which you pour wine into your glass. The science bit is that it’s based on Bernoulli’s Principle which states, as you all know, that an increase in the speed of moving air or a flowing fluid is accompanied by a decrease in the air or fluid’s pressure.
If, in your misspent youth, you pierced a can of beer while downing in it, that’s Bernoulli’s Principle in action.
From boisterous beer practices back to civilised wine, this decrease in pressure rapidly sucks air into the funnel (the gurgling sound), and mixes it with the wine before hitting your glass.
My “scientific” evaluation process
Now, wine tasting isn’t all that scientific. For example, if you know a wine is expensive or you recognise the wine brand, your brain starts to taste the wine before it’s even in the glass. Read the subjectivity of wine.
Despite the subjectivity of wine, I wanted to evaluate the Vin Aire through a somewhat “scientific” or objective process.
So, for each of the wines below:
- I poured wine into two identical glasses, one through the Vin Aire and other straight from bottle to glass.
- I alternated the order of pouring
- I asked my lovely assistant to switch the glasses so that I was tasting “blind” (I didn’t know which glass was which).
- Decanted the rest for later (a wine scientist needs to relax after intensive hours in his lab, after all)
The wines tasted
- Montes Alpha Cabernet Sauvignon 2009
- Tim Adams Shiraz 2007
- Henri Bourgeois ‘La Bourgeoise’ 2007 Sancerre Red (Pinot Noir)
- Honoro Vera 2010 Garnacha Catalyud, Spain
- Meerlust Rubicon 2005, Stellenbosch, South Africa (Red Bordeaux blend)
- Leoville Barton 2002, St. Julien, Bordeaux
- Mas de Daumas Gassac 2006, Vin de Pays d’Hérault.
Vin Aire results
- More expression on the nose, softer palate initially.
- Far more expressive nose
- No difference
- Massive difference, particularly to taste, much softer
- No difference
- More expressive aromas, no difference to taste
- Nice difference on the nose and slightly softer on the palate
While I did mention a scientific process, I was really having a bit fun with it. To be truly scientific the results would have to be repeatable with a bigger sample size of wines and tasters and tasting blind (not knowing what the wines were).
And if I worked for Vin Aire, that’s exactly how I’d market the device – a “The Vin Aire See For Yourself Roadshow”. Don’t knock it, that’s exactly how Max Riedel sells his wine glasses across the world.
So, from the “scientific wine experiments” I performed, there was definitely a difference for five of the seven wines.
The younger wines tasted seemed to benefit most from it.
How? With the Vin Aire, I suspect it’s a case of “blowing off” trapped gases like opening the window of a bedroom to let the air in.
Decanting, could be similar, but just take longer.
So, if you’ve bought a red wine for consumption an hour or two after purchase (most wines are bought this way), then I’m confident this will work for you.
All that remains is for you, with your new found love of physics, it to choose which shaped glass you’ll pour it into.