Wednesday August 22, 2012 1:16 pm
Vinamor wine aerator review
The Vinamor wine aerator, the concept of Gary DeJohn, was featured on ABC's Shark Tank with an impressive demo that showcased just how well the product can bring out all the flavors of a just-opened bottle of wine. The Vinamor has a stainless steel filter and a glass sphere that work together to aerate your wine. It sits atop your wine glass, and as you pour wine through the filter, it's exposed to the large surface area of the glass sphere, which in turn softens tannins and brings out flavor while the filter catches and sediment that may be present. Or, at least, that's the promise. How well does the $40 Vinamor actually perform? Join us in our full Vinamor review for our thoughts.
We went to Target and purchased a bottle of 2010 Apothic Red Winemakers Blend from California. The wine was a young blend of Zinfendel, Syrah, Cabernet Sauvignon, and Merlot. We invited a friend over to test out the Vinamor aerator.
After opening the wine, we immediately poured a taste straight from the bottle without using the Vinamor. The winemaker notes indicated we'd enjoy hints of black fruit, vanilla and mocha. How bad could that be? Indeed, straight from the bottle, the huge, jammy fruit overpowered the wine. The wine had a really sweet start, and the sweetness lingered on the palate. For being such a young blend, the wine wasn't “hot” at all. Instead it was rather smooth and barely tanic. All we noted was lots of sweet fruit. Not bad, but not very sophisticated, either.
Then we busted out the Vinamor aerator. We poured the wine through the filter and watched as it then spread around the glass sphere – what a great presentation! We quickly swirled and sipped. The wine was still on the sweet side and the fruit flavors still prominent on the palate. That said, the wine was definitely smoother, and a bit less acidic. The big win? All the secondary flavor profiles were far more evident – a little pepper, vanilla, mocha – we could taste them all.
We have a few more observations on the Vinamor as well:
- It’s a fun conversation starter, whether or not you find yourself in a bar or entertaining friends in your home.
- It looks great and is very elegant, whether when in use or when sitting prominently wherever you display your crystal wine glasses.
- We noticed that if we poured the wine over the aerator in the wrong direction, it splashed wine outside of the glass. Pay attention so you don't have to clean up the spills.
- It is super messy after aerating the wine – there’s nothing to put it in to catch the drips and residual wine after you aerate your glass of vino. It would really benefit from some sort of base or stand so your counter top or bar top didn’t get red wine all over the place!
- The Vinamor is fragile – it's glass! This means that while fun for home use, it isn't really practical for travel or to take with you to your favorite happy hour hang-out, where cheap wine is pretty much all you’ll find in glass pours – and most of those would benefit from the use of this product.
- The price is a bit on the high-end. The Vinamor aerator sells for $40. Compared to the classic Vinturi aerator, which comes with a base and travel pouch and sells for $35 at several major retailers, it might be hard for the average wine drinker to see a real benefit. Similarly, the Rabbit Aerator, a device that fits into the wine bottle and aerates the wine as you pour it into the glass, also retails for much less, $25 at several online retailers. It's hard to say that the Vinamor is worth an additional $15.
All-in-all, the Vinamor wine aerator is a great conversation starter for parties or at bars, but you aren't buying this to chat about it--you want it because it works. In our testing, it did exactly what it said it would do, instantly bringing out flavors in wine that you might otherwise miss unless you properly aerate it some other way. As a bonus, the Vinamor can easily be used for straining other things in the kitchen (I used it to strain the dregs of my favorite balsamic vinegar as I made salad dressing.) The product really works, as it took a not-too-sophisticated, inexpensive wine and made it far more interesting thanks to the quick aeration process. You can pick one up for $39.95.
[Lisa Robinson contributed significantly to this story, as we aren't the biggest wine connosseurs in the world.]
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