Customer Review

341 of 390 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Does it work?, November 25, 2008
This review is from: Vinturi Essential Wine Aerator (Kitchen)
After reading a number of reviews, it's obvious that a lot of people are convinced that the Vinturi Aerator does a good job of making wine taste better. I arranged a taste test of my own with three people. I poured two glasses, one aerated and one not and none of the three knew which was which. The verdict was unanimous among all three that one glass was better than the other and they actually chose the non-aerated version as the winner. Two of the three are wine afficianados and one is not so there was a variety of palettes involved.

Based on my test of this product, it appears to be an abject failure. Yet, dozens of people have written glowing reviews and a large number of them appear to have done blind taste tests of their own. Since I certainly don't believe that everyone else is lying (a conspiracy, that's it!) I can only surmise that some people may find the effect of aeration more pleasing than others.

My recommendation is simple. If you're interested in this product, see if you can try one at a friend's first or buy it from a place with a liberal return policy. That way you can decide for yourself whether it's an improvement or a waste of money.
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Comments

Tracked by 9 customers

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Showing 1-10 of 22 posts in this discussion
Initial post: Feb 23, 2009 7:46:56 AM PST
Eric Collins says:
If you only tried your blind taste test once on one wine you should give it another try. The directions are clear that not all wines benefit from decanting. I've tried several blind taste tests and with one exception, the Venturi has always won.

Some of the variations I've tried, include using the Venturi on a $15 Cabernet vs. $70 Cabernet (the results here were mixed) when told the difference, everyone was amazed. While the $70 bottle won out in the blind test, all were surprised the other was only $15.

Also, you don't specify if you did a white wine, but I'd suspect they don't usually decant well, so I wouldn't expect them to do well with the venturi, either.

I've really enjoyed mine, but I still always taste it first with and without.

In reply to an earlier post on Feb 23, 2009 1:57:02 PM PST
Last edited by the author on Feb 23, 2009 1:58:11 PM PST
Joseph Boone says:
Eric thanks for the tips, I suspect it's all good advice. In my case, I bought a red wine that was of a type that was supposed to benefit from decanting. I did what I could to make sure I gave the Vinturi a genuine opportunity to shine. Yet, for whatever reason, all three people thought there was a small but clear advantage to the wine that was not aerated. My original expectation was that they either wouldn't be able to tell a difference or that they would prefer the aerated wine so this was definitely a surprising result.

I understand how many people express the opposite view and that's why I pointed out the subjective nature of such a test in my review. Based on most reviews, the odds may be good that any given individual will feel the same as you and prefer the aerated wine, but my test suggests that not everyone will come to the same conclusion and prospective buyers should know that.

In reply to an earlier post on Aug 24, 2009 12:41:21 PM PDT
M. Coffy says:
It depends on the wine! More delicate, thin skinned vertiatals (Pinot Noir, Gamay, etc) can LOSE taste and structure with Vinturi's carburetor. See the review of all aerators below.

http://enobytes.org/wine_blog/2009/08/04/wine-accessories-aerator-shoot-out/

Soiree bottle-top Wine Decanter & Aerator

Posted on Oct 14, 2009 11:19:24 PM PDT
HI Joseph, just curious - and please be honest with us - were your 3 friends all sitting next to each other and able to influence each other in the slightest? Or did you give the wine to each of them separately in different rooms, etc.

If they were able to be influenced by each other in any way, I would re-try the test on some other wines in a one on one context and dont even let them be influenced by your facial expressions, etc - give them the wine and a piece of paper to write with and walk away.

Maybe you already did this, but your post got me curious because I personally do enjoy the taste of wine thats been aerated, definitely possible that others don't. Would be good to repost your results as well as specific wine you tried.

In reply to an earlier post on Oct 15, 2009 10:21:58 PM PDT
Last edited by the author on Oct 16, 2009 11:27:45 AM PDT
Joseph Boone says:
Jimmy, I gave them the wine and walked away until they were ready to call me back in and tell me the results. They were not influenced by me in any way. It is true that they were sitting next to each other at the time they drank the wine. However, they each drank and said nothing until they had all made up their minds about which they liked best. All of them stated a clear preference for the non-aerated wine although they all agreed that it was a modest difference. While I would never argue that it's impossible that there were no facial expressions or any other non verbal communication, I feel very comfortable saying that this was the honest opinion of all three people. Simply put, none of us had an agenda to make the product look good or bad. I wanted information for this review and they just wanted to help me by telling me what they tasted.

Frankly, my expectation going into this was that there would either be no preference or that they would prefer the aerated wine. I also half expected that the members of the group would have varying opinions. I was surprised by the result, but accepted it for what it was. I also accept and have acknowledged that a lot of people like the effect of aeration and that's why I didn't just trash the product and give it 1 star. But I do stand by my recommendation that people try this out before buying if possible because they might not like it any better than my test group did.

As for me re-trying the test, I've long since gotten rid of the aerator and in all honesty I just don't have any interest in revisiting the product. I'm sure that others with more passion for wine, in general, and aerators, in particular, will step up to the challenge though.

In reply to an earlier post on Nov 7, 2009 12:51:01 PM PST
Having worked my entire life in the Food Quality Assurance dept. of several food companies, I will tell your results are flawed. In blind test the testor are kept seperate isolated and not hear or see the others.The testor should be observing their reaction. People who are testors are highly trained. A test as you ran is probably flawed.

Posted on Nov 11, 2009 12:25:43 AM PST
Last edited by the author on Dec 1, 2009 8:35:24 AM PST
Joseph Boone says:
I think it's fair to say that the dozens of Amazon reviewers who did taste tests for this product would all fail to meet scientific standards, even *gasp* those who wrote positive reviews. While I honestly believe that my test was more rigorous than anything the average consumer is likely to do when he buys it, you have to understand that I wasn't trying to cure cancer. I was simply trying to see if a few people liked the taste of wine better when it was aerated.

Posted on Feb 23, 2010 4:46:10 AM PST
Last edited by the author on Feb 23, 2010 4:47:09 AM PST
monesque says:
Aeration is not a one-size-fits-all solution. It will certainly make some wines better, some wines worse. Doing a test and finding that an aerator makes a wine worse --according to the tasters---may be true, but it is not really a valid criticism of a product that simply claims to quickly aerate wine, unless you're able to say the manner in which it does the aeration is somehow unacceptable. Vinturi claims to aerate the wine. It doesn't claim--nor could it--that aeration will always be appropriate or useful for the wine in question or your personal taste. That's up to your judgment of when to do it.

In reply to an earlier post on Apr 14, 2010 7:22:58 AM PDT
Mm says:
I have never used the vinturi but saw it mentioned on cellartracker and wanted to see what it was so my comments are tangential. I went through a decanting phase back in the 80's and while I loved the bouquet in the decanter I always found the wine flatter in the glass than when it started out. Years later I read Victor Hazan write much the same thing. But some people swear by it. Joseph Boone's conclusion is a valid one even if you find his methodology flawed because it is true about almost everything. Some people are going to like it better than others.

In reply to an earlier post on Jun 21, 2010 8:56:54 PM PDT
Phase 2 of the test, could have been to use a regular decantor on more of the wine for 30 minutes, and then have your 3 friends taste test the decanted wine against what is poured from the re-corked bottle. If they liked the non-decanted better, then .....
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