There was a time when wine “tech” meant a glass bottle with a cork. Now there are devices to reduce the aeration time, replace air in the bottle with argon and even make it unnecessary to actually uncork the bottle in the first place!
It’s a busy weeknight and you’d like to relax with a nice glass of wine at dinner, but your spouse wants a beer. You decide to open up a bottle anyway, pour a glass, recork the bottle and then realize three days later you never got back to finishing that bottle. The wine has been mingling with oxygen ever since you opened it and, after a few days, is no longer in optimal condition to drink. Ugh, another wasted bottle of wine. (Some of you are like, “Um, didn’t realize ‘not finishing a bottle in one sitting’ was a possibility.”)
Solution: The air that rushed in when you opened the cork and poured out a glass needs to be expelled and replaced with a gas that doesn’t contain oxygen (i.e., not air). Here are three solutions from simple to heavily invested.
Private Preserve Wine Preserver
(around $9, available on Amazon.com)
A full aerosol can of Private Preserve feels empty but actually contains enough pressurized gas for 120 uses. It is a blend of nitrogen, carbon dioxide and argon. Dispense the inert gasses with a long straw (included) that snakes into the bottle neck and blankets the wine, dispelling the air from the bottle. Then, simply reseal the bottle with a cork or other stopper after dispensing the gas.
Coravin Model Two
This incredible piece of technology uses a surgical syringe to penetrate the cork. Tilt the bottle and depress the trigger to pour the wine. The attached capsule of 99.99 percent pure argon replaces the wine that was poured without ever exposing the wine in the bottle to oxygen. The cork naturally reseals itself. Now you can sample that bottle in the cellar you’ve been dying to try—see if it is ready to drink or needs more time to age. *Note: only works with natural corks. Hedges Family Estate (Red Mountain) tasting room manager Deborah Culverhouse not only loves the Coravin, she “LOVES” it with two !!
Enomatic Wine Dispenser, Eno One
(price upon request, neodistributing.com/enoone)
While these pricey babies probably won’t be popping up in every wine-sipping home across America, they are starting to gain popularity in tasting rooms and some restaurants. The refrigerated units utilize an argon replacement system similar to the Coravin, but on a commercial scale. Units house two, four, eight and more bottles depending on the model and can keep whites and reds at separate temperatures. A touch-display controls dispenser settings. Some models come equipped with card readers to allow customers a self-service option at wine bars, where they generally charge on a per ounce basis—the perfect solution when you just want a couple of sips more! Suggested by winemaker Josh McDaniels (Doubleback and Sweet Valley Wines, Walla Walla) and recommended by Justin Basel, winemaker at Foundry Vineyards (Walla Walla), who has “nothing but good things to say” about the Enomatic dispenser.
Your dinner party is a roaring success. Your guests are having a great time and are clearly enjoying your fabulous taste in wine because the bottles you’ve so thoughtfully decanted ahead of time are running out quickly. You decide to open a few more bottles but are not confident that they will have time to open up before your guests get thirsty and you definitely don’t want them thinking you’re skimping on the good stuff later in the party.
Problem? Lack of aeration
Solution: Employ the use of an aerating device that works while you pour. These handy devices are compact, affordable and your best friend when you’re crunched for time.
TRIbella Wine Aerator
($40, available on Amazon.com)
Founder and inventor Skip Lei has many great inventions to his credit, but the TRIbella is certainly the most elegant. Simply uncork the bottle, attach the TRIbella and pour. Three beautiful streams of wine comingle into the glass, causing natural aeration to occur. As an added bonus, the TRIbella pouring spout is dripless. It comes with a handsome carrying case about the size and shape of an eyeglass case. Hello, stocking stuffer!
($99.95, available on Amazon.com)
This device aerates without tipping the bottle, meaning sediment remains in the bottle and not in your glass. It attaches to an uncorked bottle and uses a pump (requires six AAA batteries) to aerate and dispense wine into your glass with a push of the button. It is easy to clean and can dispense up to 200 glasses of wine before the batteries need replacing.
Menu Winebreather Carafe
($49.95, available on Amazon.com)
The Winebreather is a double aeration system. Uncork the bottle and attach the decanter to the top of the bottle. Flip the decanter over and let the bottle empty itself through the aerating top into the decanter. When you’re ready to serve, the wine can be dispensed from the decanter carafe or aerated back into the original bottle. This device is perfect for parties and tasting rooms alike.