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A Little Air Works Wonders

Posted on: March 29th, 2011 by Tom Peiffer No Comments

Normally, wine and air don’t mix. The oxygen in the air can ruin a good bottle of wine in a day or two, making it tasteless or just plain crappy. However, for a young inexpensive wine, added air can noticeably improve the taste.  But what we’ve got here is more than the familiar “let it breathe”.

Over the past several years, many tasting room servers have been seen pouring wine from the bottle, through a little glass gadget, and into the glass. They do it so quickly that it is often overlooked.  But many people do notice and ask, “Hey, what’s that little glass thing for?” The person who is pouring then answers “This is a Vinturi, it makes the wine a little better”.

In principle, the Vinturi is an air injector that elegantly eliminates the need to pour wine back and forth between two decanters like we did 20 years ago to “freshen it up”. Now you can pour it once through this little gadget and it’s done.  As the wine moves through the Vinturi’s glass body it gets constricted, moves faster, and air gets sucked in from little holes in the sides. Zap, the whole thing is done in a flash with a hiss.

Many people notice the best results with a well-structured red wine like Stump Jump Shiraz available from most wine stores. This may work simply because entry-level wines don’t have such concentrated flavors and really benefit from aeration to bring them out. Whatever the reason, most people immediately notice the difference and often say that it adds a few bucks to the value of the bottle.

The Vinturi is actually wide enough at the bottom to fit nicely into the top of many carafes, allowing an entire bottle of wine to be aerated at once. Then, guests may be served from the carafe without having to pour their glasses through the Vinturi individually.

Because cooler liquids can absorb more air, chill the wine about 45 minutes in the fridge (55 degrees), Vinturi it into the decanter, and let it sit for about 15 minutes before serving.  It’s a sure bet, most people won’t believe that the wine in the decanter cost less than $10 a bottle! Maybe you can even win some money on it. Give it a shot!

Article by Tom Peiffer, Phoenix Wine Shopping Examiner at

View more of Tom’s articles on by visiting his writer’s page.

About the Author - Tom Peiffer

Tom has been an avid wine consumer and collector for over 20 years. This pastime has taken he and his family on many visits to wine growing regions, including Arizona. During these excursions, with the accompanying tastings and lectures, it became clear that there is no "magic bullet" wine. For each wine contains its own character, strong points, and weaknesses. Sharing these experiences to help anyone purchase locally available wines is his goal.

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