My fellow blogger-in-Bend and man of letters H. Bruce Miller and Sharon, his beautiful and brilliant wife, came over this weekend for dinner at maison Elliott. I cooked rack of lamb, Mrs Elliott made mashed garlic cauliflower and appetizers.
And there was wine, plenty of wine.
Bruce brought over his swell new Vinturi wine aerator. If you're into wine, you may have seen this device which goes for anywhere between $25 to $40, depending on where you shop. They claim that it aerates wine while it's being poured, eliminating that horrible horrible tedious entirely old-fashioned decanting and waiting for the wine to breathe and open up.
When he first told me about it, I expressed my doubts about the claims and suggested we do a double-blind tasting session. Bruce agreed and offered to bring three bottles of the same wine. He selected a moderately-priced, moderately-tannic Zinfandel, which pairs well with lamb.
The experiment was set up so each person got three glasses of wine: one poured straight out of the bottle, one decanted traditionally, and one poured through the Vinturi. Each glass had a label (A, B, or C) on the bottom, which they could not see without lifting and looking at the underside of the glass. Bruce and I did the pouring, Mrs Elliott, who was not in the room, then mixed up the glasses and set them up for our panel of distinguished tasters.
At this point, no one knew what glass was what.
|Uncle Jack says, "Don't bother!"|
There was no difference between the wines.
Unfortunately, in the hustle and bustle of preparing dinner, it didn't occur to me that the decanted bottle should have been allowed to breathe for a half hour or so, in the traditional manner, but considering that the Vinturi is claimed to speed the breathing process, the wine poured through it should at least have tasted better than the wine that came straight out of the bottle.
But no one could taste it.
The Vinturi Essential Wine Aerator: Not recommended.
Dessert was Pear Flambé in a red wine and orange reduction sauce. Jack nearly set fire to his eyebrows, but the end result was delicious. This, followed by cigars on the back porch. Until the cold drove us indoors to see what the ladies were chatting about.