Admittedly, I am a minimalist. I drive a 15 year-old car; I do not wear makeup on a regular basis; I prefer all the surfaces in my house to be free of knicknacks; and I am generally opposed to the idea of collecting things. It follows then that I should be wary of wine gadgets. Just so happens that I am.
Over the years, I have been given a few wine gadgets as gifts — one of those decanters with the really wide base, a Rabbit corkscrew, handblown glass bottle stoppers, etc. — and I’ve found all of them to be more trouble than they’re worth. The decanter was impossible to clean, requiring special brushes and silver beads (sold separately, of course) for the purpose. The Rabbit killed a couple of softer corks and broke entirely when I inadvertantly used it on a synthetic one. The glass stoppers while very pretty were pretty much useless when it came to storing an open bottle in the fridge, given that they made it too tall to fit in anywhere.
Several months ago, after fielding a bunch of Vinturi related questions from customers and friends (and having more or less no idea what the Vinturi was during said fielding), I went to the source of all things wine gadetry, the Wine Enthusiast catalog, where I learned that the Vinturi is a contraption that aerates wine as you pour through it. Silly me, I thought this was easily accomplished by using a decanter, but apparently (according to the Vinturi people) decanting is “time consuming, cumbersome, and inconvenient“. Considering that both require the same action of the participant (i.e. that you pour the wine into them) I’m not sure how one can be more time consuming or inconvenient than the other. But, I digress.
The Wine Enthusiast catalog overflows with things I never knew I needed, and definitely don’t want like a push button corkscrew, a hand blown decanter that looks like a swan, something called the Chef du Vin pocket wine tasting tool that instantly softens tannins the moment it’s dipped into wine, an aerating pewter wine funnel, and my favorite, the Giant White Wine Stem Cooler, which is essentially an ice bucket in the shape of a three foot tall wine glass.
For me, drinking wine is a simple, humble (and sometimes humbling) act, one whose pleasure can only be diminished by such embellishments. To enjoy wine you only need your palate, your curiousity and three simple tools: a double-hinged corkscrew, an ah-so (for older bottles), and a simple upright decanter. For those of you who can’t live without the gadgets — more power to you, and the multi-million dollar industry you’re supporting. As for me, I’ll stay low-tech and drink my wine the way god intended. From bottle to glass with no Vinturi in between.