If you know me, or have been keeping an eye on the blog, you’ll know that I have a weakness for kitchen gadgets. This has got to be one of the coolest gadgets I’ve ever reviewed.
It’s a staple at our dinner parties and never fails to impress our guests. We give new guests two wine glasses, one with wine straight from the bottle and another with the aerated wine – just so that they can taste the difference. They’re always surprised at the difference, and so I have to admit that despite sounding like a questionable reference to Sex and the City, this super aerating system is really pretty damn cool.
I remember telling my wine guy that I didn’t think the reds he’d picked were all that he’d talked them up to be. His first question – “are you letting it breathe for at least 30 minutes?” I wasn’t. Rookie error.
As most of our group of friends have only just moved out of home, we’re not usually accustomed to decanting wine. Why not? Many of us don’t have decanters, or simply can’t be bothered to decant and let the wine breathe. But, if you think about it, in all reasonable dining establishments wine is decanted – simply because if it is a young wine it will benefit from some breathing, and if it is an older wine, decanting allows the removal of sediments in the bottle.
But this gadget takes it one step further. It comes with an ultra fine sediment filter that removes impurities in the wine and a crystal wine spray funnel that channels the red wine down tiny holes – which then run down the inside of the decanter, allowing it to pick up oxygen quicker that you would by decanting alone. So, where normally you’d decant and allow the wine to breathe for about 20 minutes, you can now decant and pour right away. The resulting red is less astringent, softer and more well-rounded.
Following? If it’s all sounding a bit mumbo-jumbo to you, remember what Bernard from Black Books says –
Nobody is prepared to admit that wine actually doesn’t have a taste.
But seriously – if you just decant wine, you should still wait about 20-30 minutes before drinking. Don’t know about you, but I’m a pour and drink kinda girl. None of this sitting around waiting business. Which is where the aerator comes in – because it splits the pour into six ‘channels’, more wine is in contact with the air, which means quicker aeration. So, if you’re impatient, get one with an aerator.
After many Masterchef style reviews with scorecards and the like, we (me, Nick and various dinner party guests) have come to the conclusion that it turns an okay bottle of red into a drinkable bottle of red, it rounds out the edges of your average bottles – and really, if you’re drinking good red – you should be decanting anyway.
What I liked:
– very cool packaging, it comes in a giant canister
– the decanter is crystal
– crystal funnel works to aerate wine faster than decanting alone
– ultra fine filter to pick up sediment
– saves time
– reasonable price, most decanters alone start at $80
What I wasn’t too keen on:
– the decanter itself is quite thick (good in the sense that it’s hard to break, but lacks the ‘fine wine service’ feel
– the sediment filter fits quite snugly into the aerating funnel so it can be hard to remove.
The Metrokane Rabbit Decanter Super Aerating System is available from Glassware Direct, sister store to Kitchenware Direct for $59.95 (plus $10 postage – or free postage if you spend over $100). I’ve seen it at House stores for $85, so that’s a bargain price, really. Makes for a great Christmas present for that hard to buy for person.