It’s that time of the month here on 1WD. The time when we take a critical look at some of the samples I receive that cannot actually be safely imbibed. And now that we’re closing up 2016, this also happens to be the last monthly wine products round-up of the year.
This month, both products come courtesy of KingsBottle (for which I found an admittedly modest 3% discount coupon, if you decide to pick any of these up to give yourself or someone you know a little vino-related holiday cheer).
First up is their Mini Wine Aerator/Decanter, which you can pick up now for under ten bucks. Generally, I’m a fan of aerating younger reds (and, in some cases, young white wines), so I was eager to put this little number (just over five inches high and weighing about an ounce and a half) through the paces…
I’m happy to report that this little number of an aerator actually exceeded the small expectations that I had for it. It works pretty much exactly the same way as the popular Vinturi, but has a much smaller footprint (and lacks a top filter). While the Mini is trickier to use (the smaller opening means it can flood/spill more easily than its larger competitors), it’s results in my (limited) experience are nearly identical to those of larger, more expensive aerators. I’m guessing that this might have a bit to do with the fact that proportionally more air is being added to smaller amounts of wine, thus providing more aeration, but that’s just a guess (and a compelling reason not to use it on older wines). In any case, this thing works, and it works well, making it a bargain at the current sale price.
Next, a far less sexy option: KingsBottle‘s Vacuum Wine Stopper. On sale for just under $5, I wouldn’t consider this one a bargain, though it is larger and sturdier than most other similar wine stoppers that I have encountered, suggesting that it will stand up to more use (and potentially fit more bottle types than smaller versions offered elsewhere).
Using it is simple: stick it on the top of an open wine bottle, pump it to remove air, and when you’re ready to drink again, press the pump down to release the stopper. In my experience, you do extend your drinking window by an extra day or so (not that most of you lushes need it, right?) by using this. However, the mileage varies considerably by wine type and bottle shape, as the seal in the stopper will have a better fit on some bottles than others, and over time all of these things loose some grip on the bottle opening, which means that air is going to get in and start to oxidize the wine. But for short-term preservation, you could do a lot worse.