Tuesday, December 04, 2012

A New TWIST on Aerating Wine

From Lara Bain

I just returned from two weeks touring Argentina's wine country, notable waterfalls< and big cities - my belly is full of ojo de bife jugoso (medium rare rib eye) and bold malbec. Surprisingly, the food there is quite bland. You're lucky if the saltshaker on the table at the parilla (steakhouse) is accompanied by a pepper grinder. Needless to say, my husband and I have been craving some spicy cuisine. Tonight we made tortilla soup: the perfect excuse to pair some new and interesting wines with our meal and hibernate from the Northwest weather. Also a great opportunity to test and review the TWIST Adjustable Aerator that's been waiting for me at home.

Tonight's wine pairing is tricky. I actually think pairing with soup is tricky in general. I've heard you should compare your soup to a pasta sauce in order to conduct your pairing. I like my tortilla soup especially spicy and hearty, but alas, the cupboards were bare of rioja reserva. Instead, we're putting the TWIST aerator to the test with the following:

 We're sending a 2008 Latah Creek Wine Cellars Vinosity* blend through the TWIST machine. The Vinosity is a blend of 47% Cabernet Sauvinon, 30% Syrah and 23% Zinfandel. Will the TWIST improve one of our beloved favorites? And since variety is the spice of life, we're adding in another element: a head-to-head road test with our proven Vinturi. We'll also use a control glass with no aeration. Reidel glasses for all pours. Now, onto the main course. The TWIST aerator markets itself for red and white wines alike. The Vinturi still brought out a more oaked and smoother wine. The TWIST aerator did make a large difference from the sharp control glass and brought out more of the spicy, smoky aromas in the red blend.

Overall Score: We preferred the Vinturi. The husband and I both did blind tests with the three glasses and the Vinturi came out on top each time. My palette prefers the richer, oaky notes and finish brought forward by the Vinturi.

To be fair, we also tested another Latah Creek red – this time a very young and lighter red that we could test a medium setting with. We tasted Latah Creek’s 2011 Ellena Ellena Cab Franc. Despite being so young, this wine is very drinkable. We’re excited to see what some years in the cellar will do to Ellena Ellena. We adjusted the TWIST to a level 3 for a younger, lighter wine. We tasted a difference from the acidity of the fruit-forward control glass, and it's certainly a different experience than the Vinturi.

Overall, we like what we see from the TWIST aerator. We’re always open to new options on the market. For the expert who regularly decants wine for scheduled amounts of time based on the bottle and vintage, the TWIST would be a good option. For the Pinot Noir drinker, the TWIST is nice as it allows you to give it very moderate to low amounts of oxygen. For the rest of the wine drinking community, it would be helpful to have more instruction for what types of wine to use with each setting. Nonetheless, the TWIST provides guaranteed fun with experimentation for any wine drinker.


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