Monday, December 21, 2015

Vino2 Aerating Glass from Taste of Purple -- Full Review

Taste of Purple was kind enough to send me their Vino2 aerating glass to review. You might have seen the quick and dirty review I dashed off in which I tasted a delicious Oregon Pinot Noir from The Pressing Plant in the Vino2 and in a Riedel Vinum Burgundy glass. I have since done several more side-by-side comparisons and here is my full report.

To cut to the chase, if big bold wines are your thing, this might just be the glass for you! You might also consider the other aerating glass options from Taste of Purple.

To review, the Vino2 wine glass ($39) from Taste of Purple promises to fully aerate wine rapidly, so there is no need to decant a wine to reach its full potential: "The patented design of the VINO2 will fully aerate your wine in just seconds, releasing the components that make up a wines aroma." With the Oregon Pinot, the wine in the Vino2 was silkier but less spicy than when tasted from the Riedel. Which is "better" is a matter of personal preference.

The next wine we tried was a 2012 Pinot Gris from Navarro. The glass on the right is the Vino2. On the left is a glass manufactured by Stölzle. We've owned it so long I have no memory of its price or any other characteristics. In the Stölzle the Pinot Gris showed aromas of stone fruit, jasmine, vanilla and honeysuckle. The wine had bright acid, a textured palate and a long finish. From the Vino2 we picked up less stone fruit, more vanilla, and citrus cream. The wine was similar on the palate but less tart and less textured. The finish was as long. We preferred the wine out of the Stölzle.

Next we tried a 1995 Sagrantino Montefalco from Colpetrone. Sagrantino, in case you are unfamiliar with it, is a grape native to Umbria. It is a rare creature that produces big, tannic wines that age beautifully. The comparison glass on the right is another we have owed for some time. It appears to have been made by a company known as OZ. I have no other information.

In the OZ the Colpetrone showed restrained aromatics, intensity on the palate and little fruit. The wine had a pleasantly soft texture with just a bit of grip and a lovely finish. In the Vino2 the wine had a sharper focus on the attack, more spice and a tight finish. We preferred the Vino2.

Our final comparison was with the Seavey 2007 Chardonnay, a wine that I made. The comparison glass was once again the Riedel Vinum Burgundy. In the Vino2 we got aromas of straw, hay, cut grass, citrus and jasmine. The wine was soft, rich and full on the palate with creamy oak and hints of pear. In the Riedel the aromas were similar but less grassy. The creamy oak came through with a bit more of a bite. Once again, a draw.

The Vino2 clearly influences the perception of the wine. Whether that influence is to the good depends largely on the style of wine. A big bold red wine is the perfect match for this glass, and will seem bigger and bolder but also more approachable from it. For other wine styles, the differences are less compelling. Enjoy!

Have you tried the Vino2? We would love to hear your thoughts.
The Vino2 was sent by Taste of Purple for the purpose of this review. All of the wines mentioned were from my personal collection and were not provided by the producers.

Thursday, December 10, 2015

Holidays are here -- Vino2 aerating glass from Taste of Purple (1st look)

A full review of this glass will require comparisons involving several wines and therefore several days. With Hanukkah well underway and Xmas a mere 15 days away, here's a quick preview.

The Vino2 wine glass from Taste of Purple promises to fully aerate wine rapidly, so there is no need to decant a wine to reach its full potential: "The patented design of the VINO2 will fully aerate your wine in just seconds, releasing the components that make up a wines aroma."

The glass has a clever notch in the side that causes the swirled wine to splash and aerate more quickly than it would in a notchless glass.

To fully evaluate this intriguing claim, we'll need to compare many wines side-by-side. Since you might be looking for a gift for a wine lover, here are the results of our first comparison. We'll post a more complete review once all the data are in.

Here's our experimental setup. On the left is the Riedel Vinum Burgundy (Pinot Noir), on sale at present for $50/pair (reg. $60/pair). On the right the Vino2, $39/stem. Neither glass is inexpensive, but if you believe a glass can improve the taste of a wine, and if you don't break your glasses often, this is not an unreasonable investment and might also make a good gift.

Behind the glasses are, on the right, the box the Vino2 came in, and on the left our FIRST WINE: the 2012 Smash It Up Pinot Noir, Willamette Valley, from The Pressing Plant ($20/bottle, Yep, $20/bottle for world class Pinot Noir!). Which, by the way, is a outstanding wine that would also make a great gift for the wine lover in your life. Afraid to buy wine for someone who loves it? Don't be! They'll be thrilled! Trust me.

Other than the notch, the glasses are fairly similar. The Riedel stands 8.25" and has a 25-oz bowl (I think). The Vino2 is 10.5" and boasts a 32-oz bowl. Both are lead crystal.

Out of the Riedel, we got a rich, fruity nose and great fruit on the palate. We described the wine as driven and pure, with black and red fruit that comes across as sweet, though the wine is dry. There is beautiful spice and the wine has a long finish.

Out of the Vino2 the wine was not much different. Aromatics were similar but the wine was different on the palate. It was much silkier and less spicy. The fruit profile was more black, less red. The finish was still long and beautiful.

Round 1 results--DRAW. The Vino2 certainly revealed a different wine, but whether those differences are preferable are up to the drinker.

One more note: despite the Vino2's large bowl, swirling was a bit difficult. I'm sure it's just a matter of practice, but the notch causes the wine to jump (as it should).

Preliminary conclusion: this glass would make a welcome gift and you might enjoy it yourself, as well. We need to evaluate it with more wines before we make a final recommendation.

The Vino2 was sent to us by the manufacturer. We purchased the Smash It Up Pinot Noir.
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