Gadget Review # 1: The Soirée Wine Aerator

February 4, 2009

The Claims:

1) Easy to use
2) Soirée fits securely into any wine bottle
3) Allows you to pour, without dripping through the Soirée.
4) The Soirée creates an intermediary stage where the wine is
infused with oxygen and then cascades into your glass.
5) In using the Soirée to aerate your wine, you will notice the
subtleties and character of the wine emerge immediately upon
entering your glass. Soirée delivers a truly “open” wine just by
pouring through it!

I am super excited to write about the latest wine gadget to hit the market, the Soirée. I am usually not a big fan of these big claim – little value items, but finally I’ve found one that lives up to the hype.

To make it clear, I love the Soiréeand I’ve been using the Soirée in my “personal life”. Nothing is perfect. I would be remiss if I didn’t mention the couple of negatives, which I’ll get out of the way and then continue with my love fest. The Soirée comes with two rubber gaskets to fit different sized bottles, but I did come across a couple of bottles that were actually a little too big for either. Perhaps they need a third size or will improve on the design with one size that is tapered enough to handle all bottles. This is NOT a big problem as 90% of the wines that I have used this with have accommodated the Soirée with no issues whatsoever. The second issue is that the Soirée, while small enough to be portable is made of glass. The portability of this device should be downplayed until they sell something to transport it in safely (hint, hint). Too many restaurants don’t have decanters and this would be a huge bonus to be able to take with you on a special occasion.

I tested the Soirée with a bottle of Pedroncelli’s Mother Clone Zinfandel. This is a wine I’ve been drinking since the mid to late ‘90’s – I chose their latest release, the 2006, to show the maximum effect of the Soirée. To do this tasting correctly I had to do it blind and I had to do it with 4 samples:

1) Straight from the bottle to my glass
2) Straight to a decanter
3) With the Soirée into my glass
4) With the Soirée into the decanter

Immediately after corking and pouring I tasted all 4 samples and found that the samples split into 2 groups of 2. I hate to say it but I spoiled my blind taste test. Although I wasn’t sureuntil later, the 2 samples poured without the Soirée were far too tight for further evaluation, but the other two samples poured with the Soirée began to exhibit the jammy fruit on the nose and elements of pepper that has brought me back to this wine time and again (it remains a comparable bargain year after year). After half an hour I tasted again and this brought a world of difference. The original samples poured without the Soirée were still a bit tight – opening up – but not at the same level as the samples poured with the Soirée and tasted immediately. The samples poured using the Soirée were singing at this point. Elements of cherry and nutmeg were abundant as were the cedar notes making their way through the palate. Was I drinking too much or did I just taste a bit of chocolate and coconut? I was reminded just how much I like this wine and how much sooner I was getting the payoff. By the way, before I finish the review of the Soirée, let me tell you that the finish of this wine is to die for at this price point. Risking my wife’s confidence in my manhood I might even call it “fierce”. Lush and lingering this wine is definitely a bargain.

The Results:

1) Easy To Use.
This is one of the easiest, most effective tools you will ever use.
2) Soirée fits securely into any wine bottle.
The Soirée fits securely into MOST bottles (at least 90% of those tested.)
3) allowing you to pour, without dripping through the Soirée.
I am a klutz.  I wish I was as smooth as 007, but in reality I tend to drip
a lot. This minimized the dripping to at most one droplet
.
4) The Soirée creates an intermediary stage where the wine is
infused with oxygen and then cascades into your glass.
Absolutely true and fun to look at – almost like a fountain of wine
pouring into your glass.
5) In using the Soirée to aerate your wine, you will notice the
subtleties and character of the wine emerge immediately upon
entering your glass. Soirée delivers a truly “open” wine just by
pouring through it!
In our “crack and pour” society the Soirée definitely delivers as                    
promised. Their double decanting idea however has the most merit.
If you don’t have the time to let a wine breathe the wine is decent
straight out of the Soirée. Give it just a bit more time and you are
happy as a clam. This easily shaves half of the decanting time away.

My only parting caution is to take it easy with an older, more delicate wine. The Soirée may not be necessary and could be damaging. I still give it 5 stars, 2 thumbs up, and 1 wine connoisseur’s high recommendation that you add this to your personal wine bar. For an approximate retail price of $24.95 this is a bargain.

Please vote for Drink Dry Creek!

Comments

2 Responses to “Gadget Review # 1: The Soirée Wine Aerator”

  1. Bob Dwyer on February 5th, 2009 10:16 am

    Great review! I enjoyed reading it very much.

    Your observations align with mine- that the Soiree is a darn good product that works as advertised, is easy to use, and is a great value.

    I’m a big fan of Pedroncelli too- their Pinot Noir is pretty good too.

    Cheers!

    Bob Dwyer
    The Wellesley Wine Press

  2. Christopher Creek – 2004 Cabernet Sauvignon : on February 9th, 2009 7:06 pm

    [...] coming out of the bottle and clearly needed some time to breathe. We made use of the Soirée which Dave reviewed. I’d had some experience with it previously, but this sold me, as this Cabernet opened up [...]

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