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DO THOSE WINE-SAVER GADGETS REALLY WORK?

  It’s been a while since I’ve written a gadget-oriented article.  Even though Wino John is my illustrious techno-geek brother-in-law, he seldom exhibits a tendency to buy the latest high tech stuff.  Heck, he’s still using the dead man clubs (Big Bertha’s first version metal woods) that he bought from the caddy at Baltusrol almost ten years ago (and WJ’s golf game could use some of the new high tech clubs too).

Anyhow, some time ago I extolled the virtues of the Wine Saver, a device that pumps air out of opened wine bottles, extending the life of that bottle by a few days.  I didn’t have the engineering know how to explain how or why it worked.  I bought one, found out it worked, and knew at $5.99, it was a worthwhile investment for anyone who opens a bottle of wine and can’t or doesn’t want to polish it off (needless to say, Wino Bob doesn’t need one of these unless he’s tapped into bottle number two or three for the night!).

Imagine my surprise the other day when I opened my October 2002 Popular Science and found a review of “wine-saver gadgets”.  According to the guys at PS, leaving an open bottle of wine out long enough could result in the wine “smelling like sweaty socks or wet cardboard” (sounds like Wino Bob’s vino at the Boss’ Chi-Town concert).  PS spends some time discussing the process of fermentation, bacteria’s need for oxygen to grow, and how a sealed bottle of wine keeps oxygen away from those critters.  (Editor's note:  I have a whole new respect for WinoWally.  Popular Science???!!!)

PS conducted an experiment comparing the taste of a German Riesling opened for a week and a Pinot Noir opened for three days.  Both wines were sealed with a wine saver device and their taste was compared to a fresh bottle of the same wine.  Wines were tasted “blind”.  Wine lovers were able to discern the difference between the fresh wine and the resealed wine.  Casual wine drinkers were not able to discern the difference.  The conclusion, you might ask?  Popular Science copped out by stating that a test with a larger population of wine drinkers might be truly scientific.  In the meantime, they say that if you buy a medium-priced bottle of wine (between $10 and $20 per bottle), you may be better off drinking it all or refrigerating it.

Gang, I say that’s a cop out.  I’ve used my wine saver (from Vacu Vin) for almost 10 years and it has definitely extended the life of many nice bottles.  Sometimes they were opened for guests who had to have one more drink even though we had just killed the previous bottle.  Sometime, the wine was opened because my wife wanted another glass and you know how we never turn down that request.  Get your wine saver now.  Use it.  You won’t be sorry.  Meanwhile, send me any of your unscientific research on the topic and I’ll make sure we publish it here.

WinoWally
Baltimore, MD
October 13, 2002

 


 

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