Vinturi Spirit Aerator provided by brand representatives. All photos and opinions are my own unless otherwise stated.
Vinturi Spirit Aerator is a measuring tool and aerator all in one. I purchased a similar product by this brand several years ago while touring vineyards in Napa Valley. That aerator, as can be seen in the background of the above photo with the black base, was specifically meant for aerating wine.
Vinturi Wine Aerator
The wine aerator had no built-in mechanism to stop wine from flowing out the bottom while pouring. This meant the aerator had to be held over a wine glass while pouring. With a stemmed wine glass that meant holding the aerator an inch or two above the rim of the glass while holding the wine bottle at an angle above the aerator. Pouring from that height was a little awkward for me, especially from a full 750ml bottle.
The wine aerator was used for a while and then it took up residence in the novelty gadget cabinet. There are other novelty items in that same cabinet that seemed like a good idea at the time, but were never consistently used. The Vinturi wine aerator was the same. It had not been out of the cabinet in years, until the Vinturi Spirit Aerator came in the mail.
Vinturi Spirit Aerator
When Vinturi introduced the Vinturi Spirit Aerator to me, I thought it was the exact same product. Been there, done that. But after inspection it is not the same product. It is specifically designed with high-end spirits in mind.
Vinturi Spirit product information asserts that pouring your favorite spirit through their aerator results “in enhanced flavors.” Also that “aromatic spirits display greatly enhanced aromas and the flavors of all tested spirits were noticeably more enjoyable. Spirits served over ice are enhanced until the ice melts.”
Spirits I’ve tested do benefit slightly from pouring through the Vinturi Spirit Aerator. However, I could only detect that small difference in taste when taste testing a side by side comparison of aerated spirit and the same spirit poured straight from the bottle served neat. The difference in taste and aroma were negligible in my opinion.
Vinturi Spirit Aerator vs Wine Aerator
There are two big differences between the Vinturi Spirit Aerator and the wine aerator. The top of the Vinturi Spirit Aerator has measurement lines marked for 1 ounce, 1-1/2 ounce, and 2 ounce servings. The wine aerator does not have measurement lines.
The Vinturi Spirit Aerator is also equipped with a closing mechanism that automatically keeps the liquids in the top without pouring out the bottom. The button on the side of the aerator must be pushed in to release and aerate the spirits. This mechanism makes it possible to pour spirits into the measurement part of aerator while it sits in the stand without spilling a drop through the bottom. Pouring with the spirit aerator in the stand at regular glass height is definitely more comfortable than pouring above a stemmed wine glass while holding the wine aerator over the glass.
Vinturi Spirit Drawback
The one drawback of the release mechanism is that it does not always work. Instructions included in the packaging have this to say about the mechanism:
“Please wash or rinse Vinturi Spirit prior to initial use and after each use. If you forget, dried sugars may prevent the valve from operating. Simply push the button and rinse to clean. Tap the Spirit’s bowl on your palm to dislodge a sticking valve.”
I’ve only ever placed straight spirits such as bourbon and scotch through the aerator; never sticky liqueurs. I hand wash the Vinturi Spirit before putting it away every time, making sure it is well-rinsed. The valve mechanism sticks almost every time it is used again. Sometimes it takes several minutes under running water, clicking the button repeatedly to get it to unstick and stop and start the flow of liquid correctly. This is a problem when pouring spirits into the bowl of the aerator before checking to make sure the previously cleaned valve is still working correctly. If not checked, you’re left with a measured spirit in the bowl and stuck valve that won’t aerate and release the liquid. Sure, the spirit can be poured out of the aerator bowl into a glass, but then what’s the point in having the aerator?
The Vinturi Spirit Aerator video suggests the measuring guides on the gadget are useful for both straight and mixed drinks. However packaging instructions (mentioned above) already indicate that the enhanced effect of aerated spirit is diminished once ice begins to melt in a drink. This means measuring out spirits through the aerator for use in mixed drinks stirred with ice or those served over ice is pointless for enhancing flavor. That tells me this product works best for spirits served neat rather than cocktails.
Since Vinturi Spirit sent me a free sample of this product, I was not out any money for product or shipping. After using the product for a couple of months, it too has found its way to the novelty gadget cabinet.
If you or someone on your gift list prefers spirits served neat and love gadgets, this might be a product of interest. The Vinturi Spirit Aerator has a suggested retail price of $39.99 and includes the no-drip aerator stand.
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Cheri Loughlin is the Omaha writer and photographer behind www.intoxicologist.net and author of Cocktails with a Tryst: An Affair with Mixology and Seduction. You can email Cheri with comments and questions at email@example.com.