kelly magyarics

washington, d.c.-based wine, spirits, travel & lifestyle writer / wine educator


The dimple in the glass just bugged me

I just finished writing an article that tested and analyzed wine aerators. Although people tend to use "decant" and "aerate" interchangeably, decanting actually refers to the process of removing sediment from red wines (mostly older bottles, but not always). Tannin from grapes’ skins, stems and seeds, as well as from any oak used in fermentation or ageing, drops out over time as fine, dark particles, rendering a wine smoother and mellower. Aerating, on the contrary, opens up young wines that feel too tannic, and whose aromas and flavors are either harsh or sharp, or imperceptible. I tested 6 aerators, and I'll post when the article is published.

This past weekend, at the DC Wine and Food Festival, I came across a few other tools that promised to "open up" wines and make them more mellow, flavorful and approachable. One of them was actually not an aerator, per se, but a glass whose design allows for aeration.

The Taste of Purple glass has a "dimple", which catches the wine as you swirl it around the glass, adding oxygen. (The glass basically looks as if you pressed your thumb into it when it was still hot and malleable.)

I did a before and after aroma test with the Taste of Purple, and the aroma was definitely more apparent after the wine was swirled around the dimpled glass. The rep then asked me what I thought about the product. From a usability standpoint, it couldn't have been easier--no extra tool to deal with, and the wine would (theoretically) get better as you sipped and swirled.

However, from an aesthetic standpoint, the dimple bugged me. Maybe it was the asymmetry of it all, or the fact that it appeared that my glass was deformed. But it bothered me to drink out of it, and I personally don't think it would be an attractive option for entertaining. (At $40 a pop, I can't see replacing my current glassware...) The company also offers a pair of stemless dimpled glasses for $36, and a funky decanter for $129 (it look like a giant, odd-shaped wineglass. Kind of a neat conversation piece, but it didn't pour so nicely--wine dripped down the side, even though the rep was careful when he poured it.)

I think I'll stick with my Vinturi, and keep my glassware. But hey, different strokes for lovers.

For more information, visit Taste of Purple's website.