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Saturday, March 27, 2010

Gadget Review: Centellino Areadivino Wine Aerator and Decanter


In today's wine-gadget review is going to revolve around the Centellino Areadivino Wine Aerator/Decanter. A device sent as a sample, a couple of weeks ago. I've been testing this aerator out for a week now, putting it through it paces.

I tested it against my favorite Riedel Cabernet-Decanter and all I can say is that the results were at best inconclusive. I really could not demonstrate if the Centellino was able to decant my wine any better than my current decanter or vice-versa. That said it was able deliver very similar results in a much shorter about of time than my standard decanter.

According to the website: The "Centellino" decants, oxidizes and provides the perfect quantity of wine for tasting 100ml. for red and white wine, 60ml. for Port style wine, and 35ml. for Brandy and distilled spirits.

Okay no disagreement here, the Centellino does pour a perfect 3-4 ounce pour into your glass and performs a double aeration which is the premise behind its claim to decant in moments, instead of hours.

How to use the Centellino: Simply fit the Centellino into the bottle [and snug it down into the bottle holding the wooden piece]. Then fill the glass amphora by tilting the bottle back towards the amphora [well]. During this procedure you will see the wine swirling around the sides of the amphora [designed this way] into the bowl, where it aerates the wine gently the first time.

Then pour from the amphora into your glass, where you'll see the wine glugging [gurgling sound of liquid] again as it pours from the amphora into the glass [pay close attention here, or you'll only be pouring non-aerated wine] and according to the website this how it "releases the full aromas and bouquet of the wine" which is the purpose of decanting. 

The Centellino Areadivino will also come with plug to keep left over wine sealed and preserved in the wine bottle for picking up where you left off. 

Pros: The Centellino Decanter/Aerator is relatively easy to use once you get the hang of it. I tested this product on several different types of wine and found that a majority of it claims are accurate. It does pour a very neat glass of wine. I like they it snug’s down nicely into any bottle size opening, so you don't have any fear [and I mean zero] that it may dislodge during pouring.

The Centellino appears to be very effective at softening tannins which of course resulted in more pleasant finish and pleasurable drinking experience. I even used it on some bargain wine samples I was sent and it appeared to remove any bitterness or bad after-taste sometimes associated with mediocre bulk wines. While traditional decanting is time consuming, cumbersome, and to some inconvenient the design of the Centellino seems to speed up this process with ease and convenience.

Cons: It's seems to be a little drippy [at the end of the pour tube], and if you're at all like me you hate to waste even one drip from a favorite bottle. Once you have poured the contents from the bowl [amphora] into your glass, you have to let it hang over the glass a little longer to get those last few drips of wine or risk losing that wine to the placemat or the floor.

It's also a little difficult to clean, you can pour warm water through it to rinse it out [I don't recommend soap] if you have hard water like I do, then those stains can form on the inside, because after it has been rinsed and sits drying you will have a few places the water can pool, no matter the angle. It being crystal, it's pretty delicate and potentially could easily break if not handled correctly [that said, I seen these in action at a few Trade Tastings and I didn't see any casualties].

Where to Purchase and Price: There are a number folks offering this product online and nearly everyone is selling it for the same price, so you might as well get it from Fiorino Italian Imports who's selling it a number of variations [gift boxed sets]. But if you just want the basic product, with out all the other "bell and whistles" it's selling for $59.99 each.

Full Disclosure: I received this product for review as a sample from Fiorino Italian Imports.

Other Voices: A. Meyers: I've had this wine decanter for 3 or 4 years now and it was a gift from my grandfather. I use this on almost every bottle and it brings out the flavors in the wine quite wonderfully. I will say that the wooden piece on the end (the side with the stopper that goes into the bottle) eventually fell apart and now I just have the rubber stopper at the bottom. It looks a bit tacky, but the decanter still works nicely. Additionally, this little guy is a bit of a pain to clean due to its odd shape. I usually drip some soap into it and run water around it for a while, shake it around, then run some more water around.

Like I mentioned above and in other posts about my recent visit to the Family Winemakers of California San Diego tasting a few weeks back, I saw a few wineries using this product and they seemed very content with its performance. One winery in particular, Frank Family Vineyards who make some great wine, said that using the Centellino for their tasting events was like, "putting their best foot forward" that folks is high praise.

My Recommendation: If you don't already have a decanter, this is a great one to have around the house. It's very easy to use and will be a great way to have better wine experience in the future. If you don't want to drink the whole bottle, you don't have to simply put the Centellinos little stopper back in place and it's designed to preserve your wine, until next time. I would only keep like this for a few days. This is also a great gift to give that wine-snob in your life that seems to already have everything. Until next time cheers everyone!

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