vSpin® Active Decanting Sytem - Innovative product or wine gadget?
"vSpin® creates a gentle, silent vortex which greatly increases the surface area of the wine exposed to air, accelerating the aeration process." This is the information from the home page of the vSpin® decanting system web site. That in and of itself isn't a bold claim to make, but the manufacturer goes on to say you will have enhanced aromas, a richer bouquet and mellowed tannin by using this product. I stumbled across this decanting system while perusing the internet one day and I reached out to these folks for more information. A couple of weeks later I had my own model to try, and here's what I discovered...
Your first thought might be, "I've seen this before" (or a product similar to this). While there are other automatic decanting systems that were first to market, the vSpin® has more features, better construction and....oh yeah, it's wireless! So what's in the box?
In the box is the black base with LED read out display, a charging cord that allows you to charge from a standard 110v outlet or USB style (think iPhone) charger. There's a little red bag to keep the charger in, which is great for those of us to have a drawer of cords that we don't know what to do with! Next you'll find a round container with two white magnets. You only need one, but they send you a spare too (great customer service). You also have a funky metal pole that allows you to reach to the bottom of the decanter to remove the magnet. What else is there......? Oh yeah! The decanter. But this isn't just your ordinary wine decanter. This is a German crystal decanter made by Spiegelau. While simple looking, it's quite elegant and it allows the wine to be the star of the show.
After removing everything from the box, I quickly scanned the owner's manual to see how long I had to charge this system. Well, it seems that I can charge it for repeated uses or me, being very impatient, plugged it in to use for the first time. There are different settings on the control panel for the rotation speed and spinning time of up to 5 minutes. The manufacturer, with help of their on-staff Sommelier, have even published their own "Spindex", which is a recommended time and speed chart for different wine varietals and ages. But again, I just wanted to see this product in action and wanted to take pictures for the blog and Instagram, so I set it for top speed and 5 minutes after pouring in most of the first bottle that I had in the kitchen. I kept a small sample of the wine in the bottle to taste it with and without the vSpin® decanting.
I was completely mesmerized by the action of the decanting system. While I knew that alone wouldn't validate it's claims and use, it was really enjoyable to watch in person, similar to sitting around a campfire, gazing at the smoke and flames. The first wine I chose was very young, only in the bottle for about a year. To my dismay, the wine was corked, which was confirmed by the sample left in the bottle, so it was back to the drawing board with another wine. Wine #2 was a Napa Valley Cabernet Sauvignon blend, about 3 years old and relatively young by wine standards. Five minutes in the decanting system and I compared it to the sample that I again left in the bottle. What I found from the bottle sample versus vSpin® tasting was indeed mellowed tannin and richer flavors. The bouquet was strong and comparable from both the decanting system and in the glass, but I have a tendency to vigorously swirl my wine throughout the drinking process and not just during the first sip. (It's a habit I'm trying to break because I'm sure it's annoying for those who drink wine with me).
In short, what you have here is a beautiful, well-constructed and innovative product that can indeed open up your wine and improve the overall drinking experience. I personally feel that this decanting system will be more advantageous for older wines over young ones, although they both can benefit to some degree. The vSpin® is exceptionally beneficial to those hosting wine parties where multiple bottles are being served simultaneously. This product makes great conversation and would pair well with wineries, restaurants and wine enthusiasts. Would I recommend this or is it just another wine gadget? I would wholeheartedly recommend the vSpin® Active Decanting System. With this system in your home or business, you could thin out your current decanter inventory!
Author: Jeff Lawson, Drink The Bottles wine blog