Sep 242015
 

iSommelier from iFavineA few weeks ago we were contacted by iFavine about a new wine decanter called the iSommelier that might revolutionize wine service in restaurants.  We were intrigued.  We were also pretty darn skeptical.  It seems that every few years somebody has a “great new technology” that is going to change the way we serve wine.  And yet…When we met the international team of people who are working on this project, we got more interested.  In the first meeting we met people from China, Holland, and France.  And they seemed remarkably sane and reasonable.  In fact, we really liked the Ifavine team. So we set up a tasting with a group of our local Master Sommeliers and Masters of Wine to see this thing in action. It’s slick—even glamorous—with delicate blue lights and lots of glossy surfaces.  It even comes with a remote control.  And when we started using it to taste some wines, the results were pretty darn clear.  In the words of one of the Master Sommeliers, the thing obviously does what it says it does: it adds oxygen into the wine. We tried it on four different wines, including an Austrian Riesling, a California Chardonnay, a Barolo, and top Napa Valley Cabernet.  In each case the wines structure was softened by the iSommelier.  In most cases the delicate aromatics of the wine seemed less obvious after “decanting” with the iSommelier, and the wine was a bit simpler but with more direct fruit and more approachable tannins and acidity.  Just what you’d expect from a wine that had been allowed to breathe for an hour before serving.  Except that it had happened in something under one minute with the iSommelier.  And we all agreed that for many wine drinkers in the USA, this was a very attractive option.

Don’t be surprised if you start seeing these in top steakhouses around the country.  If you do, check one out for yourself on a nice bottle of young cabernet.

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