Monday, November 01, 2010

Chevalier Aerating Wine Glass Sponsored Review by Billy

From time to time we at The Wine Cask Blog receive wine related objects to review. Click here to see PB's double-blind review of the glass. This is one such object and a very unique one at that. The Chevalier Aerating Wine Glass is a beautiful full size wine glass with a unique, perforated bowl on a stem in the center of the main bowl. As you pour your wine into the small center bowl, the perforations allow the wine to cascade into the main bowl. The idea is that as the wine is split and fountains into the main bowl, its surface area increases thereby increasing its exposure to the air. Most reds and many white wines improve with exposure to air. This is called "breathing" the wine and is one reason why many wines are decanted prior to serving.

I decided to review the glass with a wine I've not tasted before: Penfold's Bin 28 2006 Kalimna Shiraz from Southern Australia. I selected this wine because I typically like Shiraz to breathe before drinking it and because I did not have any predispositions for or against this wine.

I performed a blind test by pouring a newly opened Shiraz into the Chevalier glass and then having my assistant pour this into a "regular" wine glass which I tasted next to another regular glass of the Shiraz that did not first go through the Chevalier. Here are the results:
Glass 1:
Nose: raisin, chocolate and earthy plum spice
Palate: smooth and round with plush tannins and a soft acid core.
Finish: long and even with dried sage, blackberry and more chocolate notes.

Glass 2:

Nose: tobacco, peppery spice and herbal tones
Palate: sharp acids followed by plush tannins for a warm core.
Finish: chocolate and blackberry on a medium long finish

Glass 1 was the Chevalier aerated wine and glass 2 was the wine poured straight from the bottle.

Overall: As this test shows the Chevalier wine glass works. It quickly opens up and softens the wine. This process would otherwise require decanting and/or an hour or so of breathing.

That said, there is one drawback to the glass. The glass is a bit thicker than a traditional crystal wine glass. The lip of the glass, especially, is thick and bulky. It doesn't feel great on my lips. However the time savings in getting a great, pre-breathed glass of hearty red makes up for either the un-elegance of a thicker glass or the bother of pouring it into another glass.

This would make an interesting and fun gift for the wine lover in your life and a conversation piece during the holidays.

Raise a glass!

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