My first experience with the Artificial Wine Breather (AWB) was in the Chateau St. Jean tasting room in Napa Valley. The guy behind the bar asked if I’d like to see it in action and the effects were obvious. I forgot about the AWB for a while, then my thoughtful sister gave me my very own AWB, made by Vinturi, for Christmas. Wine Spectator had named it a #1 Christmas gift for winelovers.
I decided to test it out on a few older wines as well as a few wines that typically need breathing, including a 2003 “Elegia” Primitivo di Manduria Riserva and a 2006 “Augustale Murgia” Uva di Troia. In short, as far as practically goes, two thumbs up.
The great thing about the AWB is that it works. Instead of waiting 30-40 minutes for a wine to open, I can drink it immediately. In today’s high-powered, no bullshit society, that’s what we need, isn’t it? I don’t have 30-40 minutes to breathe, so why should my wine?
Joking aside, it’s really fun to compare two glasses of wine and guess which has been run through the AWB. Most wines, though not all, are unwound, more aromatic, more flavorful, and have smoother textures.
I call the experience “artificial” because, at the end of the day, it feels strange to decant a wine and then pour it through this funny looking tube. The effects are excellent, but the process is strangely mechanical. So, straight up, if you don’t have time to decant your wine, the AWB is awesome. If you want to have some fun and compare tight and unwound wines, the AWB is killer. But maybe you should chill out?