Anyone with a swimming pool or a picnic at the beach knows that glassware is a bad idea. Break your wine glass and you might cut someone else's foot. One solution is the Govino wine glass (above), made of shatterproof pharmaceutical grade plastic.
Govino, which retail around $5 each, are made in Taiwan and are distributed in Canada by B & M Marketing (Canada) Ltd., the Toronto firm (905-855-8208) that introduced in 2007 the marvellous breathable wine glass made by Germany's Eisch Glasskultur. Those exceptional glasses, now widely available in stores selling stemware, soften the tannic edge of young red wines.
The function of Govino is simpler. It is a well-designed unbreakable glass designed for the beach or the picnic. It is the first plastic wine glass that I have used which seems as neutral as one made with real glass. It does not alter the aroma or flavour of the wines, unlike the cheap disposable party plastic. This is a reusable vessel that will serve you for years, as long as you do not wash it in the home dishwasher, where sometimes excessive temperatures may alter its shape slightly.
Anyone serving a young red wine knows that the wines are better after being decanted; the exposure of the wine to air softens the textures and opens the aromas and flavours. That's what the Eisch stemware does for a wine.
Not everyone has Eisch stemware or a decanter or wants to be bothered with decanting. Recently, I have tasted wines that had been served after being poured through alternatives to the decanter. They all do the job very well.
Pictured above is an attractive Italian-made product called Centellino areadivino. It effectively decants wine a pour at a time. Simply tipping the bottle to fill the amphora provides the aeration that opens the aromas and flavours of the wine. Centellino is distributed in British Columbia by GeaWineWorks and the contact is Angelene Janusonis (604-531-7506). The company's website, http://www.geawineworks.com/
, has additional information. Expect to see Centellino in stores that sell good wine accessories.
Another alternative is a device called the Vinturi Wine Aerator, also sold in wine accessory stores. I saw one recently in a VQA store. This is a hand-held device that one holds above the wine glass while pouring the wine through it. The wine swirls through the device and this aeration opens the flavours and aromas.
A third device is a Danish-made product called the Wine Finer (see the photo at the upper right), which is distributed in British Columbia by Nuance Finer Imports in Summerland (contact Mike or Debbie Bevan, 250-494-52070. Their website is www.wineaerator.ca
and it lists retailers.
The elegant Wine Finer slips into the wine bottle, doubling as a pour spout. The wine also swirls through it, picking up the air needed to soften and open the wine. The device also includes a filter that strains out sediments.
I have experienced all three in action. Each one sells for around $50 (give or take $10) and each one delivers what it promises. Young red wines clearly taste better.
Your choice will depend on how you feel about the aesthetics of each of these gadgets.