Taste of Purple is a glass and stemware company out of New Jersey whose whole thing is about aerating your wine and opening it up to have a better wine experience. They found my blog on the interwebs and contacted me to see if I wanted to give their stuff a try. I told them no. Are you kidding me? Of course I said yes!
I have here their Vino2, a very large glass with a notch on the side. What this notch, or indent, does is create a splash when you swirl, giving more contact with the air and opening your wine up more effectively in minutes rather than having it sit in a decanter for an hour. But I'll be the judge of that (he said full of himself).
I wanted something with guts for this test. It had to be a big boy and the first thing I thought of was Napa. So I rummaged through my wine fridge and found the 90+ Cellars Lot 95 Super Cuvée.
90+ Cellars is a Boston based company that hunts down wines that have gotten a rating of 90 points or more, and they go and negotiate a price to buy it in bulk. Then they repackage it as their own and sell it for much cheaper than the source's label. For example, their Lot 53 Cabernet Sauvignon from Mendoza, Argentina is a $25 wine that you can get under the 90+ label for $10. They'll never tell you who made the wine, but I think everybody is cool with that.
The Lot 95 Super Cuvée 2012 is a Napa Valley blend of 83.3% Merlot, 16.4% Cabernet Sauvignon and 12.3% Cabernet Franc. 90+ claims that the producer is a small one that has a long waiting list to obtain their wines, and they were lucky to be offered a selection of barrels from them. There were only 550 cases made of this wine. The source price is $75 yet 90+ sells it for $30. Not a bad deal, right?
Alright, so I've got one of my glasses that I usually use and the Vino2 glass. I pour some wine into each one and go about my business...
In the normal glass it's quite obvious that it needs a breather. I guess I chose a good wine then! So I do some swirling. Ethanol at this point is the focal point of the nose (14.5% abv), but beyond that there's cassis and tobacco. On the Vino2 I got absolutely nothing at first, probably because the glass is so big. I mean, the opening covers from my nostrils all the way up to the very top of my forehead. But as soon as I started swirling that changed. It livened right up with intense vanilla, dark chocolate, blackberries and cherries. The Cabernet Franc gives a little nod with beach sand. So far the Vino2 has impressed.
Let's see how it does on the flavor. In the normal glass the wine is still tight with a big tannic finish. I do some more intense swirling. Nice and juicy and strong, but still tight and still with saliva slaying tannin. Mocha, pepper and dark cherries. The wine in the Vino2 glass is super juicy, better structured, and smooth and lush. Crazy smooth and lush. The characteristics of that Merlot shines much brighter with ripe dark fruit and cinnamon, and the mocha has turned to milk chocolate. The tannin is still big but much more tame, and ripe juicy plum lingers on the finish where it didn't from the other glass.
Alright, so this wine is awesome in whatever glass you use. Absolutely killer. But it's a wine that you should decant, no question. That Vino2 got the wine to the point where it SHOULD be consumed to be more appreciated so quick that it's ridiculous, without any time spent decanting. No, I'm being completely serious. I'm not pushing this product like the Sham-Wow guy. If it didn't work I would have contacted Taste of Purple and told them I wouldn't publish it out of courtesy to them. That's just how I roll.
I think the Vino2 is a must for those that love their big, bold reds but don't have the time to decant. I'll have to try it out with some whites too to see what happens!