Friday, November 20, 2009

Vineyard Fresh

Rating: Simple idea well executed to terrific results. An essential tool in every wine drinker's junk drawer. Too bad more restaurants don't use it.



The rest of the story...
Got leftovers?

You know the scene: It's Tuesday night. The kids are in bed. Take out is sitting on the kitchen counter and you're craving a good glass of wine.  But it's late, you're tired, and you don't want to waste half a bottle.

So, what do you do?  Whatever you do, there's a down side - one involving a headache or one involving a nice bottle of wine skunked.  That's where Vineyard Fresh comes into play.

Unlike other vacuum-based wine preservation methods, Vineyard Fresh is a simple delivery device that squirts a layer of Argon gas into the wine bottle to protect the surface area of the wine from interacting with oxygen.  Argon?  What is this, Star Trek?

Argon is an inert gas naturally present in the air we breathe.  It is non-metallic, colorless, odorless, tasteless and nontoxic.  Argon is heavier than oxygen and lighter than wine, so it displaces oxygen and creates a vapor barrier between the wine and the oxygen, preventing oxidation from spoiling the wine.  And because of the Argon atom's full outer shell, it's resistant to bonding with other elements.

Pretty cool, huh?  But does it work?

Turns out it does.  And pretty well, too.  According to their website, Vineyard Fresh claims that it will "keep wine fresh for days, weeks, and even months.", though it's unlikely that you'll keep your leftovers around that long.

We gave it a try and found it to be very effective in not only preserving opened wine, but in some cases stopping the wine at a particular moment.  As a case in point, we opened an expressive Pinot Noir in the VinO'Clock test cellar, gave it time to breathe, poured a glass, and then sealed it back up again with Vineyard Fresh.  Normally, I'd expect that revisiting the bottle two days later would prove disappointing.  Not so.  It was as though the wine's "moment" was frozen.

Now, this might sound like a novelty of sorts, but this product changes the way you drink wine.  And the above Tuesday night scenario is just one way.  Another nifty benefit is that you can open multiple bottles in one evening (think a white before dinner, a red with, a dessert wine after) without committing your liver to damnation, feeling glutinous, or risking spoilage.  That's pretty cool.

Vineyard Fresh is available at bunches of retailers and online.  We paid $9.99 for a single canister at a retailer which preserves 50-ish bottles.  Doing the math, that's pennies per bottle preserved and one of the best investments a wine lover can make - in their wine and their liver.

FULL DISCLOSURE: Gary Gottfried, all around good guy and owner of Vineyard Fresh is a long-time friend of VinO'Clock.