Wine Technology of the Future: Multi-Stream Wine Aerating Device

“Wine Technology of the Future” is a series on The Academic Wino that features new inventions and patents that attempt to make your wine experience easier and more enjoyable.  Previously on this series, we’ve introduced the “self aerating wine bottle”; the “corkscrew with integral intelligent thermometer”; and most recently the “wine dispensing and preservation device”.  Today’s invention is the “multi-stream wine aerating device” created by Skip A. Lei from Portland, Oregon.  The patent for this device was filed on April 14th, 2011 and the patent application was published on October 18th, 2012.

The “multi-stream wine aerating device” was invented to serve as a low-price wine aerator to allow wine to breathe prior to consuming.  Many wines, particularly many red wines, need to “breathe” prior to consumption.  By exposing the wine to air, it allows the wine to “open up” and show general aromatic and sensory balancing and improvement.  Depending upon the wine, this process can vary quite a bit in the length of time needed for proper breathing.   Younger red wines tend to require longer breathing time than older wines, as they typically have tighter tannins (i.e. a structural compound that affects the mouthfeel and other aspects of the sensory profile of the wine) and need more time to soften and mellow out.

Figure 1 from US Patent 20120261844

Figure 1 from US Patent 20120261844

As any wine lover knows, there are many gadgets out there to help speed along this breathing process.  Regardless of the device (i.e. decanters, the Vinturi aerator, etc), the ultimate goal and function of these inventions are to increase the surface area of the wine in order to increase and maximize the amount of wine surface area that is in contact with the air.  The more air contact a wine gets, the faster it can breathe, and the sooner it will be ready to drink.

The purpose of the “multi-stream aerating device” is really no different than all the other aerating and “breathing” devices in that it functions to increase the surface area of the wine in order to increase the wine-to-air ratio and allow the wine to breathe at a much faster rate than if it were just sitting in the bottle.  The difference between this device and all other aerating devices is in the way it achieves this goal.

The inventor describes the device as either being a stopper (think: cork-like), a screwed on device, or fitting onto the edge of a pour spout such as with bag-in-box wines.  Within the device, at least 3 tubes are embedded inside the stopper to allow wine to pass through multiple channels in a smooth fashion, and not by the “Venturi effect”.

Figure 2 from US Patent 20120261844

Figure 2 from US Patent 20120261844

As an aside: the “Venturi effect” functions to pull a fluid from a larger tunnel through a smaller tunnel, resulting in a vortex-like motion and significant increase in fluid speed through the tunnels.  Some have found that this harsh movement on wine damaging some of the more delicate flavors and aroma on the wine.

By putting the device in/on the bottle of wine and then pouring the wine into your glass as if you were pouring the wine from the bottle without the device, the wine will split into 3 (or more) streams thereby increasing the surface area of the wine in order to maximize air contact and breathability.  Each of the tunnels is a uniform diameter in order to avoid the “Venturi effect”.  To get a visual of what this actually looks like, check out the accompanying figures throughout this short post!

Figure 3 from US Patent 20120261844 - Attachment for Bag-in-Box

Figure 3 from US Patent 20120261844 – Attachment for Bag-in-Box

In summary, this device should  increase the wine-to-air ratio and move the wine through the tunnels in a gentle fashion such that the wine is able to “breathe” and open up much faster than if it were just sitting in the bottle.  The gentle nature of the wine flowing through the tunnels, as opposed to being “pulled” through the tunnel in the so called “Venturi effect” protects the wine from the potentially damaging effect of the “raging river Venturi effect” on the delicate aromatics of the wine.

What do you all think of this aerator?  Would you use this aerator instead of your current aerator (if you have one)?  What would you name the device?  Would you buy this device?

Please feel free to leave your comments!

Source: US Patent 20120261844 http://www.freepatentsonline.com/y2012/0261844.html

7 comments for “Wine Technology of the Future: Multi-Stream Wine Aerating Device

  1. WineKnurd
    December 22, 2012 at 11:01 pm

    Hey Becca, let me interject a quick science lesson here for those non-scientifically inclined readers. The diffusion of a gas into / out of a liquid occurs at the gas-liquid interface. In a wine bottle, the interface is roughly equal to the surface area of a dime, as the gas-liquid interface is that small amount in the neck of the bottle (ullage). It is no wonder why it takes an eternity for an uncorked bottle to open up on its own. Swirling in your glass, decanting, venturi-ing; they all increase the amount of wine that is exposed to air, which increases the surface area of the air-wine interface.

    I have a funnel that works on this same principle, you pour the wine in the top and instead of flowing out a single channel, it is split out into 4 channels. These are actually on the side of the funnel stem, which directs the streams onto the side of the decanter wall where they flatten out, even further increasing the surface area exposed to wine. This funnel is great but must be used with a decanter; the benefit I see of the device you posted about is that no decanter is required, so each glass you pour is potentially aerated.

  2. Richard Brown Photo (@richphoto)
    December 31, 2013 at 1:12 pm

    I use a Vinturi and have used many other aerators in the past, what is nice here is that you don’t have to use a separate device and I see a huge commercial use for this in restaurants and wine bars due to that, no one has time to clean and carry around a Vinturi in this situation plus the elegant pour it provides and looks like it would help prevent spills at the table. Simple, elegant and effective.

  3. Sandy
    January 1, 2014 at 9:45 am

    This is a brilliant idea. I can’t wait to purchase and start using. I have used the old “wine clip” in the past but this concept seems to be more practical. Every wine distributor should be on this as soon as it is available. Every restaurant and bar should take advantage of this new invention in making the wine they serve the best that it can be.

  4. Digby B.
    January 2, 2014 at 11:51 am

    The beauty here is not only in the simple design, and ease of use, but also because this new device is table ready, no fiddling about with bigger contraptions such as the Vinturi. It looks really easy to use and makes the pour look stylish and fun. Can’t wait to try this product.

  5. gia
    January 2, 2014 at 2:03 pm

    What a great idea… love the size/portability aspect of this. Fun to take to a dinner party. Looks both fun and functional – can’t wait to see it on the shelves.

  6. jmoran
    January 2, 2014 at 5:42 pm

    This sounds like an elegant and simple way to aerate wine without the mess and fuss of a separate decanter, and I can imagine it being a lovely pour. nice idea!

  7. pspierson
    January 19, 2014 at 5:37 pm

    I use a bottle top aerator now, which is OK, but I never liked how the wine splashes and “glugs” out. From the picture on this patent, it looks like the pour will be really cool looking on this — hope it makes it to market so I can try it!

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