While I’m no expert on the matter nor do I claim to be, I’m no stranger to wine. I’ve had wines from all around the world. I live in California where, arguably, the best wines are from; so when a product promises a new or better wine experience, I tend to be skeptical. With that, let’s start and go over the key components of Fresko‘s new product, the 3-in-1 wine companion Vinotok.
- Simple to use foil cutter
- Easily open a cork sealed bottles using the electric cork remover
- A battery-powered decanter adds air to your wine giving it a pleasant character and smoothing over any rough edges allegedly in just 30 seconds
- An attachable “aerator/pourer” allows you to pour your wine “perfectly” adding to the presentation and ritual that is pouring a bottle of wine.
- A vacuum wine stopper removes air from the bottle and seals it with a silicone stopper preserving the flavor of the wine for “weeks”
Let’s talk about these features for a moment. First off, it’s a rather nice-looking foil cutter. I don’t know if it is also designed to cut wax seals, I could not find any information on the matter. It also has an automatic cork remover. This was a surprisingly pleasing addition to the function of the Vinotok. You might think this is a simple gadget but for people with arthritis such as myself, an electric cork remover is a lifesaver. I happen to own two automatic cork removers: one for wine, and one for sparkling wines and champagne. So that gets a big thumbs up from me.
Next is the “decanter” which is a misnomer as a decanter is a receiving and serving vessel. The Vinotok employs a battery-powered aerator. I aerate my wines by hand which is a style of pouring, and the distance from the bottle to the decanter has both the perfect amount of fanfare and function for me. I simply do a long drawing pour and then let the wine rest for a while. This is a bit of work and can take some skill to learn to do without spilling, so an attachable aerator is a nice addition to any wine collection.
As for the battery-operated part, Fresko claims that the Vinotok’s decanter can aerate wine in as little as 30 seconds. Decanting is a calculated process that depends predominantly on the age, type, and character of the wine. You wouldn’t decant a mature mellow red wine for more than 30 minutes or you may risk losing some of the more subtle notes in the wine, While a young red will be a bit tannic right out of the bottle and may need an hour or two to mellow. Similarly, white wines may be a bit more tart, so a very short decanting period is fine. In short, you cannot slap a 30-second timer on wine and call it good to go. It’s a process, and each wine will decant differently.
I have little to say about the aerator pourer. It’s a funnel that gives you a smooth pouring edge. For the Vinotok vacuum stopper system, there are a few things I like and don’t like about this. It’s always nice to be able to reseal a bottle for a bit, but the claim that it can keep the wine fresh for seven days let alone “weeks” is something I take exception to. You have forced air into the wine bottle with the decanter which will start the oxidization of the wine. After that, no amount of gas removal is going to make a bottle of wine last for more than a few days at best. However, the stopper employs has a timer on it and I love that idea. Knowing how long a bottle had been open can give you all manner of insight into what you serve the wine with or when it may be time to turn it into a nice glaze.
As with most of these wine gadgets, I don’t see a need for them. I like a few of the Vinotok features and the price isn’t bad at all as a 3-in-1 wine companion, with the early bird pledge starting at $39. It charges via USB which I like. While it may make a nice gift, but as a wine geek, I don’t believe it will elevate your drinking experience. There is a “reason why wine tends to taste better when served at a restaurant by a trained sommelier,” and that comes with experience and quality.
While my personal feeling about the Vinotok is not particularly positive, you cannot argue that people seem to like this. As of this writing, this little doodad has massively outsold its goal in Kickstarter, with 6 days to spare. I can’t tell if the popularity is due to particularly good marketing or people may just genuinely want it. At the end of the day, this gadget is just something for those who miss going to a physical restaurant and want to feel fancy while having a glass of wine at home.
YouTube: Vinotok – The Most Affordable 3-In-1 Wine Opener+Decanter+Preserve.