“Soir” means “evening” in French, and a “Soiree” is one way to describe a chic party at a late hour. Soiree is also the name of a clever gadget that helps wine taste better in seconds! I discovered this product at the 2nd Annual New York Wine Expo at the Javits Center in March, and I was captivated by it. Even if it seems impossible, it isn’t magic – there is real theory behind it!
Red wines need oxygen to “breathe” and let the character of the wine, develop. If you have ever swirled wine in your glass, or left a glass of wine out for about 20 minutes and re-tasted it, you have experienced what oxygen can do to enhance wine. When you add oxygen to wine, it helps it show it’s age (one time when getting older is usually a good thing). The wine you get in a bottle is actually in “hibernation” until it is opened. The essences of that wine will remain “closed” until oxygen has the chance to move through the molecules. With this process, the wine “opens up” and becomes alive again. An aerated wine will release aromas, taste smoother, and have more of the balance that was intended, than one poured straight from the bottle.
The Soirée aerates the wine as you pour it through the bottle into the glass to add that much-needed oxygen. It is essentially a round, glass orb with interior dimples that force the wine to flow over it, aerating it as it is poured. There is a rubber stopper at one end and the other is open. Simply place the stopper end into your open bottle of wine, turn it completed upside down, and watch the wine flow through the bottle and all around the Soirée’s interior dimples, directly into your glass. It is pretty to look at and convenient to pour (less dripping from the bottle, too), but what really does is help infuse wine with oxygen. True aficionados decant wines to remove sediment and also aerate the wine before drinking it, but not every wine needs this kind of treatment. And, if you pour an entire bottle of wine into a decanter through an aerating funnel, it’s not easy to save if you don’t want to finish the entire thing. The Soirée lets you pour as little or as much wine as you wish, the rest stays in the bottle where it can be easily re-sealed for later use. However, if you want to decant an entire bottle with the Soirée’s, you can. The Soirée also comes with an extra. alternative gasket that fits screw tops and non-standard sized bottles.
All this sounds wonderful, but will it really turn a cheap wine into a robust red? I was prepared to say “no way” when I first tried it at the wine expo, but after experiencing a taste taste, I began to think it might be a wine’s new best friend. I had to find out for myself with my own test. I put the Soirée on the top of a modestly-priced old vine Zinfandel (not 2-buck-chuck by any means, but under $15.00). I tried it without the Soirée treatment first. It was ok, but not great. Then I added the Soirée and poured it again. This time, the same wine, less than a minute later, was smoother and more fragrant. Every time, the results were the same!
Those who love good wine will find that the $25.oo investment will allow them to economize a bit, and still have a nice wine experience, and if budget is no object, the Soirée just helps to make a good wine, even better. I also like the Soirée for it’s presentation benefits. It’s sure to impress when you pour wine with the Soirée.
You change water into wine with Soiree, and you can’t turn a $5.00 bottle of bad wine into a fine Bordeaux, but you can enhance any wine with the Soiree. It’s a great gadget that makes life just a little bit nicer and more fun!