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Aveine Smart Aerator and Cabernet Sauvignon

Review: Aveine Smart Aerator

Aveine Smart Aerator $449
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We were excited to receive the Aveine wine aerator, which boldly calls itself the first “Smart Wine Aerator”. 

It’s an impressively sleek looking product. And it should be, given its hefty $449 price tag. Is it worth it? I think that depends on the wines you’ll be decanting.

The value proposition of the Aveine is that it uses micro-oxygenation to aerate wine within seconds that would otherwise take hours in a traditional decanter. We put it to the test with a bottle of Croma Vera Cab.

How it Works

You place the Aveine over the neck of the wine bottle. As you pour the wine,  the Aveine adds ambient air directly to the flow of wine. You can set the Aveine aeration level from 2 hours to 24 hours using a touch interface on the Aveine, or you can look up the wine in the Aveine app, downloadable to your smart phone, and it will recommend the level of aeration.

Aveine Smart Aerator Pouring Cabernet at 4 hour setting

Our Testing

I’ll admit, we were skeptical that the Aveine would perform much better than a traditional bubble-shaped aerator. But we love data and tech here at Croma Vera, so we put the Aveine to an initial test with a bottle of Croma Vera’s Cabernet Sauvignon (Paso Robles, CA 2018, retail $45). 

The Croma Vera 2018 Cab is not yet released, and it’s admittedly still young, but seemed like a good candidate for testing the capabilities of the Aveine.

No Aeration vs. Aveine @ 4-hour Aeration Setting

First, we set the Aveine at the 4-hour aeration setting and poured a glass. Then, we poured another glass directly from another bottle of the same wine with no aeration. We tasted these two glasses side by side. Detailed tasting notes for no aeration and 4-hour Aveine aeration appear below this article.

The Aveine with 4-hour aeration setting made a significant impact, increasing aroma intensity from medium(+) to pronounced, and exposing aromas of chocolate, leather, and increased black fruit not present in the non-aerated wine. The flavor intensity also increased from medium to medium(+) and we detected aromas of caramel, coffee, vanilla not discernable in the non-aerated wine. Interestingly, the finish increased from medium(+) to long, resulting in our quality conclusion changing from very good (non-aerated) to outstanding (aerated).

Aveine vs. Bubble Aerator

When we compared the Aveine @ 4-hour aeration to the bubble aerator, the Aveine’s results were also significant. With the bubble aerator, all we could detect was additional aromas of chocolate, black cherry over the non-aerated wine, a far less dramatic impact than the Aveine.

Pouring Cabernet Sauvignon from a bubble aerator.

8-Hour and 12-Hour Aveine Settings

We also compared the non-aerated wine with the Aveine using it’s 8-hour and 12-hour settings. Full tasting notes for these tests are included below, but in general, this level of aeration for our test bottle decreased the quality of the wine. Interestingly the 8-hour aeration setting somehow dramatically increased the perception of alcohol, and the 12-hour setting decreased the overall quality.

Conclusions

The Aveine worked impressively well in our test. The 4-hour aeration setting definitely improved the quality of the too-young Croma Vera Cabernet Sauvignon, in several unexpected ways. 

There were some minor usability issues that are worth noting. If you change the aeration setting directly on the Aveine (versus the app), your finger gets in the way of seeing the setting. If you use the app, the database of wines is still light, and so you’ll likely need to add the wine you’re tasting to their database, and the interface for doing this is a bit clunky.

Finally, if you pick the wrong aeration setting for your wine (e.g., 12 or 24 hours when it should be 4 hours), you’ll damage the wine. Of course, this would be true of a decanter as well. However, you have to plan well ahead and really mess up to over-aerate wine in a decanter, whereas you can do it pretty easily with the Aveine.

 All five pours of Cabernet Sauvignon at various levels of aeration.

Next Steps

Our initial test was on a relatively young Croma Vera Cabernet Sauvignon that clearly benefitted from the aeration. However, this is different from aerating an aged bottle that really needs aeration. Next we’ll test the Aveine on a 2014 Dunn Vineyards Cabernet Sauvignon (Napa Valley, CA, retail $125), which will definitely need aeration.

Tasting Notes

Wine: Croma Vera Cabernet Sauvignon, Paso Robles CA, 2018
Performed 12/19/2020 using the Wine and Spirits Education Trust’s (WSET) Structured Approach to Tasting (SAT).

Tasting #1: No aeration

  • Appearance: Clear, deep purple.

  • Nose:  Clean, medium(+) intensity with aromas of cedar, red cherry, red plum, green bell pepper, smoke. Youthful.

  • Palate: Dry, medium(+) acidity, high tannin, high alcohol, medium(+) body, medium flavor intensity.  Flavors of cedar, red cherry, red plum, blackberry, white pepper, coffee. Medium(+) finish.

  • Conclusions: Very good quality (Balance, Intensity, Complexity). 
Can drink now, but has potential for aging.


Tasting #2: Aeration with Aveine, 4-hour setting

Only changes from no aeration noted.

  • Nose: Intensity increased from medium(+) to pronounced. Detect additional aromas of chocolate, leather, and increased black fruit (blueberry, black cherry, black plum).

  • Palate: Flavor intensity increased from medium to medium(+). Detect aromas of caramel, coffee, vanilla. Finish increased from medium(+) to long.

  • Conclusions: Changed from very good to outstanding (addition of finish).


Tasting #3: Aeration with Aveine, 8-hour setting

Only changes from 4-hour setting noted. 

  • Nose: Intensity at medium(+). Did not detect new aromas from 4-hour setting.

  • Palate: Body decreased from medium(+) to medium. Strongly increased perception of alcohol (14.8%). 

  • Conclusion: Very good (Potential loss of balance).


Tasting #4: Aeration with Aveine, 12-hour setting

Only changes from 8-hour setting noted.

  • Nose: Intensity at medium. Did not detect new aromas from 4-hour setting.

  • Palate: Tannin decreased from high to medium(+). Finish decreased from long to medium.

  • Conclusion: Good (Loss of complexity, intensity, finish)


Tasting #5: Aeration with Bubble Aerator

Only changes from no aeration noted.

  • Nose: Detect additional aromas of chocolate, black cherry.


Tasting #6: Blind Tasting

Upon completion, we performed a blind tasting of all five wines to determine if I could tell them apart:

  • Wine 1: No aeration - Called correctly.

  • Wine 2: Bubble aerator - Called incorrectly as no aeration.

  • Wine 3: Aveine, 4-hour aeration - Called correctly.

  • Wine 4: Aveine, 12-hour aeration - Called incorrectly as 8-hour aeration.

  • Wine 5: Aveine,  8-hour aeration - Called incorrectly as 12-hour aeration.
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