Wine snobs are incredibly tiresome people, especially once you discover that while there are taste differences in types of wine, anybody talking about fruity notes of castor oil is full of crap. No, seriously. There have been scientific studies; people droning on about the notes of wine have literally no idea what they’re talking about and really are just being pretentious. That said, though, there is a difference between young and old wine, and Clef Du Vin supposedly allows you to taste the difference.
No Wine Before Its Time
Essentially, the claim is this; you dip the tool, which comes in a handy pocket size, into the wine and take a tasting sample. The metal of the tool instantly ages the wine, giving you a sense of what it’ll taste like when it reaches full maturity. Any shtick about notes is up to you.
The Science (?) Involved
Clef Du Vin is actually pretty controversial in the wine community, which usually ranks controversy over which region to be snobbiest about. The tool supposedly works by speeding up oxidation of the wine and thus tell you what it’ll taste like when you let it breathe, or run it through a blender. Each second it touches the wine is one year in real terms. The main controversy is, well, what the hell is this thing actually made of, that it speeds up oxidation of wine? Keep in mind you know oxidation better as, say, rust, so this is a serious question.
Wine And Dine
One thing that isn’t argued is that it does change the taste of the wine, and generally for the better. But it would be nice to know the science beyond “an alloy,” especially since the claim is that there’s nothing trasmitted into the wine from the tool. But until then, if you’re a big wine fan, $60 will get you the key to better wine.