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AaronW

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"Clef Du Vin" Wine Aging Device, Truth or Travesty?

by AaronW » Fri Oct 13, 2006 4:46 am

Hey forumites,

Check out this site and tell me, are there any takers? Is this for real or just some kind of a scam? Any comprehensive scientific explanations?



http://www.iwawine.com/orstore/showitem ... =WP156-002
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Peter May

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Re: "Clef Du Vin" Wine Aging Device, Truth or Travesty?

by Peter May » Fri Oct 13, 2006 8:31 am

It's bunk

The suppliers have given no scientific evidence for it working. A cynic may suppose that is because they cannot.
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Re: "Clef Du Vin" Wine Aging Device, Truth or Travesty?

by AaronW » Sat Oct 14, 2006 2:33 am

Peter May wrote:It's bunk

The suppliers have given no scientific evidence for it working. A cynic may suppose that is because they cannot.


How in the world can they make their claims then? This is an absolute TRAVESTY!! Better -Business-Bureau-Complaint type stuff! It's making me crazier than I already am! Anyone know a good wine knowledgeable "shrink" who could help me out here? There's GOT to be some kind of scientific report/research or something somewhere to support this stuff. CALLING ALL FORUMITES OF FORUMVILLE PLEASE HELP, NEED MORE FACTS, MUST POSTPONE SUICIDAL THOUGHTS NOW!!!
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Bob Ross

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Re: "Clef Du Vin" Wine Aging Device, Truth or Travesty?

by Bob Ross » Sat Oct 14, 2006 2:41 am

Here's Jancis Robinson's take from the Purple Pages on the device from earlier this year. Her article was enough to dissuade any impulsive thoughts of actually buying one and trying it. Maybe this piece will give you peace. :)

Regards, Bob

I recently had a chance to try out what seems to be latest gadget designed to add years to a wine’s development in seconds.

The Clef du Vin is a little bit of metal which, if immersed in a wine for x seconds, is supposed to make the wine taste x years older. Nowhere on the user guide in five languages which comes with the gadget is there any explanation of the theory behind this, but from what I can make out from http://www.clef-du-vin.com the idea is that this special, unspecified alloy has been designed, by a team of Frenchmen including oenologist-chemist Laurent Zanon and sommelier Franck Thomas to accelerate oxidation.

There are many caveats, including the sensible one about warning that many wines are not designed to age anyway. We are also warned that the Clef du Vin ‘ does not age the wine. There are many more things happening during the natural ageing of a wine that the Clef du Vin does not claim to reproduce (there are more than 100 components known in wine, which are related to wine aging). The Clef du Vin also acts on the aromatic components: the esters, ketones, aldehydes and on the tannins. The aromatic components are “protected”, “inhibited” by sulphured components (atoms of sulphur “S”), very sensible to oxidation. The Clef du Vin acts in a similar way on the aliphatic chains by modifying the simple connections of carbon, sulphur and hydrogen.

’Three years of research went into the creation of the Clef du Vin alloy. Then seven years were spent validating the right calibration of one second to one year. The inventors started by buying a batch of bottles. Then professional sommeliers met together every year organising blind tastings (duo-trios, triangles…). The objective was to compare the actual results with the Clef du Vin’s predictions. More than 95% of the time, the Clef du Vin proved to be correct!!!

Patents were applied for from 2000.’

I thought a bottle of Luis Pato, Vinha Pan 1995 Bairrada would be a particularly suitable candidate as here is definitively a wine designed to be aged, and one that can often taste pretty austere in youth. But while the wine is clearly very classic, with notable tannins and acidity in the Pato mould, I’m afraid I couldn’t discern much difference between a glass of it with zero Clef du Vin immersion, one with five seconds and one with 10 seconds – even employing all the young wine tasting techniques outlined in your turn recently.

I tried it with a new super-juicy but quite substantial Australian red Gotham Shiraz 2004 Langhorne Creek which I don’t think is meant to fall apart after a year by any means. Again, just not much change.

I then suddenly realised that this tool would almost certainly have been tested of French wines. Perhaps my mistake was venturing so far afield! I thought of the most quintessentially obdurate French wine I could easily lay my hands on for experimental purposes. (Sorry, but I was not about to crack open a case of infant first growth on the basis of its performance so far.) Ch Potensac 2001 Haut Médoc of course, the Las Cases stablemate at a relatively embryonic stage. I thought I’d go the whole hog and treat it to 10 seconds and compared this supposedly 10 years’ worth of oxidation glass with one poured straight from the bottle. Surely this if anything would illustrate what the gizmo is designed for?

Well, perhaps the nose of the ‘aged’ sample was a little less aggressive than the young wine – though no more complex, I would argue. And I tried desperately to gauge the effect of the tannins in the two examples. They should have been much less noticeable in the ‘older’ glass, but honestly, I couldn’t see that much difference.

I’m afraid I can’t see why anyone should part with nearly $100 or £70, the price admittedly including a very fancy box, for this little bit of metal.
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Re: "Clef Du Vin" Wine Aging Device, Truth or Travesty?

by AaronW » Sat Oct 14, 2006 2:50 am

[quote="Bob Ross"]Here's Jancis Robinson's take from the Purple Pages on the device from earlier this year. Her article was enough to dissuade any impulsive thoughts of actually buying one and trying it. Maybe this piece will give you peace. :)

Regards, Bob

Awesome Bob, thank you so much!
I just loosed the noose from my neck.
Just the info I was looking for.

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