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Wine Wednesday (belated): the Ravi Instant Wine Refresher

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My name is GadgetGirl. I am a wine blogger. What could make me happier than to receive a gift that is a wine gadget?

This year for Christmas, my often-mentioned and much-loved neighbours gave me a most intriguing gift: a Ravi Instant Wine Refresher, a wine gadget!

A Wine Gadget

A Wine Gadget

The Contraption on a Bottle

The Contraption on a Bottle

Confession: I never read instructions. Never. But, in this case, with wine on the line, I took the time to carefully read the enclosed pamphlet and practice putting the contraption together a few times. Although it looked complicated at first glance, it is really made up of two parts: a grey cartridge filled with freezable liquid and a plastic stopper to insert into the bottle. The kit also contained a small pump which you use to dry the cartridge before re-freezing, and a thermometer. After re-reading the instructions a few times, I popped the freezable cartridge into the freezer for later use.

The Kit

The Kit

Later came on Tuesday night. I was making myself a grilled cheese sandwich and decided that a Chardonnay was called for (in this case, a bottle of Au Bon Climat from the Lifford Wine Agency). Removing the frozen core from the freezer, I carefully fitted the two pieces together, making sure to align the inner valves as instructed. Placing the Ravi on the bottle, I kept my finger on the outer valve, also as instructed. I then cautiously tilted the bottle to no more than 45 degrees, as instructed, and partially lifted my thumb from the valve (you guessed it, as instructed). The wine flowed slowly into the glass.

Following Instructions

Following Instructions

[It is important to line up pieces to avoid spillage]

Finger on Valve Regulates Flow

Finger on Valve Regulates Flow

Pouring the Wine

Pouring the Wine

Taking the Wine's Temperature

Taking the Wine’s Temperature

In just a few moments, I was able to bring the temperature of my wine from 18 to 11 degrees. The key, I discovered, is how slowly you let the wine flow through the Ravi; the longer it takes, the colder the wine will get. I can see practice in my future!

Conclusion: I love gadgets and I love wine so of course I think this one is fun. However, I also think it can be useful. Unlike a frozen jacket which cools the bottle before it cools the wine, the Ravi goes right to the wine itself.

The trick is to keep it in your freezer at all time (it’s small and really doesn’t take up space, unlike an ice-cream maker) and remember to use it when your wine is just a little too warm. I am thinking of those summer evenings when you’re sitting in the garden and the white wine gets a little too warm, or that bottle of red that you have on the kitchen counter hits 20 degrees. (Red wine is often served too warm for my taste; room temperatures in Canada being so much warmer. I can see this being perfect for chilling a red ever so slightly). In my house, it is most likely to come in handy when we polish off the bottles that I had prepared for the evening and are reaching for more!

The only downside to this gadget is that you can’t use it for bubbly. But then, my birthday is coming up and who knows what that might bring?

Wine + Gadget = happy GG

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Although trained as a sommelier, I pay my bills working as an IT consultant. I love what I do for a living and keep wine as my hobby. As it looks bad if you only drink, I have occasionally been known to eat as well. Growing up on four different continents, I love to cook and appreciate the cuisines of the world. But wine is my passion. With a well-stocked cellar, I am always on the hunt for new wines and love hearing from people about their latest find or interesting pairing. My approach to wine: Drink what you like. Wine reviews need not be stuffy. Numerical ratings are meaningless. If it tastes good, drink it! If you don’t like it, then it’s not the wine for you.