Smart Wine Aerator: The Technology Behind Aveine
June 03, 2021
Written By Coravin
“It’s not magic and it’s not a secret,” their website reads. With Aveine, you can aerate any bottle of wine in 0 seconds – yes, zero. This smart wine aerator attaches to the neck of the wine bottle. Then, with a simple scan of the bottle label, the Aveine app recommends the proper aeration time for that exact wine and, whether the recommendation is 30 minutes, 4 hours, or even 8 hours, Aveine is able to work it’s magic as you pour.
We spoke to Sylvere Azoulai, Head of Aveine USA. He shared details about Aveine’s first prototype, how the smart wine aerator technology evolved, and all the ways it enhances the wine drinking experience.
Watch our full interview below.
Smart Wine Aerator: Aveine
Lindsay Buck, Coravin: Today I am talking to Sylvere Azoulai who is the Head of Aveine USA. Their signature, very high-tech aerator is available on our marketplace at Coravin.com. Welcome Sylvere. How are you doing?
Sylvere Azoulai, Aveine: Thank you very much. I'm doing very well and very excited.
LB: Tell the audience a little bit about Aveine. It's a device that might look quite simple at first, but is obviously very complex.
SA: Aveine is what we call a smart aerator. Aeration is a very traditional function in the wine experience. People may think that all vintage or moderately expensive wines need some aeration, but it actually allows all wines to express themselves through exposure to air. So, traditionally, we used to pour the wine into a carafe before serving – something that you may have experienced in restaurants. This allows the surface of the wine to be exposed to air – to oxygen – releasing all the flavors. What we do with Aveine is actually mimicking that experience. And, for some wines, aerating may take up to an hour – sometimes even many hours. So, by using Aveine, we basically decrease that time to just seconds. The technology helps the wine taste much, much better.
LB: That’s pretty revolutionary. When creating the Aveine aerator, what came first: the aerator or the technology?
SA: The technology. Nicolas Naigeon, who is the founder and an engineer, is very interesting. He's the son of winemakers in Burgundy, France, so he grew up in wine his entire life. But, by trade, he’s an engineer so he thought of the technology first.
LB: How about the Bluetooth component? Was that always intended to be part of it or did that develop over time?
SA: Aeration it's something that is absolutely not static. Realizing that the perfect calibration would be the most important thing in reaching the ideal taste, Bluetooth became very obvious immediately. That was the only technology during the development that would ensure the complete experience by allowing the perfect setting and perfect experience for the user.
LB: What’s actually what's the process that's actually happening in the device?
SA: As I mentioned, a carafe is what we use for traditional aeration. The purpose of the carafe is to expose the surface of the wine to air – an exchange between wine and air. The Aveine device mimics this by injecting micro bubbles of air during the pour. So what you see is a very simple looking device with something really complex going on inside. It requires very smart technology with injectors adding micro bubbles of air at both the bottom and on the top of the pour as the wine passes through the device – allowing for the development of the taste, the tannins, and everything else.
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LB: What a great tool. If you all of a sudden realize you want to drink a great bottle, and you haven't budgeted three hours to aerate it, Aveine is for that exact purpose, right?
SA: Yes. Or if a friend spontaneously stops by, or you decide to open a wine last-minute to celebrate something, or enjoy a good bottle by yourself – all of a sudden you can do that. When I first got introduced to the device, it was amazing. I shared it immediately with some friends – some wine connoisseurs.
LB: Do you work with the producers to calibrate the aeration times? Because that's a big part of it and it varies depending on the wine, right?
SA: Absolutely. Even if it's not a perfect science, you need to rely on enologists – wine professionals. We started getting in touch with a lot of researchers, professionals, and enologists to provide us with some insights and recommendations. On top of that, we are planning to open the app to wine producers so we’ll be able to implement their own recommendations because there's probably no one better than the wine producers to explain and decide what would be the best aeration time. Keep in mind that we also have big participation from our customers who are allowed to make comments or adjust the time themselves. We'll program the device to decant in four hours, but then I may find out that I prefer it at three hours or six hours and I’ll be able to implement this in the app. So, it's really participative – it’s not something you have to follow exactly. You can follow the app recommendation, or you can also make your own recommendation.
LB: How do you go about adding the wines to the database? Is that crowd-sourced?
SA: There is a big part that is crowd-sourced and there’s the opportunity to team up with others who have extensive databases – that's something that we’re exploring. And, of course, if we find the right partner, the right database, we can enrich the experience considerably.
LB: Do you have any desire to branch out into other areas of wine technology?
SA: Yes. Because of the smart technology, we are thinking about extending our product to existing products in the wine ecosystem like wine cellars or other conservation devices that can be linked through our connectivity. So, we're not finished here with one device – absolutely not.
LB: Our company mission at Coravin is to change the way the world experiences wine. What is your favorite wine experience?
SA: You know that’s what I started to say. It’s amazing how much you can travel with wine. Wine gives you, in an instant, images and feelings about where it’s produced in how it tastes. It's such a fascinating world.
Having discovered Coravin a few years ago, it allowed me to experience things that I never experienced before like having a cellar with bottles I was reluctant to open if it’s just me and my wife. What Greg Lambrecht did is really enrich the wine experience. It's a little bit like this with Aveine. When something like Coravin or Aveine comes about, it really pushes you and enhances your enjoyment. I like sharing Aveine with friends and, all of a sudden, we are playing like kids. It lets us try and hour more or hour less to see how different the wine is. It’s like really experiencing something very different that you wouldn't without Aveine. It takes the experience to another dimension for everyone.
"Having discovered Coravin a few years ago, it allowed me to experience things that I never experienced before like having a cellar with bottles I was reluctant to open if it’s just me and my wife. What Greg Lambrecht did is really enrich the wine experience. It's a little bit like this with Aveine. When something like Coravin or Aveine come about, it really pushes you and enhances your enjoyment. I like sharing Aveine with friends and, all of a sudden, we are playing like kids. It lets us try and hour more or hour less to see how different the wine is.
LB: Excellent. Are there any new product developments coming up or anything else in the industry that's exciting you right now?
SA: We have some upcoming improvements that we want to add. One thing that will probably come very soon is the next generation of Aveine which will also display the temperature of your wine. This, again, will enhance the experience and any Aveine owner will be able to take advantage of this because it will be released through a firmware update. [We are working on] the battery life and, of course, there's always some design improvement – like what you did with Coravin from the first model to the latest one.
LB: Thank you so much for joining me today, Sylvere. I encourage everyone to check out the Aveine product on the Coravin.com marketplace and we're excited to see what you do in the future as well.