the underbelly

Vin Chapeau
January 8, 2009, 3:53 pm
Filed under: Uncategorized


Because a glass and a bottle just weren’t enough accessories for the wine connoisseur…because you just have way too many friends and need to get rid of a few….because some guy out there knew that even in this economic state there would be idiots who would purchase unnecessary plastic disks…I give you the Vin Chapeau.  Vin Chapeau translates to wine hat.  Get it?  Because it sits on the glass?  Like a hat?  But it’s in French so it’s clever and classy! 

So what exactly are these “hats”?  Well, according to the site

“Vino Chapeau discs are cling-enabled wineglass covers that double the concentration of wine aromas. With their unique ability to cling to the rim of your wineglass, Vino Chapeau discs remain secure as you swirl your wine. Made from a high-grade polymer plastic, Vino Chapeau discs are completely reusable. Thin and lightweight, they can be easily tucked into your purse or pocket.”

First let’s talk about the picture the last line creates.  Imagine you are at a totally swank wine bar.  You’re sipping on a full bodied Barolo.  You’re looking good.  Then a member of the opposite sex (or same sex…a member of the sex you are attracted to) walks up next to you and takes a stool.  He/she/it orders a glass of Nero D’Avola.  Nice, you think, different, spicy, and ooh, he/she/it is so cute.  The human next to you looks up and smiles.  You smile back.  Then it reaches into its purse/pocket/pants and pulls out a vin chapeau and places it on the glass.  “It double concentrates the aromas,” the living thing says.  And then you leave.  Because that sentient being is a giant dork.  

Now let’s talk about doubling the concentration of the aroma…….huh?  

The site says that when developing the chapeau they used the “‘Z-Nose’ gas chromatograph to measure the concentration of the aroma molecules present in a covered wineglass vs an uncovered wineglass. In the testing of a swirled wineglass with a Vino Chapeau disc versus a swirled wineglass without a Vino Chapeau disc, the test data clearly showed that using Vino Chapeau disc resulted in the doubling of the concentration of wine aroma molecules in the wineglass.”

I am not a scientist or in any way knowledgeable about such complex topics as the doubling of aroma concentration.  But this doesn’t seem….well even if they are right (because I don’t want to get comments saying, duh, of course aroma molecules can be concentrated by a disc)…the point of this thing is hard to understand.  I guess it’s like the smelling equivalent of a hearing aid.  And I’d say that if your nose is inadequate then maybe wine tasting isn’t your thing….but look at Beethoven.  Hearing wasn’t his forte but he still made music.  

So my official status on this device is that it is silly.  But if you don’t care about image and find yourself yearning for increased aroma molecule concentrations…then you can get these wine hats for $10 for a set of four.  What a bargain.


1 Comment so far
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Excellent commentary. Not sure I want wine aromas – or any odors – “double concentrated.” One spritz of Chanel No. 5 is lovely but I don’t want to bury my nose in it. On the other hand, I really like the term “cling-enabled,” even though I am not quite sure what it means. It sounds like it might be a good description of the eventually very drunk him/her/it you are stuck with at the end of the evening (had you stayed at the bar after the “Chapeau” appeared), the kind you can’t seem to scrape off of your side while you are trying to get away and go home.

Comment by Terry Sterling

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