Ravi Instant Wine Chiller

“There’s something about Ravi,” I thought, lifting the paperweight cum Thermos out of its container. 90’s pop culture references aside, the Ravi is one of those gadgets that critics and consumers go ga-ga over despite its ungainly appearance. The Ravi is advertised as an instant wine chiller- instant, that is, after you’ve chilled the damned thing for six to twelve hours, and promises to chill the wine to the perfect temperature, between 54 and 64 degrees Fahrenheit. This aspect is controlled by you- yes, now you’re the sommelier, altering time and biology at the press of a button, a small blowhole-shaped valve on the side of the USS Ravi that controls the air flow. This aspect is fairly difficult to alter, being that there’s no thermometer on the Ravi itself. Adding yet another foreign object to your wine glass seems like it would just turn the whole affair into a game of Jenga with more costly results.The Ravi is no froo-froo wine chiller, no sir. It adds an extra six inches to a wine bottle, much like a certain herbal supplement, and gives it a fairly ungainly appearance, like a rocket launcher on top of the Eiffel Tower. Handling the bottle with its attachment is extremely awkward as it is no longer balanced when turned downwards. The Ravi adds a wobbly extra weight atop the neck that pours the wine out deceptively slowly– almost a little too slowly, in fact, the type of teetering, agonizingly feeble pour that, like High School Musical infiltrating a playlist, threatens to break up a party fairly quickly. Even at its fastest pour, it comes out with the lusty virility of someone trying to pee out a kidney stone.But does it work? Not really. For its twelve hours of chilling, the Ravi’s performance window is incredibly short. Although the Ravi is formulated for red wine, the package does state that it will work for white wine as well, so we tested it on a Pinot Gris we’d had lingering at room temperature on the counter. Although it did chill the wine from a viscous and simple room temperature to a vaguely more crisp wine, the difference in temperature was minimal at best and was certainly no competition to a quick fifteen to twenty in the refrigerator. Along with the slow-mo style of pouring, I shuddered at the thought of using this on a grittier Bordeaux, whose sediment may easily clog this and render it unusable in the future. Twenty minutes later, our second glass was barely chilled, and the Ravi was once again relegated to the back depths of the freezer where it will undoubtedly remain for eternity. It’s the Nigel Tufnel of wine- the mediation of fire and ice, also known as unfortunately lukewarm water.The Ravi caters to the greed-centric need for instant gratification. Outside of alcoholics in denial, who walks into a party and is immediately seized with the need for a perfectly chilled glass of wine? While I think all good parties need wine, there’s certainly no party that will be derailed by using the 20/20 rule- white wines are put into the fridge 20 minutes before serving, red wines are taken out of the fridge 20 minutes before serving. It’s not at all difficult to do. In between inviting guests in, taking their coats, snacking, chatting vainly about Star Trek, and then remembering that there’s wine to be had before or with dinner, it’s easy enough to find a 20 minute block if you’ve forgotten to chill wine. Chilling can make or break a wine. With the temperature of a wine rising by approximately four degrees Fahrenheit per ten minutes out of the fridge, it’s easy to determine when to open it up without the pomp, circumstance, and pressure of having the Ravi. Chances are, if you’re opening up a bottle of wine a la Jack Bauer with mere seconds to spare, you’re doing it wrong.

Ravi Instant Wine Chiller
MSRP $40
20/100

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About Jess
Rotten? Perhaps. Sweet? Without a doubt. Welcome to Nobly Rotten- the wine site that dares to be a little off.

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