“During aging in the bottle, the wine follows a natural oxidation reduction process. The wine matures, gradually conquering a period in which it is exalted, reaching its peak, then declines losing its qualities. 
The "Clef du Vin" allows to accelerate this evolution by reproducing the oxidation-reduction mechanism in a controlled and calibrated way.”
from the Clef du Vin instruction manual

The scientific approach

The Clef du Vin was patented in 2000 by Lorenzo Zanon, chemist and winemaker, professor of chemistry and biology, in collaboration with the sommelier Franck Thomas (best sommelier in France and Europe in 2000) and international consultant.

Lorenzo's idea was born to speed up and improve his decisions and processes as a winemaker. He tried to build an instrument that replicated his experiments in the laboratory and that allowed him to decide promptly when it was appropriate to make a transfer or there was the possibility of waiting and allowing the wine to evolve better.

Clef du Vin is an innovative tool, made in an alloy of 82 different metals. It took three years of research and 4 international patents to reach this level of precision, and another seven years for the perfect calibration that allows the equation 1 second = 1 year.

In addition to the scientific approach, many tasting tests and sensorial analyzes were carried out. At the beginning of the project a large batch of bottles was purchased and every year professional sommeliers were summoned for blind tastings, to compare the real results with the immediate results of Clef du Vin. It has proven to be reliable in more than 95% of cases!

How to use

The Clef du Vin, acting as a catalyst, does nothing but trigger and accelerate a completely natural process. It is used with immersion of the key in a 10cl glass of wine. Each second of contact equals one year of aging.

The Clef du Vin therefore allows you to know the optimal moment to taste a wine, to appreciate a good young wine and to evaluate its aging potential without waiting in vain.
Si tratta di un utile aiuto nell’acquisto, nella gestione della cantina e nella degustazione.

Warning: a bad wine will never become a good wine. It's not about magic! A wine without aging potential, or of bad quality, will be very quickly "killed" by the Clef du Vin.

Tests carried out

We have carried out numerous tests.

1st scenario: "very cheap" red wine - A poorly structured, young and very fruity wine, probably with very low aging potential. After 1-2 seconds of immersion in the Clef du Vin the wine has improved. A more complex bouquet and a more pleasant taste. A subsequent immersion was however fatal.

The first test worked and the result is comparable to what could happen naturally.

2nd scenario: medium-range white wine - A good white wine, with intense floral and fruity aromas and with an important sapidity. After 1-2 seconds of immersion in the Clef du Vin, the wine has definitely changed. The olfactory power has slightly diminished and the taste has become softer. Hard to say if it has improved or worsened, it depends on your taste. After another 2 seconds of immersion the wine begins to decline. It is still easily drinkable but has lost body and intensity. We then continued to dip the "key" for over 60 seconds but the wine never "dies".

Certainly true result for the first few seconds but somewhat unlikely for the final. All in all it is a positive result.

3rd scenario: quality red wine, but young - A wine with moderate aging potential, which we think will give its best after 4-5 years. He immediately appears very young, it would certainly have been a mistake to open it right now. After 1-2 seconds of immersion it leaves us perplexed: it is strange, we do not recognize the scents that a wine should naturally have. It looks altered. After another 2 seconds of immersion the wine becomes fantastic. It is exactly the result we would have expected by letting it age naturally in the bottle. We continue the tests and the wine lasts a few more seconds before losing body and letting go of evident hints of oxidation.

Difficult result to analyze: if on the one hand we perfectly achieved the goal, managing to reach the pinnacle of our wine, on the other there were the first seconds that led us to think that the scent and taste can be altered and untruthful.

Personal considerations

We bought the Clef du Vin more out of curiosity than out of real conviction. From the beginning it seemed to us a marketing gimmick that, in one way or another, would have altered the wine leaving us with the illusion of real aging.

The results at times have been surprising. It actually works even if it always leaves us with the doubt that the wine is slightly altered or that in any case it is brought to have aromas and scents different from what would happen naturally.

Having said that, we believe that it can certainly be a very useful tool for professionals in the sector, to receive quick help during the winemaking processes.
It can also be useful for a winelover if you buy a couple of bottles of the same wine, because it could make some tests and understand the optimal moment to open the second bottle.

Instead, we consider the communicative choice to be read in the packaging and in the instruction booklet to be almost obscene: "Adjust your wine to your taste!".
In our opinion, this sentence makes no sense. In addition to the fact that many other processes are triggered during the natural aging of wine, which Clef du Vin could never reproduce, all the magic behind a bottle of wine would be lost. At the mere thought that someone could delude themselves into buying the last vintage on a Barolo market and use the Clef du Vin to drink it for 20 years, we seem to see years of communicative progress vanish in this wonderful world of wine.

We bought it, we tried it...but surely we won't use it anymore!