I had the opportunity to test the Centellino, top of the bottle, wine decanter the other night. The Centellino is blown glass, handmade in Italy. It certainly looks nice sitting on top of my bottle. It looks a little confusing at first but it is easy to use. I had a Columbia Winery Red Willow 2005 Cabernet Franc and I thought it would be a good wine to experiment with. I dusted off a couple of Tiffany & Co. hand blown crystal glasses so I could do a side by side comparison. I was completely amazed right away after pouring some wine right from the bottle and then using the Centellino. I could smell the red fruit, especially the cherries, and some oak in the glass which I had run through the Centellino. The other glass seemed to be lacking any aroma immediately after being poured into the glass. I kept going back between the glasses during the evening and found that the oak and cherry flavors intensified and there was also a flavor of vanilla and a long finish. The glass that I ran though the Centellino definitely opened up that wine to a degree that surprised me. I will use this again and again.
The history of the centello, ciantello or centellino dates back to ancient times. The Latin name was “cyatulus”, the diminutive of “cyatus”, taken from the Greek “kyathos” derived from the verb “kyo” which means “to pour”.
It was used to pour precious nectars and ancient ambrosias. After time, the centellino took the form of a ladle and was used in medieval refreshment houses to pour a proper serving of wine, much to the traveler’s delight.
With the coming of glass and the storing of wine in flasks and bottles, skilled artisans designed a Centellino using mouth-blown techniques. Today, the “Centellino” enriches tables by pouring and oxidizing the perfect portion of wine, thereby making the experience more noble and harmonious.