The SOMM Journal

February / March 2016

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Page 114 of 132

114 { THE SOMM JOURNAL } FEBRUARY/MARCH 2016 { horizons } IN NOVEMBER, I TRAVELLED TO CHINA to witness a grandiose launch of a new invention—a rapid wine decanter that has the power to shake up the on-premise, by offering a new approach to the tried and true methods of traditional wine decanting. Eric Li, the inventor of this decanter, named it the "iSommelier" as a nod to the profession he hopes it will help, not hinder, in revolutionizing the speed of wine service. Not only did Li invent the iSommelier, he also manufactures the device. Li is the owner of Top Electric, which employs close to 5,000 people working in nine factories around the city of Guangzhou, making products for companies like Breville, KitchenAid and Delonghi. In 2013, Li founded a company called iFAVINE (which he says stands for "I favor wine") and the release of the iSommelier marks the beginning of a series of products he plans to introduce over the next decade. The launch event was held at the Four Seasons in Guangzhou, and Li held a press conference prior to the unveiling of the machine. In attendance were international wine and spirit buyers, importers and distributors and other trade from around the globe—it was on the scale of an Apple launch, with impressive presentations and camera crews capturing it all for local TV. Disruptive Decanting THE NEW "ISOMMELIER" IS A RAPID DECANTER, CAPABLE OF REDUCING DECANT TIMES FROM HOURS TO MINUTES story and photos by Jonathan Cristaldi Eric Li, founder of iFAVINE, explaining how three filters within the iSommelier rapid decanter remove particle dust, nitrogen and carbon dioxide from the air. The first iSommelier rapid decanter.

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