This is a review of the Ullo Wine Purifier, including both PROs and CONs. Plus a giveaway at the end.
Ullo Wine Purifier Review – Hangover Free Drinking?
I’m always skeptical of new gadgets. It’s probably because I’ve backed 91 Kickstarter projects and 12 Indiegogo projects….and have loved only SEVEN of those projects! So, I’m reviewing the Üllo Wine Purifier, a Kickstarter project that raised over $155,000, with that in mind.
What is Ullo?
“Üllo is a revolutionary new wine purification product that removes sulfites, restoring wine to its natural, preservative-free state.”
Sulfites are added to wine, as a preservative, to prevent the wine from going bad, prevent secondary fermentation of sweet wines, and prevent the wine from turning into vinegar.
Why does my wine need purifying?
Millions of wine drinkers are allergic to sulfur. An article in Wired explains, “sulfites are to wine as gluten is to food.” Sulfite allergies include symptoms such as bloating, headaches, asthma-like symptoms, flushing and sometimes, hives.
While sulfites in wine is low, in comparison to processed foods, like deli meats. But, you’ll often hear people experience headaches, congestion and hangovers from drinking wine. Ullo’s purifier claims to reduce these symptoms.
Personally, I get bad headaches and nasty hangovers from wine.
Science says red wine does NOT cause headaches…and my husband says the hangovers are from drinking the ENTIRE bottle of wine, not from the sulfites.
My brother turns bright red in the face. It’s an Asian thing…something about missing some enzyme in the liver. He calls it the “Asian Glow,” but honestly, he turns as red as Rudolph’s nose. That’s not called glow, it’s more like Asian neon red.
Ullo will decrease the sulfites, but will it affect the Asian glow?! This weekend, we plan to find out. Brother is comin’ to dinner and we are serving red wine, and secretly taking photos of his face. He’d never agree to me taking photos of him drinking! Brother claims to read my blog, every single post….but I highly doubt it. heeeheee! EDIT: update at end of review!
Ullo Wine Purifier in Action
The Ullo is beautifully packaged (it’s designed by an award-winning product design firm), housed in a thick, sturdy box that you can re-use for Ullo storage. I point this out because I get frustrated with flimsy packaging or designers who are not mindful of product organization and storage after opening box.
The Ullo itself has a thick silicone cup, strong plastic aeration base (more on aeration later), and a silicone base to rest the Ullo onto.
Bottom of box is a velvety pouch that contains a package of 5 filters. Each filter is good for 1 bottle of wine.
Ullo: “Made from a food grade, super porous polymer, Selective Sulfite Capture™ filters work by removing sulfites and not the other things in wine.”
“Unlike traditional filters that work like a net, Selective Sulfite Capture™ filters work like a magnet, pulling sulfites from wine and leaving everything else.”
Open up the Ullo and pop in the filter.
Close it back up and you are ready to purify.
Ullo: To Aerate or Not?
In addition to reducing the sulfites, the Ullo allows you to aerate (or not) your wine. Wines with tannins (especially young reds) benefit from aeration, to soften the tannins. Most whites don’t need the aeration.
PRO: With the Ullo, you can turn on or off the aeration. Airy-airy = wine swirls through the notches. No airy-airy = the wine pours straight through. Surprisingly, white wines have more sulfites (but don’t need to aerate)…a little nugget of info I discovered doing my research for this review!
CON: The little transparent notch that switches from Air to Not Air is really hard to see!
The Ullo fits many different wine glass sizes, and even decanters.
PRO: Hands free! The Ullo sits on the glass, so you don’t have to hold it. Silicone rubber allows it to sit firmly, without scratching the glass.
Pour in the wine….
But oops! Don’t pour too fast, and definitely don’t try to pour with one hand and photograph with the other. Because that cup is small.
Yes to airy-airy.
CON: It only takes a few seconds for the wine to filter and swirl down, but you do have to pour a little, wait, then pour more, several times, just to get a full glass of wine. If you had to filter an entire bottle into a decanter, it would take quite a while to babysit the thing.
PRO: After you’re done, just place the Ullo on the base. Everything (except the filter, of course), is dishwasher safe and easy to take apart/rinse.
Does Ullo work?
According to Ullo’s
PRO: Informal blind taste test: The Ullo without aeration of a young, tannic red, does not affect the taste of wine. Filtering and aerating the same wine dramatically made the wine less puckery and bitter (softening tannins). We also had white wine the same evening. No taste difference. Next day, no headache, which is a MAJOR WIN!!!
Update on bro
That’s my Mom and my Brother. As you can see, he still did get the Asian red face. But, he texted me the next morning and said NO headaches or stuffiness, which he normally gets when drinking! WIN!!!
PRO: If you’re a regular wine drinker, and especially sensitive to sulfite, $85 gadget is a worthwhile investment. The replacements filters are not bad, each one is between $2-$3, and will last for 1 bottle of wine.
If you’re not sulfite sensitive, just purchase an aerator for $20, which will help turn down the volume of the tannins.
I hate throwing out junk theories in my reviews (especially when it involves science-y or medical stuff that I don’t understand)…but I absolutely think that filtering out the sulfites massively decreased my next-day headaches and hangover symptoms, even though I am not allergic to sulfur.
Learn more about Ullo Wine Purifier from their website.
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Ullo Wine Purifier Giveaway