An Honest Review of the Üllo Wine Purifier [Buy or Pass?]
Is the popular Üllo Wine Purifier an essential piece of wine drinking kit or is it all just clever marketing? Find out in our essential guide.
There are several wine filters on the market that claim they can remove the unwanted preservative sulfite from your favorite beverage.
In our opinion, the Üllo Wine Purifier is probably the best of them.
But is it worth parting with your hard earned cash for?
Find out all about this popular wine purifier system in our ultimate guide.
What does a Wine Purifier Do?
Typically, in the production of wine, one of the greatest difficulties is associated with the unwanted microbial contamination of the beverage during the fermentation process.
If you didn’t know by now, to obtain wine from grapes you have to transform the fructose of the grapes into ethyl alcohol.
Alcoholic fermentation is carried out by anaerobic yeasts, but in many cases, there are also other microorganisms that compete for the sugar, sometimes altering the fermentation process.
To eliminate these microorganisms, the best thing to do is to use sterile barrels and bottles.
However, since this is not always possible, many wineries use sulfite, a preservative that interrupts the biological activity of the undesirable microorganisms.
Although the addition of sulfite improves the fermentation process, the preservative can have undesirable effects when consumed, such as bloating and other gastric issues or allergies.
To avoid these effects, it is advisable to remove sulfites from the wine before consuming it.
Enter the wine purifier!
Things to Consider Before Buying a Wine Purifier
In recent years, there has been a fierce debate among wine drinkers and wine makers about the presence of sulfites in the wine.
Many claim that sulfites are unhealthy and reduce the enjoyment of wine by creating gastric problems or headaches. You can read a balanced argument on the topic here.
If you have ever made your own wine at home, you probably know by now that sulfites in wine develop naturally.
Especially when the wine is of a high quality and even more in the case of the aged reds, the wine contains natural sulfites that are a result of the activity of the yeasts.
Although natural sulfites exist in every bottle of wine, they rarely represent a problem. Natural sulfites are usually oxidized through decanting and they are usually not responsible for any collateral effects.
In fact, many foods apart from wine, such as dry fruits and raisins, contain natural sulfites and they are still consumed without effects by adults and children alike.
The problem with the sulfites in wine arises when winemakers add additional sulfur dioxide (sulfite) to the wine, as a preservative.
According to some studies, sulphite additives can have adverse affects on the health of certain people. Especially those with bad asthma.
A word should also be said about sulfites in wine and headaches. For a long time, many wine drinkers claimed that consuming any type of unpurified wine causes headaches.
While this could certainly be true, it has never been proven so remains a matter of opinion.
In fact, in a study published by the American Headache Association, it was suggested that headaches are associated more with with red wine consumption but this was possibly due to the presence of the phenolic flavonoid radicals rather than because of the presence of sulfites.
Do I need a Wine Purifier?
If you consume exclusively high-quality wines made by wineries that respect the original winemaking techniques and don’t add any preservatives to their wines, then investing in a wine purifier might be pointless.
On the contrary, if you like to buy a bottle or two of wine from the supermarket from time to time, then you might want to invest in a wine purifier.
As a general rule, almost all wines available in the supermarkets have sulfites added in the fermentation process, and you might want to get rid of them before consuming the wine.
You might also want to invest in a wine purifier if you suffer from an allergy to sulfites, regardless of what type of wine you consume.
Looking for wines without added sulfites? Don't miss our guide to organic wines!
What is the Ullo Wine Purifier?
Üllo is a revolutionary system designed to eliminate sulfites from the wine and to bring the beverage back to its natural state.
The idea of creating a wine purification system came to James Kornacki, a doctor in chemistry at the Northwestern University from Chicago, who, spurred by his sensitivity to sulfites, invented the Selective Sulfite Capture system that is able to remove the harmful chemical from any bottle of wine.
To remove sulfites, Üllo uses a special filter that captures sulfur dioxide alone, leaving the other compounds free to flow. This improves the organoleptic properties of the beverage.
But how does Üllo work?
In short, this high-tech filter has to be applied on the glass or carafe. Wine is poured through a system that is able to capture sulfites, improving the final taste of the wine.
The filters responsible for removing the sulfites are of single use and recommended to use with standard wine bottles of 750ml.
Aside from this, Üllo also acts as an aerator, so you will be able to have double benefits while using a single product.
Of course, since the aeration is usually only recommended to red wines, Üllo also allows you to simply pour the wine without aerating it.
This wine purification system is designed to help all those who are allergic or sensitive to sulfites and, according to the inventor, the product satisfies both occasional tasters and the experienced consumers and wine experts, especially the sommeliers.
Apart from the technical specifications, Üllo also has a simple yet functional design that doesn’t compromise the excellence of the service.
In fact, the wine purification system is stylish and elegant, therefore it can easily match with any environment while maintaining the class.
The shape of the system is thought to be compatible with a wide type of containers, including decanters, carafes, and stemware.
Finding compatible glassware to use with Üllo is simple thanks to the standard design that fits almost all models, or you can choose to purchase the product with an especially designed carafe or decanter.
Pros & Cons of the Üllo Purifier
Features and Benefits
Learn what makes this wine accessory stand out as we run through the key features.
1. Remove Sulfites and Sediment
Üllo is designed to remove the sulfites added as a chemical preservative, aiming to help wine lovers that suffer from sulfite sensitivity or allergy.
To capture sulfites, Üllo uses a porous filter made of food-grade polymer that is designed to capture sulfites exclusively, while preserving the integrity of the wine.
This filter, named Selective Sulfite Capture, not only maintains the character of the wine, it is said to actually improves the wine’s flavor.
Apart from capturing the sulfites, the filter is also able to remove sediment. The removal of sediment might not be necessary if you are only drinking white and sparkling wines, but it certainly is if you like to enjoy reds.
2. Triple System
The Üllo wine purifier is made of three distinct components that together have the power to remove harmful chemicals from your wine: a cup, a filter, and an aerator.
The cup is made of stain-resistant silicone and designed with a wide opening to help you pour the wine easily. This cup is easy to clean and dishwasher safe.
The second and probably the most important element of the wine purifier system is the filter. It's designed to capture sulfites and enclose them in an encapsulated polymer filter that has an aspect similar to a tea bag.
Apart from the sulfites, the filter is also able to retain any sediment, ensuring that all the wine that reaches your glass is pure.
Lastly, the aerator is designed to enhance the bouquet and flavor of your red wines and functions essentially as any other aerator on the market. T
he difference between Üllo and the other products is that this wine purifier has a double function, not only that of aerating the wine.
The aerator can be easily turned off if its function is not needed, with a simple twist.
An attractive thing is also the design of the aerator, that causes the wine to flow in a visually delightful shape. The aerator is made of a BPA-free polymer that it is stain resistant and dishwasher safe.
The various parts of the system can be washed separately and the filter needs to be replaced after each use.
3. Improves the Taste of the Wine
If you have ever compared the taste of a bottle of high-quality wine and a bottle of supermarket wine, you might have noticed the distinctive bitter taste of the wine made for large-scale distribution.
The bitter taste is caused by the sulfites and, unfortunately, it is often noticeable in cheaper wines.
Although many wine lovers might think that red wines have more sulfites, the things are usually different.
In fact, winemakers use more sulfites to preserve the whites, that are more delicate compared to the reds and that lose their organoleptic characteristics in less time.
By removing the sulfites from the wine, Üllo improves its taste as it restores the wine’s flavor to the original notes.
According to the manufacturer, the wine purifier system has been tested on a group of wine lovers who noticed a favorable difference in the taste of the white wines, while the system was also appreciated for its exceptional aeration capacity in regard to the red wines.
4. Universal Design
The Üllo wine purifier has an attractive, minimalist design that matches well with any environment, but that is not its main characteristic.
The wine purification system is actually compatible with all stemware and with a great number of models of carafes and decanters.
To use the system you will only have to put the Üllo system on top of your glass, carafe, or decanter, and pour your wine through it. Simple and easy!
5. Silicone Base
The wine purification system is provided with a convenient silicone base that has a double function. First of all, the base is designed to capture any drops of wine that might drip from Üllo after use.
Secondly, the base acts as a showcase for the system when not in use and allows you to maintain it in hygienic conditions throughout serving.
What do Customers Have to Say?
According to the users, Üllo wine purifier system is certainly able to improve the quality of the wine, regarding both the chemical composition and the taste.
The vast majority of the users claimed that their headaches and other side effects related to the consumption of sulfite additives dropped and even disappeared since using Üllo, while almost all of them appreciate the minimalist design and attractive shape.
However, it should be noted that this is just opinion and doesn't serve as proof of sulfites causing headaches.
Another thing highly appreciated is the cleaning ease and the fact that all the parts are dishwasher safe.
The only complaints regarding Üllo are related to its price, considered by many as excessive, especially because the purifier has single-use filters.
For this reason, the users would appreciate either a reusable filter or a cheaper selling price.
Ullo Wine Purifier Alternatives
As mentioned above, a wine purifier might not be needed in all cases. Although we believe that having a wine purifier is an excellent idea for various reasons, we do understand that different people have different needs.
Therefore, if you think that Üllo is not for you, here are a few alternatives to consider.
#1 Vintorio Aerator and Pourer
If you are looking for simplicity, the Vintorio wine aerator and pourer might be the product you are looking for, especially if you are only considering Üllo for its aeration features.
Vintorio is only an aerator, but it is extremely simple to use, comfortable and it does its job exceptionally well.
One of the most popular wine aerators on the market, Zazzol uses a multistage aeration process that is more effective than other systems available on the market.
In fact, thanks to its unique design, the system aerates the wine in three steps, dispersing it over a cone that draining the liquid through 32 holes to then inject it into a tube before it reaches the glass.
This aeration system enhances the flavor of the wine and provides an improved balance.
Similar to the Zazzol model, the Vinturi is another popular device that is appreciated for its exceptional characteristics.
This system also uses a conic element to aerate the wine, but it draws oxygen into the beverage with the help of a patented technology that allows the system to draw in the air thanks to the difference in the pressure.
Considering that almost all wines have sulfites added as preservatives, the Üllo wine purifier is an excellent addition to the accessory collection of any wine lover.
It's really a matter of opinion as to whether sulfites are harmful to a person of regular health, but studies seem to show that certain individuals are susceptible to sulfites and can show adverse health effects.
Apart from the functional considerations, the Üllo is aesthetically pleasing and it can be successfully used as an aerator too.
The only downside we found is the filter, that must be changed after every use. Apart from that, the Üllo is certainly an amazing product that can improve the characteristics of most average wines.