Thursday, April 25, 2019

Zos Halo wine preserver is a worthless gadget

I'll keep this brief. The Zos Halo wine preserver, which purports to preserve an open bottle of wine by removing the oxygen from it, is a worthless high-tech gadget.

I have tried two Zos Halos, both supplied by the company for review, and did not find any practical use for either of them.

In both, short battery life was a problem. My first Halo lasted only one use, a bottle of wine that I tried to preserve for two weeks. The battery failed and so did the wine, which tasted flat.

For the second Halo, I tried using it for shorter periods of two or three days. The two LR 44 batteries still only lasted for 16 total days of use. You could work with that if there was a benefit.

But I didn't taste any. I tried opening two identical bottles of wine, pouring out half of each and resealing the bottles. One bottle I sealed with the Zos Halo. The other I sealed by sticking the cork back in.

After two days, I detected no difference. After three days, I detected no difference. After a week, they were slightly different -- but neither tasted fresh enough for me to want to drink it. 

Zos has been heavily pitching this gadget as a gift for weddings or Mother's Day. It's understandable: it's not as expensive as a Coravin, and in theory it's more permanent than a bottle of wine.

But it's junk. If you give it as a gift the recipient will play with it for a bottle or two and then put it in the back of a dusty closet and forget it forever. Maybe this is true of most wedding gifts: ice cream makers, bread slicers. But at least those work.

I intended to review this gadget for Wine Searcher because if it worked, it would be a great boon to enophiles. Instead, I am doing my civic duty with this post. Don't waste your money on a Zos Halo.

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Zzzz said...

Looks I've had a lot more luck with the Eto. Seems to be the same price as this Zos and I bought one out of my own pocket to review as others had spoken well of it. Super low tech but very effective effective as it does away with the main problem in keeping wine you've opened: the bottle.

Jack Everitt said...

I have an Eto, too, and it worka.

jo6pac said...

I never have this problem in that I usually drink the whole bottle. If there is a little left over in my MD 20/20 I just put it in the bed of the truck for later. Capped if I can find it or uncapped makes no difference. Cheap wine is the real answer;-)

W. Blake Gray said...

Hey Jo, always good to hear from you. I'm guessing MD 20/20 would hold up really well overnight in the fridge because it's fortified, so it's like Port. I would go for the 18% alcohol red grape version, though Electric Melon does look interesting. Probably would pair it with fistfights and Neosporin.

akiya1700 said...

Hey Blake, so if this doesn't work, are there wine preservers of the vacuum pump variety that do work? In my old age, I am trying to leave half the bottle for the following evening, so was looking for a better alternative to the cork or cap.



W. Blake Gray said...

I haven't found vacuum pumps to be more effective than just putting the cork back in. The vacuum simply doesn't last long enough. In the seconds between the time you remove the pump and replace the cork, air flows back in.

I used to use Private Preserve, a neutral argon gas spray, the same stuff that goes in a Coravin capsule. You have to replace air with something. I think that helps. But if you're going to finish the bottle the following evening, just putting the cork back in (or screwcap back on) is probably enough. I do that a lot these days and for some wines, especially tannic reds, sparkling wines (you need a special recapper, but they're not expensive) or reductive whites under screwcap, the wine is actually better.

If you can afford a Coravin, you could try that. But I don't use the Coravin for consecutive day drinking myself because it's overkill; only when I want to have a single glass at a time and preserve the bottle for longer.

akiya1700 said...

Cool. Thanks for the advice.

Unknown said...

I agree that this device does not work. I purchased mine as part of kickstarter campaign and tried it several times. The result in each case was that after a few days, the wine was clearly oxidized. I much prefer the Coravin system. I also think that Private Reserve works quite well for whites as long as you keep them refrigerated (the same for reds although they will fade some after a week or so).