Jenny LaFever had girlfriends over during the holidays and two had just whitened their teeth. So she broke out some bulky, too tall, soft drink straws. The next day she thought there had to be something more elegant. “I was shocked that there wasn’t,” LaFever said. So she decided, “I’m making one.”
A full time paralegal and mom from Ladera Ranch, she launched Wine Straws. Her company makes clear plastic straws in a test tube at $5 a 12-pack, right. They’re reusable, just rinse, and don’t put them in the dishwasher. They’re available at Bella Derma Medical Spa in Irvine, at Brix wine shop in Omaha Nebraska, and online. But she’d love to see them in Bev Mo and in tasting rooms. They’re popular for social events like wine country weddings, where folks are dressed to the nines, having pictures taken, and wanting their teeth to look perfect. They’re fun in a gift basket and at dinner parties. “The very next product will be a multi-colored pack, each straw will serve as a wine charm,” LaFever said. Ingenious, kinda like fondue forks.
I’m not that white-teeth conscious. But I was curious to try them myself to see if it changed the tasting experience. (I’m on a wine vehicle kick, so expect to read about stemware in an upcoming blog.)
I found that I enjoyed the straws, although I wouldn’t use them all the time because I like to sip and swirl. But they really deliver wine to the back of the palate as compared to the tip of the tongue, which is the experience you get from a glass. With these straws the big fruit flavors of California wines flood the senses all at once. I liked that and wondered if cork dorks would start getting into it. LaFever said another tasting blog posted a cool video about them and she loved the review. But she didn't make the straws to appeal to wine geeks.
“Maybe it’s a little too far,” she said. “My target is vain women who want to drink red wine.”—Anne Valdespino