Hello, I'm Skip Lei, the inventor and owner of TRIbella.
I’ve always been the type of person to ask “Well, why does it have to be like that?” or “Why can’t things be better?” and over the years I’ve come up with hundreds of ideas and secured a few different patents, mostly just for the fun and the challenge of the creative process. I had never really spent a great deal of time thinking about wine or wine solutions until my daughter, Katie, attended Whitman College in Walla Walla, Washington. While visiting her on numerous occasions, my wife and I also began visiting wineries and tasting rooms in Walla Walla and the beautiful surrounding area. There are over 70 wineries in the Columbia Valley, and they all share a deep passion for the art of wine-making. I found myself captivated by the stories and the work that went into creating a single bottle of wine: how they grew and harvested and crushed the grapes, the process of putting it into big oak barrels, all of the time and energy involved in bottling, corking and labeling their product of passion. After hearing all of these stories, I gained a much greater appreciation for the people and processes behind the wine. I can remember I sometimes even felt guilty buying a bottle or two of reasonably priced wine, because I knew how much effort had gone into its creation.
The idea for the TRIbella really began with all of these winery visits. When it finally came time to taste wine in the tasting rooms after the tour, it was always a little sad to see this beautiful and magical red fluid simply poured straight out of a bottle, with a little twist and a little drip coming out of it. Some wineries poured through a wine aerator, which really didn’t seem so attractive to me either, as the aerator seemed to distract me from the beauty of the wine itself. So I thought: “With all of the passion and care that goes into making wine, how come the act of pouring and aerating can’t be beautiful and elegant as well?”
So fast forward several months which turned into several years, and I got the idea that it would be fantastic if you could pour wine out of a bottle in a very unfussy way that would be elegant and delightful to watch. So I tried it in a number of different ways, prototyping dozens of variations, and the one I finally settled on was probably the simplest of all, having just three streams. I intentionally kept the TRIbella device very small because I believe the wine itself should be the hero of the show, and the aerator should be a celebrated yet humble cast member. Part of the reason I love this particular design is that you can see the negative space between the streams of wine. The ambient air in between the streams allows the wine to gracefully and naturally “catch a breath of air” as it falls elegantly and effortlessly into your wine glass. And… not only is it a drip-free way to pour your wine, it is also just so fantastic to see how delighted people are when you pour it for them. It just feels like it completes the circuit between all the effort that went into crafting the wine as well as all the effort that went into making a beautiful wine glass. You can now have every aspect of your wine experience be equally enjoyable.