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Gone are the days when enjoying the full experience of wine requires the assistance of a sommelier or connoisseur of the fermented grape. Thanks to technology, anyone who enjoys a glass of red to can now optimize their vino with a wine aerator.
Aeration is the process by which wine is exposed to air, facilitating oxidation and evaporation. By exposing it to air, some of the undesirable compounds — the byproducts of fermentation — evaporate. This opens up the wine’s more subtle and enjoyable aromas and flavors.
Opening wine up to breathe makes the grapes selected by the vintner come through, leaving the desired flavor in your mouth.
At BestReviews, we want you help you attain such pleasure, if that is your goal.
That’s why we scrutinized the wine aerator market and identified five of the best products available.
We pride ourselves on our honest product reviews and shopping guides. We never accept free manufacturer samples because we want to avoid bias of any kind. In short, we want to be your go-to site for product reviews that optimize your dollar and your life.
Please see the product matrix above for our five preferred wine aerators.
If you’d like to learn more about the process of wine aerators and how to choose the best one, please continue reading this shopping guide.
Although aeration applies mostly to red wines, complex white wines such as oak-aged chardonnay can also benefit from the process.
There are countless options on the market for aerating wine. Some cost just a few dollars. Other, more elaborate options simulate the function of a decanter and exceed $100. But the cost of an aerator will not put off a wine connoisseur who spends $100 for a bottle of aged red wine, as the aeration maximizes the desired flavors.
With a dizzying array to select from, there are some key features to look for in your own wine aerator. We examine these below.
The most popular wine aerators are those that have a clean design for easy pouring and come with a small stand to hold the gadget.
The function of mixing air with wine can be accomplished in a number of ways. And with aerators, you get what you pay for.
Red and white wine both contain antioxidants that have health benefits known to improve longevity and decrease the likelihood of stroke and some cancers.
When aerating an expensive bottle of wine, the last thing you want is to spill your precious grape all over the counter. You want a wine aerator that’s easy to use and minimizes waste.
By the same token, don’t be fooled by those cheapies that look more like stoppers or spouts you would put in an olive oil bottle; they are poor at aeration.
Another consideration for your purchase: do you want a wine aerator that’s suited to perform its function glass-by-glass, such as the Vinaera Electronic, or do you want a model that can work its magic on a full bottle while it decants like the Wine Decanter and Wine Aerator package by Bella Vino?
Decanting is the process by which wine is poured into a vessel to allow it to breathe and open its complex flavor while creating a separation of wine from sediment.
Wine can be decanted with or without aeration, but according to Wine Spectator, it is common to aerate wine after it is decanted if the initial taste is unsatisfactory.
Heavy wine often requires aeration as it is decanted, and then it must sit open for a few hours to maximize the perfect balance.
A number of aerators are sold with decanters, like the Ullo Carafe Set with Wine Purifier.
Jessica Cording, MS, RD, CDN is a registered dietitian, nutrition communications consultant, and writer with a passion for helping others experience a happier, calmer life through drama-free, healthy eating. Through her writing, consulting, public speaking and counseling, she works with individuals, food companies, healthcare companies, and the media to help make delicious, nourishing food approachable and enjoyable.
To create differentiation among the choices, aerator manufacturers have gone to great lengths to add interesting features.
The manufacturer of the Vinluxe PRO Wine Aerator has pulled out all the stops. This product has it all, and it makes a great gift. In addition to its highly rated aerator with built-in diffusor, the Vinluxe comes with a handsome carrying case which would add to the décor of any kitchen or home bar.
Another aerator that comes in a package sure to make any wine lover smile is the Baen Sendi Wine Aerator Pourer, which prides itself on its sleek look and usage of FDA-approved materials in its manufacturing.
While aerating wine can improve the taste and body of some wines, it won't change a cheap bottle too much. And drinking inexpensive wine can also give you headaches.
As mentioned above, you could pay less than $10 or more than $100 for a wine aerator. Here’s a look at what to expect in each price bracket:
It’s surprising what you can get for this low price. In the middle of this range, around the $5.99 mark, you can pick up an aerator that does a decent job of gently mixing air into wine. In this segment, most options only do glass-by-glass aeration.
This segment is far and away the most crowded with products. All offer a decent amount of aeration with designs that range from elegant to novelty. Included in this category is the popular Vintorio, with its sophisticated look and rubber stopper to avoid spills. The Rabbit, available in several models, is praised for its ease of use and stainless steel makeup. Both are under $20, and reviewers uniformly agree that both vastly improve the taste of red wine.
The Vinaera Electronic aerator is claimed to finish the job up to 40 minutes faster than a regular glass decanter. If you’re looking for an effective aerator and a fun conversation piece, this could be it.
The best of breed in this price band often have larger pouring spouts that allow the wine to travel more quickly through the spout during the aeration process. This rapid flow is called the Bernoulli Effect, and it allows sediment to dissipate more quickly and release trapped gases in the wine.
As the price goes up from here, you can purchase automated openers and aerator sets that bring the wine opening process into an entertainment category for the most sophisticated wine drinkers.
We’re proud to endorse the Vinaera Electronic, which boasts itself to be the “the world’s first electronic aerator/dispenser.”
Q: How do I take care of my wine aerator?
A: Generally, holding it under warm water for 30 seconds after use will clean the unit. In some cases, sediment will remain. Use a wire aerator brush to finish off the job.
Q: What material are wine aerators made of?
A: The most common materials are acrylic, stainless steel, plastic, and rubber. Stainless steel often lasts longer and is easier to clean up than some other materials, but it also tends to cost more.
Q: Are there alternative ways to aerate wine?
A: Former Microsoft exec and food science buff Nathan Myhrvold says a foolproof way to aerate wine (and delight guests) is to pour your wine in a bowl, then get out your best immersion blender and whip it at high speed for 30 seconds. If no immersion blender is on hand, a powerful hand blender will do.
BestReviews contributor Jess Cording is a professional nutritionist and wine expert, and she added her opinions and expertise to this review. To learn more about Jess and her work, click here.
At BestReviews, we purchase every product we review with our own funds. We never accept anything from product manufacturers. Our goal is to be 100% objective in our analysis, and we do not want to run the risk of being swayed by products provided at no cost.