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Best Wine Aerators

Updated December 2018
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BestReviews spends thousands of hours researching, analyzing, and testing products to recommend the best picks for most consumers. We buy all products with our own funds, and we never accept free products from manufacturers.
BestReviews spends thousands of hours researching, analyzing, and testing products to recommend the best picks for most consumers.
BestReviews spends thousands of hours researching, analyzing, and testing products to recommend the best picks for most consumers. We buy all products with our own funds, and we never accept free products from manufacturers.
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We purchase every product we review with our own funds — we never accept anything from product manufacturers.

  • 53 Models Considered
  • 10 Hours Researched
  • 1 Experts Interviewed
  • 142 Consumers Consulted
  • Zero products received from manufacturers.

    We purchase every product we review with our own funds — we never accept anything from product manufacturers.

    Why trust BestReviews?
    BestReviews spends thousands of hours researching, analyzing, and testing products to recommend the best picks for most consumers. We buy all products with our own funds, and we never accept free products from manufacturers.
    BestReviews spends thousands of hours researching, analyzing, and testing products to recommend the best picks for most consumers.
    BestReviews spends thousands of hours researching, analyzing, and testing products to recommend the best picks for most consumers. We buy all products with our own funds, and we never accept free products from manufacturers.

    Shopping guide for the best wine aerators

    Last Updated December 2018

    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.

    While aeration can be applied to any wine, it generally benefits highly tannic red wines with a lot of concentrated fruits. Older European-style wine vintages, which have become “tight” and have some residues, also benefit from aeration.

    Selecting a wine aerator

    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.

    Jessica
    EXPERT CONSULTANT

    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.


    Jessica  |  Registered Dietitian

    Aeration method

    The function of mixing air with wine can be accomplished in a number of ways. And with aerators, you get what you pay for.

    • Cheap wine aerators have a hole which allows the air to come into contact with the wine, but there is little, if any, mixing.
    • As you go up in price, the better models have what is known as a “multi-stage design” which actually blends the wine with air. In some aerators, you can actually hear a gurgling sound as this occurs. In addition to a thorough mixing, better aerators also remove more sediment than their less-expensive brethren.

    Red and white wine both contain antioxidants that have health benefits known to improve longevity and decrease the likelihood of stroke and some cancers.

    Jessica
    Registered Dietitian

    Ease of use

    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.

    • Better wine aerators fit inside the neck of the bottle to ensure clean pouring.
    • Selecting an aerator with a holder or cap ensures that not a single drop is wasted.

    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.

    EXPERT TIP

    Another consideration for your purchase: do you want a wine aerator that’s suited to perform its function glass-by-glass, or do you want a model that can work its magic on a full bottle while it decants?


    Staff  | BestReviews

    Decanting

    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.

    DID YOU KNOW?

    Although aeration applies mostly to red wines, complex white wines such as oak-aged chardonnay can also benefit from the process.

    Accessories

    To create differentiation among the choices, aerator manufacturers have gone to great lengths to add interesting features. Some of the best choices have built-in diffusers and handsome carrying cases that would add to the décor of any kitchen or home bar.

    EXPERT TIP

    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.


    Jessica  | Registered Dietitian

    Price

    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.

    Under $10

    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.

    Under $25

    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. You'll find wonderful products with sophisticated looks, rubber stoppers, and genuine stainless steel in their makeup.

    Under $50

    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.

    Aeration is a delicate process when dealing with older wines to bring out the taste while eliminating the tannins and bitterness.

    FAQ

    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

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