Aerating-no, this isn’t referring to you having the greenest lawn in the neighborhood. But rather how to make your wine taste better. A wine aerator helps air filter into the wine. Wine can aerate itself if left in a decanter for an hour or two but there are times when you may need it to aerate faster than that. A wine aerator can accomplish this by speeding up the aeration process.
Red wines are the only wines that need aeration. You can aerate white wines by leaving them in a decanter but it’s not necessary to aerate them at all. When I first began drinking wine, I thought that air in the wine was a bad thing. But this isn’t the case at all. According to Xomba, by allowing the wine to “breathe”, you’re actually securing a smoother taste. Aerating wine accomplishes two things: it triggers oxidation and evaporation.
Oxidation is what makes an apple turn brown after its skin is broken, and evaporation is the process of liquid turning into vapor. Wine is made up of hundreds of compounds, and by aerating wine, usually, the volatile undesirable compounds will evaporate faster than the desirable, aromatic and flavorful ones, leaving the smooth taste desired with wine.
Aerating wine is fairly simple. Open the bottle with your corkscrew and pour the wine directly into the aerator making sure to have your glass directly below the aerator. You can always choose to use a decanter before pouring the wine into your glass. You can also just pour the wine in a glass to provide aeration as well as simply swirling your glass of wine.
Keep in mind, after a while, aerated wines begin to oxidize, and the flavors and aromas will flatten out. The denser and more concentrated wine is, the more it will benefit from aeration and the longer it can go before beginning to fade. On the other hand, you probably don’t want to aerate delicate older wines for long, as you can miss out on their unique aromas, but they’re often decanted to remove sediment.
So, we’ve mentioned decanting or using a decanter above. Let’s just clarify what a decanter is. Simply put a decanter is just a handleless clear glass bottle with the capacity of about one liter but it can also be as simple as a water pitcher.
How does a wine aerator compare to a wine decanter? According to Kendall Jackson, one of the leading suppliers of wine in the US, there is nothing as effective as a wine decanter. A wine decanter doesn’t have to be fancy. As stated above, it can be a simple water pitcher or can be done directly into the wine glass. The point is to let that red wine breathe.
The bottom line is whether you purchase an aerator or pull that pitcher out of the cabinet for aerating your wine, you need to let your red wine take in some oxygen to get the best taste. There’s no reason why your $14 bottle of wine can’t taste like a $30 bottle!
Impress away! While you're at it, you can check out our line of aerators here.