Whether you’re a wine connoisseur or an occasional drinker, you’ve probably heard of leaving a bottle of wine (especially Red wine) “breathe” after opening it. Here’s what it’s all about: it allows the wine to oxidize, which is believed to enhance the flavors of a wine and release its aromas. It also softens tannins which, in young wines, can cause harshness and astringency. But if you’re like us, waiting to sip your favorite oaky Cabernet Sauvignon can feel like torture. (It’s like waiting for a steak rest after cooking is done – we hate it!) We want our wine and we want it now.
Fortunately, wine aerators are a thing. These handy gadgets speed up the oxidation process. Instead of waiting a half hour or more for those tannins to mellow, an aerator can oxidize wine at the speed of a pour. It’s the best of both worlds – better tasting wine without the wait. Some wine aerators even come with filters to keep sediment and sulfites out of your glass, and even the fancier models use pressure to pour wine from the tap.
If you’re on the hunt for a wine aerator (which makes a great housewarming gift, by the way), we’ve rounded up our top picks to help you narrow down your options. You don’t have one yet, but you need to aerate your wine right now? Supposedly a blender will do, but that might scare off your pretentious wine friend, so read the piece. (Although if you are looking for a blender, we also have great choices.)
Our top picks
How We Chose These Wine Aerators
Even though all wine aerators do pretty much the same thing – expose the wine to the air, quickly – there are several ways to achieve this. You can pour wine through a funnel-type aerator, insert a pour-type aerator into the neck of the bottle, or choose a gadget that uses pressure to push wine out of the bottle. This story includes options for all of the above, and at a price range to suit everyone’s preferred style and budget.