Wine tasting is a very involved and complex activity. Many wine tasting professionals consider it both as an art and science. For amateurs and hobbyists, wine tasting is simply a matter of enjoying its unique experience. To fully appreciate the taste and texture of the wine, you need to taste it during optimal conditions; this is where an aerator comes in. There are plenty of techniques to aerate your wine, but one of the best and easiest ways to do so is to use an aerator.
Simply put, an aerator will allow you to enhance the wine tasting experience and let everyone enjoy the wine in its best condition. In this article, we’re going to dive deep into what a wine aerator is, how it works, how you use one, different types of aerators, and more. Read on to find out!
I. What is a Wine Aerator?
In a nutshell, a wine aerator is a tool designed to aerate wine; pretty self-explanatory. There are different types and models of the wine aerator – each with its unique design, shape, technology, and purpose.
However, the overall purpose of a wine aerator is to quickly aerate your wine. Some wine aerator models even provide instant aeration. A wine aerator will help you appreciate the taste and texture of your wine immediately after opening.
Using an aerator is a lot better compared to the normal procedure of opening the wine bottle, pouring it, and letting the wine breathe. This is because the wine aerator exposes the wine to plenty of air compared to the standard procedure.
Most, if not all wine aerator models are designed to be discreet and very portable. This makes the device ideal for all wine tasters and connoisseurs; especially those who travel frequently.
II. The Purpose of Wine Aerators
As we’ve stated before, a wine aerator helps enhance the win during the tasting process. It does this by expediting the aeration process. However, this is a huge simplification of the purpose of wine aerators. To better understand the role that wine aerators play, let’s look at what exactly wine aeration is.
What is Wine Aeration?
Wine is composed of various chemical compounds. When a new bottle of wine is opened and into a glass, these chemicals undergo two types of chemical processes: evaporation and oxidation. These two processes are crucial to wine tasting as it helps remove any unwanted flavors in the wine.
This is why wine tasters let the wine “breath” after opening before tasting it. Sometimes, they even leave the wine to breathe for hours. This practice is what they call wine aeration. Not everyone has time to let their glass of wine breathe for a few hours. This is where a wine aerator comes in handy.
A wine aerator can make the aeration process from a few minutes or hours to almost instantaneous. You’ll no longer have to wait around to drink your wine in its best condition.
In short, the purpose of a wine aerator is to speed up the aeration process, saving plenty of wine tasters time and letting them drink the wine at its optimal condition whenever they need to.
III. How Does a Wine Aerator Work, Exactly?
We’ve looked at what a wine aerator is and its purpose, let’s find out how exactly do they work. In simple terms, the wine aerator “wakes up” the wine. It increases the surface area between the wine and oxygen to achieve more contact. A wine aerator typically has its aeration chamber to achieve the process efficiently and effectively.
By exposing the wine to plenty of oxygen, ethanol, and sulfites, among other chemical compounds that are susceptible to evaporation and oxidation will evaporate and mellow out. This results in the best aroma and flavor for the wine. There are plenty of instances where a $15 wine bottle was put through an aerator and came out tasting like a $25 or $30 bottle.
Which Wine Aerator Should I Choose?
Choosing the right wine aerator for you can be confusing at first. Don’t worry as we’re here to help. Various types of wine aerators are designed for a specific purpose and budget. Not all wine aerators will be the same. They will have different designs, capacities, and material quality.
Besides the more advance and expensive wine aerators, most of them will be a turn-on/off process. Your typical wine aerator will aerate your wine uniformly without having to adjust aeration levels. However, each type of wine will have different aeration needs which depend on various factors. These include the wine’s grape variety, vintage, color, etc. There are plenty of wine aerators available for sale in various online stores.
Here are some common types of wine aerators you might encounter in your search.
Read our related article, BEST Wine Aerators for Wine Connoisseurs where we test and rank the top aerators on the market today!
IV. Types of Wine Aerator
Wine Pourer or Bottle Stopper Aerator
The bottle stopper or pourer wine aerator is used by fitting it on an already opened wine bottle, similar to a speed pourer on a bottle of liquor. When the wine bottle is poured with the stopper fitted on, the wine flows through the aerator and comes out into the glass perfectly aerated. It is very simple to use. You just need to fit the stopper on the bottle and start pouring. You can now enjoy your wine at its best with zero effort.
Handheld Wine Aerator
A Handheld wine aerator is different because instead of being placed on the wine bottle, it’s placed on top of the wine glass. Staying true to its name, this wine aerator is small in size, making it very portable. To use it, pour the wine into the vessel. It will then run through the aeration chamber, coming out into the glass. A great rule of thumb to follow when aerating wine is to not pour too much at once. This is to avoid overflow and wasting your precious wine.
This concludes our guide on wine aerators. If you’re a wine connoisseur, or a newbie wanting to get into wine tasting, a wine aerator is a valuable tool to have. It can easily improve your tasting experience without much effort on your part.