07 Jul Do you need an Aerator for Wine?
As the must-have wine accessory of 2020, many people are asking if wine aerators actually work, or if they’re a passing fad.
The short answer: They work. Vineyards and sommeliers have been using wine aerating devices and gadgets at wine tastings since they arrived on the scene because they understand the basic science of wine aeration or decanting: to reach its ideal flavor and to meld the aromatic properties in a freshly opened bottle of wine, a wine needs to breathe.
Most wines have some level of tannin, an antioxidant chemical that occurs naturally in the winemaking process from the stems, seeds, and skins of the grape, as well as the barrels. The darker the wine, the more contact it has had with these elements in the process, and the more it will need to age, or air to fully assimilate the best aspects of its ingredients.
Tannins are easy to recognize, they make the pucker in your mouth when drinking wine, and sometimes leave a bitter or astringent feeling in the mouth.
To properly meld and develop the flavors in a bottle of wine, you can decant or aerate. Since some darker wines require hours to properly aerate in a traditional wide-mouth decanter, aerators have become to go-to tool for an instantly drinkable glass of wine, straight from the bottle.
Aerators maximize contact with air as you pour the wine from the bottle. Many aerators have been introduced to the market, the best being constructed out of sturdy plastics with multiple channels for the wine to contact air on the way to the vessel.
Many models are specialized for single types of wine – red, white, single glass…etc. Others have taken the process and refined it, releasing multi-function models that can adapt to pour a single glass or an entire bottle at once.
Wine Weaver is a good example of a versatile, multi-use device – with more than 30 precision cut air streams, the wine is separated in the device, and streamed to the sides of the glass or vessel to complete the contact with air.
Other aerators also perform similar actions, but so far, only the Wine Weaver can be set to work with either a glass or sit atop a decanter. Handheld acrylic and polycarbonate competitors are useful, but they need to be held above the glass at all times, a little cumbersome when hosting a party or pouring several glasses at once.
Whichever model you choose, an aerator is the must-have wine accessory this holiday season.