You’ve probably heard the word wine aerators thrown around a lot amongst wine experts or enthusiasts, and you’re wondering what this fancy word represents. You’re thinking, what does a wine aerator do?
In this article, you’ll discover what a wine aerator does and how it works. Furthermore, you’ll learn about the different types of wine aerators, their benefits, and some bonus tips.
Let’s dive right in.
What Is Wine Aeration, and What Do Wine Aerators Do?
The term aeration means to air something. Therefore, wine aeration means incorporating air into your wine. How do you achieve this? That’s where wine aerators come in.
A wine aerator does the job for you efficiently. Wine aerators come in various shapes and sizes, but they all have the same purpose – to mix wine with air.
Overall, wine aerators have become increasingly popular as many wine enthusiasts have discovered their benefits.
How Does a Wine Aerator Work?
Wine consists of a complex mixture of compounds, including alcohol, tannins, acids, sugars, and various chemical compounds that give it its aroma and flavor.
When wine is produced and packaged, in most cases, they still need to be fully fermented.
That is why some wine experts/enthusiasts, when serving some specific wine, leave it to sit in their glass for a while and swirl it a bit before taking a sip.
In a nutshell, aeration helps the wine diffuse all its natural flavors to give you a rich and delightful experience.
A wine aerator is typically a compact device with little openings to serve as a funnel through which the wine flows.
As the wine passes through the opening, it mixes with air, which helps to release the volatile compounds and soften the tannins.
Summarily, this process dispels the wine’s full range of flavors and aromas.
Types of Wine Aerators
Aerators come in three basic types, each with its unique design and function.
Handheld Wine Aerators
This type of aerator sits like a funnel on the tip of the wine glass. As you pour your wine over it, it flows into the cup.
This type of aerator is attached to the tip of the wine bottle.
Electronic aerators are mechanically wired to automate the aeration process. There’s usually a tiny control button at the top, which you can push, and the wine flows through the device and into your wine glass through a small tube-like outlet.
The Benefits of Wine Aeration
Wine aeration can have several positive effects on the quality of your wine. However, the two notable benefits of using wine aerators include the following;
It Enhances the Flavor and Aroma of the Wine
This is the most apparent benefit wine enthusiasts enjoy from aerating wine. By aerating the wine, the oxygen in the air helps release the wine’s aromas and flavors, making it more enjoyable to drink.
It Reduces Bitterness and Tannins in the Wine
Wine aerators also help to reduce the bitterness and tannins in the wine.
Tannin is a chemical compound found primarily in red wines that can make them taste bitter or acidic.
By aerating the wine, you reduce the tannins, resulting in a smoother and more enjoyable drinking experience.
Drawbacks of Wine Aeration
Dangers of Over Aeration
There’s the possibility of your bottle of wine losing its flavor due to over-aeration. That is because wine aerators speed up the aeration process. Hence, wine in aerators tends to lose flavor much faster.
So, aerated wine should only be allowed to sit for a short time.
Step-by-Step Guide on How To Use a Wine Aerator
Here’s a detailed explanation of how to use the different aerators.
- Handheld Wine Aerator
Ensure your wine glass is well placed, preferably on a flat surface.
Next, open your wine bottle with a wine opener.
Pick up your handheld aerator and hold it over the rim of your wine glass.
Hold the aerator slightly above the tip of your glass to allow air to pass freely through the air holes.
Also, check to see that you’re not blocking the air holes in the aerator with your hands, otherwise; your wine won’t aerate properly.
Finally, slowly pour the wine into the aerator held over your glass and stop when you’re satisfied with the content in your glass.
- In-bottle Wine Aerator
These usually have a cone/funnel shape.
Start by uncorking your wine.
Then, attach the narrow end of the device to the tip of the bottle.
Make sure you firmly fix it so it doesn’t come off easily when pouring your wine.
Finally, pour your wine into your glass until you reach your desired volume.
- Electric Wine Aerator
Assemble the device by attaching the spout ( the tube that dispenses the wine) to the aerator.
Then, fix the tip of the device into the wine bottle.
Hold your wine glass up in one hand directly underneath the spout.
Then with your other hand, push the button to trigger the wine to flow through the spout.
Note wine aerators may work differently, depending on the design.
Therefore, pay close attention to the instructional manual for your specific device.
Wine Tips for Wine Enthusiasts
If you are a wine enthusiast, there are a few tips you can follow to help ensure that your wine tastes its best.
- First, store your wine in a cool, dark place. Doing this will prevent oxidation, which can cause the wine to lose its aroma and flavor.
- Second, use a wine aerator whenever you open a bottle of wine. A wine aerator can help to bring out the aroma and flavors of the wine, making it more enjoyable to drink.
- Thirdly, to get the best-tasting wine, timing is essential. Some wines deserve longer aeration time than others. For instance, you must aerate wines with more tannic characteristics (young wines) for extended periods.
- Fourthly, note that not all wines need aeration. You can enjoy most white and sparkling wines without aeration.
- Be sure to drink your wine as soon as possible. Oxidation can cause the flavor and aroma of the wine to diminish over time, so it is best to drink the wine as quickly as possible after opening.
- When buying your aerator, pay attention to the design. You’d want to get one that suits your style and preferences.
An automatic wine aerator may suit you more if you prefer something sophisticated. You may prefer something subtle yet multifunctional.
Then the in-bottle wine aerator may be best for you as some function as a wine stopper and pourer.
- Finally, you should also be willing to invest in a high-quality, efficient device. Don’t compromise on quality and go for a cheaper device.
Wine aerators are excellent tools for anyone who enjoys wine because they ensure that the experience is delightful.
More so, they also add prestige and sophistication to the wine-drinking experience. So, now you know what a wine aerator does, get yourself a wine aerator to start enjoying its benefits.
There are many options to choose from. Pick the one that suits your preference and budget.