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Advanced Wine Search

What is a Wine Aerator, and Why Do You Need One?

If you've ever wondered, "What does a wine aerator do?" you're in the right place.

What is a wine aerator and why do you need one

Most things that people really enjoy, like cooking, running, or travel, come with a set of gadgets. It can be difficult to tell which of these gadgets is really important and which you can live without. How do you know which invention will change your life? And, how do you know which is the banana slicer?

The wine aerator might be one of those gadgets that you’re unsure about. However, it is actually a great tool to have at your disposal, especially if you love red wine. Using a wine aerator can bring out the best qualities in your favorite wines, and they are really easy to use. You also save time over decanting your red wine, which is a huge bonus when you’ve got guests who are ready for some wine.

Read on to find out all about wine aerators, including what they are, what they do, and how to use one.

What is a wine aerator?

A wine aerator is a device that quickly forces air into a wine, improving its flavor and texture. Wine is typically poured directly from the bottle through the aerator. Some styles are a simple spout that you attach to the mouth of the wine bottle. Some styles are held or suspended over a wine glass so that you pour the wine through the aerator and into the wine glass.

Wine aerator

What does a wine aerator do?

A wine aerator forces air quickly into wine, replacing the need for decanting it. The purpose of this is to avoid waiting for the wine to decant, which can sometimes take hours. Decanting wine and aerating wine both expose the wine to oxygen, which improves the flavor and texture of some wines. Red wines that are high in tannins can especially benefit from decanting or aerating.

How to Use a Wine Aerator

Using a wine aerator is very simple. For aerators that fit into the mouth of the wine bottle, firmly attach the aerator to the open bottle. Then pour the wine from the bottle and into your wine glass. For a handheld aerator, you will need to hold the aerator over your wine glass with one hand. With the other hand, pour the wine from the bottle, through the aerator, and into the glass.

Once you pour the wine through the aerator, you’re done! Wine aerators can really improve the taste of your wine in a fraction of the time that it takes to decant. Plus, most models are relatively inexpensive ($15-$30).

Wine aerator

Is it possible to make a DIY wine aerator?

Actually, yes! Though not very elegant, you can aerate wine by pouring the wine back and forth between two wine decanters. This can be a good solution in a pinch. However, we think it’s generally a better deal to simply buy a wine aerator. No matter what method you choose, be sure to toast to delicious and improved red wine!

Do you have a wine aerator?

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I've heard that you only need to use an aerator or a decanter to "open" cheap wines and that higher quality wines don't really need it. Is there any truth to that?

Hi Toby - Decanting/aerating is great for cheap wines because it helps any "off" flavors dissipate. However, higher quality red wines can also benefit. If your red is really high in tannins, like a Cabernet Sauvignon, then air can help soften them and give you better flavor. Great question! -Kristin, Editor for


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