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Exposure to air through aeration is vital when drinking wine, though it’s really only necessary for certain wines, according to Devin Kennedy, co-founder of Michael Lavelle Wine, a Black-owned private wine label. “The majority of the time, reds will be the wines you are aerating the most by either using time or expediting it with a decanter,” he says. But, he adds, there are some wines outside the red category that can benefit from breathing, such as aromatic whites from Alsace and Burgundy or Txakoli wines from Basque Country.
Aeration can be achieved through a variety of methods, like using pourers, decanter sets and other tools. Here are the best wine aerators for drinking wine at home.
Best Overall: Vinturi Wine Aerator
The Vinturi handheld aerator could not be more simple or straightforward to use: instead of pouring your wine directly from bottle to glass, you’ll pour through the aerator while holding it above the glass with your free hand, much like a funnel. This acrylic aerator increases a wine’s oxygen exposure and enhances its bouquet without the use of a battery, charcoal or filter. By pouring wine through an aerator like this, you’ll get the benefits of an hour and a half of decanting in just a few seconds, give or take. Plus, it comes with its very own display stand and is dishwasher safe.
Best Budget: Viski Summit Aerating Pour Spout
A budget-friendly, no-frills aerator, the Summit Aerating Pour Spout from Viski uses an “air-blending helix” to maximize a wine’s contact with oxygen as it passes through the spout and into your glass. Perfect for younger reds, this simple yet effective system offers approximately the same level of aeration as an hour to an hour and a half of decantation (plus, it minimizes drips). The polished copper finish also makes this aerating wine pourer feel and look much more expensive than you’d expect for the price. It's worth noting that if you’re planning on drinking any unfiltered wines or older wines that might have some sediment, you’ll want to consider a decanter set, a dispenser-style aerator or another option with a filter feature.
Best Splurge: Coravin Aerator
If you’re serious about your wine, chances are you already own one of Coravin's acclaimed wine preservation systems. This aerator attachment is designed for use with any Coravin system: to use, attach the aerator to the device’s spout, then quickly push the trigger for a burst of air to clear the system. Then, clamp the Coravin to the bottle and insert the needle into the cork by pushing down firmly. From there, tip the bottle so that the aerator is directly above your glass, then push the trigger again to start pouring through the aerator’s 24 strategically-placed holes—this is designed to create small streams of liquid using the pressure of the device, thus increasing the surface area and air exposure of the wine. Best of all, this reduces a 60 to 90-minute decantation period to mere seconds. Simply rinse the aerator attachment and air dry after each use.
Best Set: Rabbit RBT Wine Decanter
This three-piece decanter set from Rabbit, a go-to brand for wine accessories, is elegant, yet highly functional—each piece fits neatly into the other, making it incredibly easy and streamlined to use and store. To aerate and decant wine, simply pour your bottle into the aerating funnel, which sits at the top of the decanter’s neck and directs the flow of the liquid down the sides of the vessel. Meanwhile, the micro-perforated strainer will catch any sediment, cork bits or impurities. The decanter’s acacia wood coaster also makes for a beautiful base, and it’ll catch any rogue drips, protecting your surfaces in the process.
Best Pourer: Vintorio Wine Aerator Pourer
The distinctly-shaped Vintorio aerator pourer features an air intake tube system centered around Bernoulli’s principle—the idea that increasing the speed at which a fluid moves directly translates to a decrease in its pressure. The pourer's large aerating chamber, ribbed and tapered rubber stopper, and ergonomically-angled acrylic pour spout also makes for effortless, aerated pouring free of any drippage. To use, just pop it into your bottle and pour away, and when finished, take the pieces apart and rinse to clean. Even more, this aerator pourer comes with a lifetime guarantee.
Read Next: The Best Wine Openers, According to Experts
Best Electric: Aervana Electric Wine Aerator
Typically, aeration doesn’t necessarily address sediment in wines (decantation, which inherently offers aeration, is used to separate a wine off of its sediment). This pressurized electric aerator from Aervana, however, is a different story. Mimicking a tap, the one-touch mechanism dispenses your wine drip-free while the bottle stays upright, giving sediment the chance to settle at the bottom—meaning it won’t wind up in your glass. Made from USDA-approved food-safe materials, the aerator also features an LED indicator light, an ergonomic soft-touch band for easy handling and a countertop storage stand. This device works with both standard 750-milliliter bottles and 1.5-liter bottles. Note that it requires six AAA batteries, which are not included with the purchase.
Read Next: The Best Wine Glasses, According to Experts
Best Design: Menu Winebreather Carafe
This two-piece aerator set is modern in appearance, yet innovative in design—the breather, which plugs into the neck of the carafe, functions as a connector between the carafe and a bottle of wine. To use, remove the breather’s cap and place it securely inside the carafe’s opening. From there, you’ll take the whole unit and turn it upside down before setting it atop the bottleneck, then carefully hold the bottle in one hand and the carafe in the other and flip it upside down again. The wine will then begin to flow through the aerator and into the carafe. You can also put the wine back into the bottle for serving or storing post-decantation by simply flipping it back over, allowing the liquid to pour back into the bottle. The decanter is mouth-blown and somewhat delicate, but it is still dishwasher safe (just make sure to rinse out your breather attachment by hand before and after each use).
Good to Know:
“Aside from wines, sherry and vermouth shine with a little aeration,” says Kennedy. “Some of the best examples of this are in low-ABV cocktails, like the Bamboo.”
Why Trust Liquor.com?
Céline Bossart has researched and experimented with her fair share of aerating and decanting methods—combined with Devin Kennedy’s expertise in pouring wines and spirits, this list is a comprehensive guide to all things aeration.