Aerating: Every time, all of the time


If there is one wine tool you buy this year, consider a wine aerator. Many wine professionals encourage you to use them when drinking reds, and a growing number that I know also recommend aeration before drinking whites too.

There are many ways to aerate wine, or let it breathe. When wine is exposed to air, the processes of oxidation and evaporation begin, allowing less desirable compounds that are often found in wine – such as sulfites -- to start to dissipate and revealing more pleasant components.

The best known, and cheapest, way to aerate is simply swirling your wine in a glass, or the act of pouring it from a bottle into a glass itself. The hard part is letting it sit and not drinking it right away.

Another option is to use a decanter, a wide vessel that allows the wine to have have maximum surface contact with air. It doesn't have to be a fancy, blown glass showpiece – even a mixing bowl will do – but an actual decanter does make it easier to transfer the vino back to serving glasses.

Aerating tools, both ones you place in the bottle's neck and ones that you place over your wine glass, utilize the Bernoulli's Principle, which states that as the speed of a moving fluid increases, the pressure inside the fluid decreases. Can you tell I'm married to a mechanical engineer?

Products from companies like Vinturi claim that they mix the “right” amount of air into the wine with a single pour, allowing the wine to open up faster then simple decanting, which can take up to an hour or more. New products, such as the TWIST adjustable aerator, let users control how much air is incorporated to “bring out the best in any wine.”

Try it out at home. Serve glasses from the same bottle, decanted, aerated and straight from the bottle. Ask guests to give you feedback on taste. The results may surprise you.