Aerators Get an “Eh” Rating

Aerators are all the rage this year. You’ve probably seen them in wine
stores, winery tasting rooms, or wine gift catalogs. I’ve certainly
found them in my mail and in my e-mail, as producers and publicists have
implored me to write about them. Competition among wine aerators is as
fierce as the finals for the House Cup at Hogwarts.

So I’ve obliged with this week’s column in The Washington Post, with brief descriptions of the Soirée, Vinturi, Wine Swirl, Ravi Wine Chiller and the Breathable Glass. But I have to admit, I’m decidedly indecisive about these contraptions.

Aerators are substitutes for decanting a young wine an hour or more
ahead of drinking it and may even help simulate the effects of a year or
two in your cellar. They offer instant gratification and a sense of
security that we won’t be wasting our money by drinking our wines too

Intellectually, this makes sense. Many wines indisputably taste
better after being exposed to air. Depending on the wine, this
improvement can occur in as little as 10 minutes or it could take
several hours for the vino to strut its stuff. If you’ve ever fallen in
love with a wine on the last sip, you know what I mean €“ you’ve been
aerating the wine as you repeatedly tipped the bottle to pour. Aerators
offer the chance to capture that improvement with the very first sip.

Are these things worth the money? People swear by them. I’ve tried
several, typically comparing a glass of a wine straight from the bottle
with one that had been through an aerator. Sometimes I noticed a
difference, sometimes I didn’t, and I did not always like the wine
better after it went through an aerator. But there are other reasons I’d
rather spend my money on wine. Wine is not about instant gratification
(well, maybe that first sip of Champagne). I enjoy tasting a wine
throughout its evolution in the glass; why wish away those pleasant
moments by speeding the wine along? Aerating a wine is easy €“ it only
takes a little patience and maybe a decanter. These gadgets prey on our
love of toys and our fear of wine.

So, thumbs sideways, and trending down.

Photo: The Vinturi Wine Aerator, from

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5 Responses to Aerators Get an “Eh” Rating

  1. Jeff Siegel says:

    Well said… and were you able to get the chiller thing to work?

  2. The Ravi chiller? Sure it works – you just have to remember to put the
    popsicle doohickey in the freezer, and dont lose the plastic base that
    snaps onto it and fits into the bottle.

  3. Gregory Dunn says:

    I’ve been using an aerator for years and I love it. It is one of those
    pasta sauce jars that are made to look like a Mason jar. I just glug
    the wine into it and let it sit for a bit. Easy to use. Easy to clean.
    Oh, wait. Its a cheap decanter, not an aerator. Sorry.

  4. Whatever works! ;- Thanks for chiming in.

  5. Chris Kuban says:

    There is another aerator that recently hit the market and the story
    behind the Centellino is really cool… Joe Fiorino was aon a retirement
    trip to Italy last year and they served him a bottle of wine with the
    Centellino on top. He fell in love with it and started his won company,
    Fiorino Italian Imports which now has exclusive rights in the United
    States to distribute the Centellino.
    Please check out more info at
    I’m working with him to help launch the company nationally. So, I’m
    sure we could send you one for testing. The Centellino is Lab Tested
    and Certified, imported directly from Italy and a really unique
    top-of-the-bottle wine aerator. Check it out.

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