- Food and Cooking
The Science Behind Wine Aerators
How Do Wine Aerators Work?
What does an aerator do? The aerator works by enlarging the surface area of the wine, which in, turn allows more oxygen to "breath" into the vessel and wine. In essence, the wine aerator is performing CPR by forcing air and circulation through the liquid to expand the flavors and smells.
What usually happens is the cork is removed from the bottle, and the tiny opening begins to allow air in. Opening a bottle of wine and letting it "breath" for a few minutes is undoubtedly the slowest and most ineffective way to enhance the flavors and aromas.
Science proves that even after many hours, the narrow bottleneck still prevents much air from opening up the wine. Aeration will speed up the process so you can enjoy the wine directly after opening it.
Continue reading to learn what types of wine grapes benefit the most from this process, and see some smart tools, including bottle and glasses are used to achieve this goal.
Another way to move the body of the wine is to pour it from its original bottle into a decanter. The goal is to carefully pour into another vessel to leave any remaining sediments behind in the old bottle, and to move the wine. Often this will help give a more transparent wine and freshen the notes.
Older wines, meaning ten years or more, may have accumulated sediments and even if you can't see them, you may be able to taste them. Try one glass from the bottle and then use the decanter and see if you can tell the difference. In the video demonstation below there is a handy candle trick used to keep some of the sediments out of the decantor.
Some decanters are all in one meaning they aerate and strain sediments. Ais an engineered decanter. It worked well because of the shower funnel (which was fun to watch), but it also did aerate the wine quickly. The decanter is set up with a removable filter. The filter is just for sediments. Keep reading to learn about the difference between wine filters and purifiers Wine Decanter with Wine Shower Funnel and Sediment Strainer
- Some bottles are extremely decorative
- Watching the wine pour in with the shower funnel is fun
- It needs counter space or to be stored somewhere
- Some containers are difficult to clean
- Decanters are not made for a single serving
How Long Does Wine Need to Breathe
Most red wines will get enough air time in about 20 to 30 minutes, but some experts recommend an hour for older wines. You should test the wine 15 minutes after opening to see if it has "loosened up," and it is an excellent way to learn what 15 more minutes of breathing can do for it. This is where the aerators can come into play and speed up the breathing process, so the wine is ready to be enjoyed much sooner!
Do Electric Wine Aerator Work Better?
I asked myself that question. I wanted to know if it worked faster or better. The is a neat gadget. I must admit it was fun, and it's a big hit at parties. It is more compact and easier to store and clean than a decanter. Excellent video demonstration below. It operates with batteries that pump the liquid out. Aervana Electric Wine Aerator
- Small size makes it easy to store
- Easy to use and a crowd pleaser
- You can aerate one glass at a time
Would I buy one again? Not for myself, but I would definitely give one as a gift with a nice bottle of wine. The smaller tap style models that just pop on the top of the bottle and you pour through it work great. Not as showy. Not as fun, but functional. They are reasonably inexpensive.
Wine aerators are not purifiers, but some purifiers are aerators! Purifiers filter out sulfites and the sediments. Sulfites are preservatives in wine. Some people may have an adverse allergic type of reaction to sulfites. Sulfites are in red and white wines.
Today more wines are being made with little to no sulfites, but they will not have a long shelf life. When shopping for these types of wines, look for organic or no SO2 labeling. SO2 stands for the chemical compound of sulfur dioxide. Researchers studying the effects of sulfites state that they are harmless, but if you need to or want to avoid them, using the filters is one way to enjoy all varieties of wine. One thing to note is these filters need replacing, so they are an ongoing investment. The brand Ullo Wine Purifier comes with four filters. Each filter is good for one bottle, and you can purchase the replacements in six packs. Video demonstration below.
- Helps prevent allergic reactions
- Aerates at the same time
- Must buy replacement filters
Will purifying the wine stop hangovers?
Some wine enthusiasts swear that the filtration process removes all the things that cause headaches and hangovers. You will have to test that one out yourself!
The Proper Red Wine Glass For Airing
Try to maximize the pouring distance from the bottle to the wine glass; this will help increase the air flow.
When pouring stop the pour at the broadest part of the bowl. This will ensure the maximum surface area for the wine to breathe. Also you can swirl the wine without spilling it, allowing more air in.
Histamines develop in red wine due to the fermentation process. It is another compound that can irritate some people. White wines have far less than reds. The Ullo purifier did not state anything about removing histamines.
When wine is aerated it soften the tannins, but what are tannins? Tannins are a naturally occurring substance in the grape’s skin. Crushing presses the tannins out of the skins.
Tannins taste astringent, and they dry the mouth and tongue. How dry your mouth feels after tasting wine tells you how much tannin is in the glass.
The wine develops a strong tannic flavor when it sits. The skins, stems, and grape seeds all carry tannins and release it while soaking after the crushing. When winemakers allow the wine to sit, it makes the liquid build character and deeper flavors.
Tannins are antioxidants, which has many benefits in people. The antioxidants factor helps protect the wine also.
Aeration will lessen the dry tannin effect but leave the wine robust still. One way to taste test tannins is to open a cabernet wine and taste it. It should be dry. Cleanse your palate. Aerate a glass and taste it again. It should be softer and less tannic.
Red Wines that Benefit from Aeration
A dark black wine grape wine. These grapes have a softer flavor and less tannin's, but a deep dark burgundy purple, red hue. These grapes make a variety of different flavored wines depending on the region they were grown. They are grown all over the world from France to New Zealand.
Zinfandels can make robust red wine, along with rose and whites. Very versatile from light red drinks to a more richer reddish hue. Zins can range from peppery to sweet.
This dark blue grape makes a stern wine, but merlot grapes are softer than the cabs.
This grape can be found blending with a Cabernet and Merlot to create the Bordeaux style wine. One of my favorites, I look for the more peppery tasting ones. A good treat.
Did you know the "petite" in the name plays to the size of grapes? From these compact berries, a powerful juice is created.
This wines homeland is Italy, and these are used to make chiantis.
The grapes used to produce this wine tend to have an inky dark color and robust tannins. This wine will need some aeration. Australia is now standing out products with the maturity of these grapes.