Ultimate Guide to Wine Aerators

Using Wine Aerators

Wouldn't it be wonderful to be able to fully appreciate all the subtle flavors and smells in your red wine? Maybe you've never understoo­d other people when they've said they can taste blackberry and a hint of honey in their red wine. A wine aerator could finally bring your taste buds to life! You won't have to be left off the bandwagon. But now you want to make sure you use the wine aerator properly to get the best results with your new wine toy.

Wine aerators are available at any wine store, and the aeration process isn't very complicated. First, open the bottle with a corkscrew. Then pour the bottle directly into the aerator. Make sure you have your wine glass below the aerator. If you want to use a decanter before you pour it into your glass, you can choose to do that too [source: Robertson].


There are a few different styles of aerators, though, so make sure you check out all of the possibilities before you decide. Some aerators have multiple tiers to ensure proper aeration, some are electronic and inserted directly into the bottle, and others are shaped like sea creatures and attach to the mouth of the decanter while you pour into your glass.

By now, your Uncle Chuck would be very proud of you. He probably wants you to tell your parents about these tricks to make their wine taste better, so he'll enjoy his wine better at the next holiday party. Don't forget to impress your new neighbors with your aerating skills! Let's toast to a better tasting wine.

For more information, take a look at the links below.

Wine Aerator FAQ

What does a wine aerator do?
An aerator introduces air into wine in an accelerated fashion. The process isn't complicated, it's simply oxidation and evaporation in a short amount of time. This is perfect if you didn't "remember" to crack open a bottle of red two hours before you realized you really wanted a glass.
Which wines need to be aerated?
For the most part, only reds should be aerated. Lighter bodied reds (such as Pinot Noir) don't need to be aerated. Similarly, cheap red wines ($10 or less) are meant to be consumed from the bottle and won't gain anything from being aerated. Some people have started aerating heavier white wines, but it's not a popular practice.
Does aerating wine make it taste better?
That's exactly the point. Aerating wine brings your taste buds to life and can elevate a bottle of wine past what you paid for it. The results are a smoother taste and individual accents and smells being more distinct and enjoyable.
Does a wine aerator help with hangovers?
No, but there are some devices on the market that claim to remove the hangover-causing elements in a glass of wine. The Wand from PureWine is a popular example, though we don't make any claims about whether it works or not.
Does a decanter aerate wine?
Yes, it does, however wine needs to sit in a decanter for an hour or two in order to be aerated without the help of an aerator. In most cases, wine "wakes up" when it's moved from its original vessel. However, you should be careful when decanting and aerating older wines, as they tend to have more sediment and decanting can harm the overall flavor.

Related HowStuffWorks Articles


  • Nase, Joseph. "Proper transference makes wine taste better." (Accessed 1/31/09)
  • Robertson, Chris. "Wine Aerators-Aerating Wines to Bring Out Taste and Aroma." (Accessed 1/31/09)
  • Xomba. "What is a wine Aerator and how do they work." (Accessed 1/31/09)