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Wine lovers want every glass to be the best possible expression of a vintage since wine is a living product where multiple aspects affect what’s in your glass. That includes whether or not the wine is aerated, or exposed to air, when it’s time to serve. Aerating a wine allows for volatile compounds like sulfites to evaporate while the interaction with oxygen opens up flavors and smoothes out tannins. If you know what wine you’re drinking in a few hours or tomorrow, aeration is accomplished while decanting. For those times when a bottle is opened in the moment, you’ll want to reach for your trusty aerator.
Aerators work during the actual pour, when air holes produce little bubbles of oxygen into your wine. This does usually result in some surface bubbles in your glass, though those will dissipate after a few moments. Since aerating affects tannins and stronger tasting notes, it’s generally used for complex red wines, as other wine styles can lose structure and flavors in the process.
Let your vino breathe with the best wine aerators.
Best Overall: Vinturi V1010 Essential Red Wine Aerator
Noticeably improves taste
Initial plastic smell
The best aerators accomplish two important tasks: Opening up the wine’s bouquet by exposing it to oxygen and straining any sediment or pieces of cork. This aerator set from Vinturi achieves both effectively to give you a more aromatic wine with softer tannins.
For the 6-inch tall aerator to work, it does need to be held above your glass as the wine is poured. After going through the removable mesh sediment filter, the wine whooshes through the aerator chamber while making the unique sound of aerating. Since a few drops of wine tend to stay in the chamber, Vinturi includes a no-drip rubber stand to avoid messes and store the model between pours.
Since the aerator does not come apart, it’s best to clean the chamber as soon as possible. Our reviewer found that placing it directly under a running faucet did the trick.
Material: Acrylic | Dimensions: 4 x 6 x 6 inches | Weight: 7 ounces
"I found [my wine] to be much smoother than my non-aerated glass, and the tart bite that the wine originally had was gone." — Joline Buscemi, Product Tester
Best Electric: Aervana Essential Electric Wine Aerator
Improves taste of wine
Won't fit all bottles
Difficult to clean
Many aerators are designed to be placed inside the neck of a wine bottle. The Aervana Essential, though, works when set atop the bottle, essentially turning it into wine on tap.
This electric aerator comes in two pieces: the aerator and a long tube. The tube sits inside the bottle and leaves any sediment at the bottom of the bottle. In the best party trick ever, wine goes through the aerator and into your glass with the push of a button. The entire contraption is designed to fit only traditional 750-milliliter bottles.
Cleaning is a bit tricky since the tube can be cleaned with a pipe cleaner, but water needs to be run through the aerator pump via the tube. This is due to the battery compartment holding six AAAs, which are not included.
Material: Plastic | Dimensions: 9.8 x 5.9 x 3.1 inches | Weight: 13.4 ounces
"Its easy, one-touch functionality is simple enough for guests to figure out and unlike manual aerators, there’s less potential for mess." — Joline Buscemi, Product Tester
Best Pourer: Vintorio Wine Aerator Pourer
Simple to use
Easy to clean
Good for parties
May not fit all bottles
When an aerator sits inside the neck of a wine bottle, your wine is aerated as you pour. Vintorio offers one of the very best of this style of aerator.
Measuring almost 6 inches in length, this aerator features three air holes to draw in oxygen, a regulator plate for maximum air exposure in the aeration chamber, and a 150-degree acrylic spout for easy pouring. Your pour is also helped by the air tube placed inside the bottle, and a rubber gasket prevents any leaks or spills.
The spout and tube do separate for easy cleaning, but you can also run water through the aerator between bottles.
Material: BPA-free plastics | Dimensions: 5.9 x 1.1 x 1.1 inches | Weight: 1.28 ounces
"I have to be honest—compared to other wine aerators I’ve used, this one looks awkward and feels slightly cheap, but it’s extremely easy to use." — Joline Buscemi, Product Tester
Best Budget: TenTen Labs Wine Aerator Pourer (2-Pack) - Decanter Premium Aerating Spout
Easy to use
Compact design can fit in your pocket
Parts difficult to reassemble tightly again
This no-frills aerator is a great budget-friendly option. The small, 4-inch model is easy to use. Just pop it into an open bottle and pour away. There were no leaks or drips during our tests, even when the aerator was placed gently inside the bottle. The silicone band gives the model a snug fit inside the neck of any wine bottle.
As wine is poured through the aerator, a small hole inside the chamber draws in air. A metal plate disrupts the wine as it flows out of the aerator, forcing the wine to bubble and exposing it to oxygen. The TenTen doesn’t pour quite as smoothly as other models. When the wine hits the metal plate, you can feel the liquid sloshing back and forth. Pour carefully—if you tip too suddenly some might slosh out of your glass. When tested with a Malbec this aerator helped reduce the hot aroma of alcohol.
Material: Plastic | Dimensions: 4 x 2.5 x 1.3 inches | Weight: 0.03 pound
Best for Chilling Wine: Derguam 3-in-1 Stainless Steel Wine Chiller with Aerator and Pourer
Wine chill lasts up to an hour
Drip-free pouring spout
You have to use a bit of force to fit the aerator into the bottle
If you like to aerate whites and rosés in addition to red wines, the Derguam 3-in-1 wine tool has some extra features that might come in handy. This aerator comes with a detachable metal rod that can be kept in the freezer and used to keep wine cool.
After freezing the stainless steel chiller rod for at least two hours, attach it to the aerator and place it in your bottle of wine. The metal rod helps chill the wine, even on a hot summer day. To aerate, attach the rod to the aerator, and insert the entire device into the bottle. As you pour, the wine is drawn through the acrylic aerator and dispersed into a thin sheet, exposing more of the wine to oxygen as it pours. When you’re finished, we recommend removing this aerator above the sink. The long chiller rod tends to hang on to a few drops of wine.
Material: Stainless steel, acrylic | Dimensions: 12.6 x 0.79 x 0.79 inches | Weight: 3.52 ounces
Best Basic: Rabbit Super Aerator
Easy to clean
Fits snugly into top of bottle
Prone to leakage where the acrylic meets the steel
Wine enthusiasts may want an aerator with the latest technology. However, many can experience a great glass of wine with a full bouquet and silky tannins by using a no-frills aerator like this model from the experts at Rabbit.
You simply place the polished stainless steel aerator inside the neck of your wine bottle and it aerates as you pour. The silicone base gives it a tight seal in your bottle, while the angled spout minimizes drips. It’s recommended that you hand wash to clean.
Material: Acrylic, steel, silicone | Dimensions: 0.94 x 1.09 x 5.2 inches | Weight: 1 pound
Best with a Stopper: Zwilling Sommelier Accessories 3-in-1 Wine Aerator-Pourer-Stopper
Includes a rubber stopper for airtight storage
Unique spiral system for aeration
A bit expensive
The Zwilling aerator features high-quality stainless steel fabrication. Measuring 5.12 inches in length, the aerator chamber uses a patented spiral design and air hole to incorporate oxygen as the wine flows through. As you pour, the device allows oxygen to flow into the bottle, which smoothes out the pouring process in addition to aerating the wine.
This model includes a cork that closes the aerator for easy storage. After pouring a few glasses, place the cork in the aerator and store the entire bottle, device and all, upright in the fridge. During testing the Zwilling aerator enhanced the flavors and aromas in red wine, and didn’t splash or drip during pouring.
Material: Stainless steel | Dimensions: 5.12 x 3.15 x 1.65 inches | Weight: 0.44 pound
Best for Coravin Fans: Coravin Timeless Aerator
Use of aerator equals at least one hour of decanting
Great addition if already using Coravin
Aerator displays a cool ‘shower’ effect
There is a different aerator for each Coravin system
The Coravin aerator is designed to attach to the Coravin Timeless system. The aerator itself is budget-friendly, but the Timeless system is a considerable investment. To set up this aerator, start with a Coravin system loaded with an argon gas capsule. Without removing the cork, insert the needle into the cork and press down until the Coravin is in contact with the top of the bottle. Then, just attach the aerator by placing it over the plastic pour spout. To pour, tilt the bottle so that the wine is completely in contact with the cork. Pull and release the trigger on the top of the Coravin device. This trigger dispenses argon gas into the wine bottle, forcing wine out. This device simultaneously pours, aerates, and preserves wine.
The aerator itself is extremely powerful. Wine showers out of the aerator in numerous small streams, exposing it to plenty of oxygen. The wine is dispensed so vigorously that it was hard to keep some from splashing out of the glass. We recommend placing the head of the aerator completely inside of the glass. Even with this treatment, it was difficult to prevent a few drips from escaping when the bottle was titled upright. When tested with a Pinot Noir this aerator helped reduce and enhanced the fruit and earth aromas.
Material: Stainless steel, silicone | Dimensions: 1.4 x 0.89 x 0.89 inches | Weight: 0.04 pound
What to Look for in a Wine Aerator
Aerators range from ultra-fancy to your basic, everyday models. For example, some fit on the top of your bottle and can act as a stopper too, while others are separate devices into which you pour your wine. How many features—and what types of features—you want will depend largely on your drinking habits and preferences.
Ease of use
Some aerators are easier to use than others. If you like the ritual of aerating your wine, you may not want a snazzy electric model. On the other hand, if you just want to get to sipping, there are models that make aerating a breeze.
Some people swear that certain aerators can make a bottle of wine taste like one that’s twice as expensive. Consider the technique an aerator uses as well as the recommendations of other oenophiles when choosing one.
What does a wine aerator do?
A wine aerator opens up the wine’s aroma, softening the flavor profile and improving its character.
Do you aerate white wine?
You can aerate white wine if you like. It just doesn’t need it as much to release the aromas and soften the tannins, like in a red wine.
How do you use a wine aerator?
To use a wine aerator, simply attach it to the top of the bottle and pour.
Though for the Vinturi aerator listed above, you attach the filter to the aerator, and then hold the aerator over the glass and pour the wine through the aerator into the glass.
How long do you aerate wine?
The aerators listed above are designed to aerate wine quickly, so you will be able to taste a difference within a few minutes after you pour the wine into the glass.
Can you over-aerate wine?
For older wines, you can definitely over-aerate, as they are very fragile. With younger wines, and the aerators mentioned in this article, the wine is ready to drink shortly after you’ve poured it.
Why Trust The Spruce Eats?
Siobhan Wallace has written about food and wine for over a decade and passed the WSET Level 2, Wines, with Distinction. She’s a firm believer in aerating wine, especially when it’s being paired with pizza.
Tanisha Townsend updated this piece. She holds several wine certifications, hosts a wine podcast, and currently teaches wine courses in France. When asked what is her favorite wine, she replies, "The one that’s been aerated."