Wine lovers of all tastes have one thing in common: their appreciation for a fine wine.

From the most experienced wine sommeliers to those who are new to the world of wine; we are on the same journey, which is to find the best tasting wine and then enjoy it for many years to come. Many find that a sure-fire way to enhance the overall experience is to use either a decanter or an aerator, or a combination of the two. These tools can help stimulate and speed along the oxidation processes, while filtering sediment from the glass. But, do these tools really work?

Let’s find out.

What is Aerating?

Before we dive into the world of aerators and decanters, let’s have a closer look at aeration.

Aerating wine is the process of allowing it to breathe, or oxidise. When the wine has an opportunity to breathe, regardless if it’s 10 minutes or two hours, it can help stimulate the oxidation and evaporation process immensely.

Although red wine is most often aerated, some white wines may need to undergo the same process. Especially if they’ve been aged in their bottle.

The oxidation and evaporation processes take place when the wine is exposed to oxygen. The oxygen stimulates the wine and helps to release more aromatic compounds, helping enhance the aroma, flavour, and overall experience of the wine tasting. All the while, the evaporation will help reduce the less desirable compounds, as they evaporate at a faster rate.

Once wine has been poured from a bottle to a glass, simply swirling the glass will help the liquid to oxidise. But, for those who are hosting a wine tasting, dinner party, or are simply having some wine while relaxing at home, they may want to speed along this process and truly enhance the flavour and aroma.

That’s when an aerator or decanter can come in handy.

How Do Aerators and Decanters Work?

An aerator is a small device that can be attached to the bottle opening. When the wine is poured through the aerator, the device helps expose the liquid to oxygen at a more intense rate, helping to stimulate the process much faster.

A decanter is a vessel that is used to hold wine that is intended for consumption. Decanters are usually made from either glass or crystal, and can offer a beautiful and elegant design. They help to separate sediment from the wine and to stimulate the oxidation process. When the wine travels from the bottle and throughout the funnel of the decanter, the swirling effect exposes it to oxygen at a much faster rate than simply swirling a glass. Decanters also create more surface area so more wine can be exposed at once, rather than just opening a bottle and letting it breathe.

The Verdict: Are They Worth It?

Although there isn’t much cutting-edge scientific evidence behind the effectiveness of decanters and aerators, that isn’t to say they aren’t effective. Most often, people will find that they are effective with certain wines over others.

The best way to find out is to try it for yourself. If a family member or a friend owns a decanter or aerator, try a glass using the nifty gadget and one without. Or simply invest in an aerator and/or a decanter for yourself, and discover where your personal preferences lay!

If anything, a decanter makes a beautiful centrepiece and elegant way to serve wine while entertaining guests.

Are you in need of a new wine to try out your decanter or aerator with? Have more questions about aerating and decanting? Come on a wine tour with Niagara Vintage Wine Tours and ask your guide Experience the culture and history of Niagara-on-the-Lake while you visit multiple Niagara wineries. Get started today when you book a Niagara Vintage Wine Tour!