Question from Sean: Do those wine aerators work?Reply: Hi, Sean! Thanks for writing. This is a question that’s come up a lot over the past few years. Let me tell you about a little experiment I did. I got together a bunch of friends who are probably more experienced with wine than a lot of people. I served them 2 wines, blind. One was poured fresh out of the bottle and the other went through a wine aerator. Their job was to tell me which glass had been aerated and, also, which glass they preferred. You guessed it. The results were all over the board. Nearly half the group was wrong about which one had been aerated and there was no clear preference. For those of you who insist on a scientific, carefully controlled approach, this wasn’t it. This was done very casually. But, nevertheless, it’s hard not to conclude that the aerators probably don’t work.
The thing is, at least the most popular example, the Vinturi, really sounds like it works! You get this satisfying slurping sound as the wine goes into the glass. And, you can’t over-emphasize the power of suggestion. I’m pretty sure that for those who think it works, it does and lots of people swear by it! But, after this experiment I wasn’t inclined to invest. I know what does work: Get that wine into the glass, no more than a generous 1/3 full, and swirl it! And, decanting the wine works well, too – it just takes longer. If you want to hedge your bets, aerate the wine into a decanter, then swirl the heck out of it 😉
I’d also like to say that part of the enjoyment, for me, is to open the wine and watch it evolve over the evening. If you do all this spade work up front, you lose part of this pleasure.So, Sean, if I were you, I’d spend the money on a bottle of wine instead of an aerator. Then, just decant it an hour or two ahead or give it a good swirl. Cheers!