Once wine is in the bottle or in your glass, extensive exposure to air can eventually “oxidize” the wine, resulting in a poor tasting experience. If air is so bad for wine, why should it be aerated? Before winemakers mastered the art of clarification, decanting was necessary for all wines to separate the wine from sediment. Today, this is still recommended for older, high-quality wines that are expected to throw off sediment as part of the ageing process. Decanting focuses on the separation of sediment from the wine, aeration allows wine to breathe, softening tannins & instantly improves drinkability.
This is not true for all wines; aeration is beneficial for young, bold and tannic styles, such as Barolo, Zinfandel, Shiraz, Petite Sirah and new world Cabernet Sauvignon. These wines can be highly concentrated and tannic early in their lives to the level that any “loss” of initial sensory impressions by aerating is a good thing! If you don’t have the time or need the pomp and circumstance of a crystal decanter and are looking for something that is quick and easy to use, here are few options to consider:
The Rabbit pourer behaves like a mini-decanter-with-funnel-in-one in that it sprays multiple streams of wine through holes in the device down the sides of the clear plastic funnel before entering the glass. This one attaches directly to the bottle so you do not need two hands to aerate.
Easy to use and fun to watch the wine pour through, it is a mini decanting system of non-leaded glass.
The Vinturi Travel is the mini version of the well-known Vinturi which uses two holes in the sides to allow air to enter the funnel as wine is poured through it and down the sides of the plastic funnel tip before entering the glass. The size of the travel version makes it easy for you to take it any where you like to enjoy wine.