Just a curious journalist learning about good food and good health!
I’ll admit it- I thought wine aerators looked pretentious. ‘Do you really need that extra step to open up the flavor?’ I thought. ‘Couldn’t you just swirl your ration around and let it breathe for a minute?’
You can, but man would you be missing out! My Aunt Jenee and Uncle Kent gave us this particular model for Christmas. For daily use, I actually prefer it over our decanter. Both filter sediment for those of us who don’t like that extra bit of earthiness, but the aerator seems to more expeditiously pull apart flavor.
A quick Google search confirmed my conclusion (gotta love the Internet when you’re second-guessing yourself). Wine Enthusiast says “So, what’s the difference? The difference is time. If you have limited time to spare and you’d like your wine to be softer, a handy aerator will do the trick in minutes. When time is on your side and you’re preparing a more leisurely meal or inviting over guests, a decanter is the best solution.”
I’ll agree with that too. There’s something very elegant about a large, statuesque decanter doubling as your centerpiece.
If you need a decent model of wine aerator, Vinturi works well for us, and judging by the reviews, lots of other people. This Riedel is my dream decanter; if you’d like something a little more budget-friendly, try this Luigi Burmioli.
For more tips on how long to decant, read this helpful post from Wine Spectator’s Dr. Vinny.