Best Wine Aerator of 2021
The elegant Vinluxe Pro is a handheld wine aerator that is not only functional in its ability to smooth out harsh tannins, but it's fun to use too. This multi-step aerator starts by receiving the poured wine onto a slightly beveled showerhead, which spreads the wine out before it makes its way to step two, the perforated disc. This disc is littered with tiny holes that the wine passes through on its way to the third step. Finally, it swirls through a small vertical canal and into the wine glass. Each step introduces more air, rounding out especially tannic or tart wines. The small shower spout effect is stunning. The device offers confirmation of aeration both visibly via its translucent body and audibly via the fun whirling, and whooshing sounds it makes as the wine rushes through. Not only is this wine aerator fun to watch while in use, but the punchy label and sleek holder make it a great bar accessory too.
While our testers were not bothered by the whirling and whooshing, some may prefer a less audible confirmation of aeration. The small shower head is crucial to this puzzle; however, pouring the wine onto what is essentially a flat surface can cause spillage if you are not careful. While a plethora of wines can benefit from aeration, it is important not to use the Vinluxe with especially delicate wines as it may flatten the flavor. This aerator is great for intense and robustly tannic wines.
The Aervana Essential Electric offers up your choice of wine freshly aerated at the easy touch of a button. It sits nicely in standard wine bottles and has a low profile and elegant form, reducing the chance of knocking it over. The wine is aerated while running through the system, which operates on six AAA batteries to ensure you've got the power to produce a pleasing, aerated pour straight from the spout. This attachment essentially brings a wine tap to your next get-together.
Cleaning requires a rinse bottle filled with water and a quick run through the system to ensure nothing remains inside the unit. And while we love the unique simplicity the electricity provides, we aren't thrilled to add another gadget to our kitchen that requires batteries. The device does not work unless sealed atop a bottle, but it does its job as advertised, helping maintain the freshness of your wine and providing a simple solution to putting your favorite vintage on tap. We found this one the least likely to drip out of the electric models tested, although a well-placed towel or drip catch coaster is encouraged to keep counters or shelves clean. Check out the Aervana for an easy go-to touch of simplicity.
Sometimes simple is best, and it doesn't get much easier than a pour through the Soireehome in-bottle wine aerator. Scoring highly across all metrics, this plug-and-play globe-shaped device attaches to your bottle and allows for increased aeration depending on the angle of the pour, all the way to fully inverted. Bonus points for the dishwasher-safe design. We feel this is a clear choice at a fair price point. After use, place it on the display stand and have your new favorite wine tool on the shelf next to your lineup of bottles for the evening.
While it can be easier to pour through, our testers found this device provides slightly less enhancement to the bouquet of aromas. Reduced aeration can also provide more of the tannic taste; a pour with the Soireehome may need more time for a smoother glass. To enhance aeration, it might be worth covering the opening with a thumb and tilting the bottle back and forth to allow it to run from the device back to the bottle a few times. Try this over the sink, though. No assembly and the easiest of cleanup make this one a clear winner. Choose this affordable model as a display piece and something to add quickly to any bottle, even whites at a low angle pour.
Not only does the Üllo aerate your wine, but it uses Selective Sulfite filter technology to purify it too. The liquid glides easily through the disposable sulfite filters and then spirals around the dome-shaped base, introducing air to your wine. We were pleasantly surprised to find that the sulfite filters provide no unwanted change in taste. We tested this out by aerating the same wine with and without the filters for a side-by-side comparison. The swirling of the wine, which takes place in the bulbous base, takes the edge off the tannins, leaving room for fruity and oaky notes to shine brightly. The Üllo is very quiet, so if you prefer to taste, see, smell and feel your wine without having to hear it, too, then this is a great option.
This in-glass wine aerator is extremely easy to use. It simply sits on the rim of your desired wine glass. The top half is made of rubber and is tapered to ensure a gentle fit for a wide array of delicate glassware. It is best to pour slowly, but generally speaking, the large-sized mouth is difficult to spill. Unfortunately, the in-glass aerator is not a great option if you plan to refill used glasses because it comes in contact with the rim. That renders the Üllo a difficult one for large dinner parties or group gatherings. That being said, for personal use, small intimate gatherings, or for events that require a fresh glass with every pour, the Üllo is a splendid option.
The MEHMM is a simple handheld aerator. It has two long tunnels which introduce air to the main tube. The air tunnels are placed directly across each other, creating a whirling effect on the wine. A small removable metal strainer sits in the opening to separate the wine and catch any sediment. This clear device is equally as fun to watch as it is effective. If the visual and audible confirmation isn't enough, the difference in taste and aromatics will be.
On that note, if you are looking for a silent aerator, this one is not the one for you. The wishing and whirling of the wine followed by the spattering of bubbles make quite the racket. We didn't mind this during our hands-on testing, but some may be less amused. The MEHMM is also difficult to clean. It cannot be taken apart, and running warm water through it only goes so far. We suggest using a pipe cleaner to ensure that old wine does not affect the taste of your fresh bottles. If you're looking for a budget-friendly, easy-to-use, handheld aerator and don't mind scrubbing it clean, then the MEHMM is a great option.
If you have a penchant for taking things apart and experimenting, check out the Zazzol wine aerator. Sometimes it's just fun to take an old go-to wine and see how it changes with new tools. The Zazzol provides multiple layers and styles of aeration to please all the senses. Pouring starts over an umbrella that fans out the wine before it travels through a perforated disk and finally whirls through our friend, the Bernoulli zone.
Almost all of these devices employ the Bernoulli effect, where you increase the velocity of a liquid (in our case, wine) through a constriction, and various methods of air injection spit out your sweet delicious vino on the other side. According to the manufacturer, the Zazzol is dishwasher safe. We didn't find disassembling it overly complicated; there are just a few more pieces and some finagling with the rubber seal. We recommend the Zazzol for the gear geek vino lover in your life.
The Vinturi Aerator is a well-known and popular device. Our testers resoundingly liked how well it worked in enhancing the nose of our selected reds, and the sound emitted from this device during aeration is not insignificant. Vinturi is proud of the noise, as the loud noises imply that the device is introducing more air to the wine through the device's side jets. Simple construction and easy cleaning increase the value and performance of this product. The optional mesh screen insert available on this model (and a few others we tested) is nice for catching bits of cork or other sediment.
While we appreciate the audible confirmation of aeration that the Vinturi provides, some may prefer a quieter option. It is also worth noting that these handheld devices require extra coordination.
The Vinvoli Luxury Pourer checks in with a familiar handheld style, mesh screen, and a tabbed additional cup system. The cup allows extra space for air to enter the Bernoulli Effect, but the tabs are somewhat clumsy. After aligning them, however, you're set up for success. The blind taste testers all preferred the pour offered by the Vinvoli over non-aerated wines, and it's the fact that it's comprised of fewer parts means it's easier to clean. It's also priced competitively among other handheld options.
Get the tabs wrong or break one, and this could end up less than ideal. Still, when operated correctly, this unit gets the job done. Most of our testers preferred models that allow you to "see" the aeration process in action, but the black band around the Vinvoli's top blocked our view. Still, this model functions almost as well as our favorite models in terms of enhancing the flavor and aroma of red wines, and since it's priced a touch lower, we think it's a fine choice for folks less entertained with the aesthetics of the device in action.
TenTen Labs brings us their spout-style attachment in a two-pack. While this is an easy and straightforward option, it failed to bring forth flavors and aromas as well as the other simple choices. It also comes apart easily in use; one of our testers lost the rubber bits between the acrylic and almost fell into the bottle. It sits well inside the neck of a bottle but does not do much for flavor.
We found that this model functions effectively as a wine pourer first, offering little aeration. Place it in your favorite wine, and you've got a nice, functional device that pours well. Just don't expect a very noticeable enhancement in aroma or taste with this model.
Electric models are abundant and should be easy. Our test of the JIFAR One Touch aerator confirmed some initial button control concerns. For this model, touch the button to start the flow of wine, and then touch it again to turn it off. However, our testers preferred the button on the Aervana, which dispenses wine as you hold the button, allowing a more precise pour. We really like that this unit is charged via USB and comes with assorted accouterments of an opener, a travel pouch, and a stopper (all of which seem of average quality). Another option could be rigging this atop a bottle of custom-flavored beverages in a wine bottle. Overall, the drips were minimal, and it enhanced the wine's aromas and flavor in our tests.
On the downside, the JIFAR unit sits tall on the bottle and creates a little extra concern for getting high-sided and toppling over. We did like the light and the window into the device but didn't find them to affect the overall performance. Overall, we felt the JIFAR was over-designed and overdone, especially compared to the simple and balanced Aervana electric model.
Why You Should Trust Us
Our lead testers, Evan Johnson, and Hayley Thomas reached out to industry professionals, sommeliers, and folks plain psyched on the variety of wine gear out there. Both are wine enthusiasts and enjoy finding high-caliber bottles at lower price points. Seeking out fine wines that won't break the bank and enhancing them via aging and aeration techniques is a pastime they can both get behind. This passion project led them to try out several aerators against a dozen tannic wines, giving them valuable insight into these devices.
Checking this info with blind testing and examining the results, we found real decisive winners. The wide breadth of users helped us determine which aerator would work best for the wine enthusiast.
As always, we began this project with a lot of research. We consulted professionals and investigated the most popular and well-regarded products available to help narrow down our test suite. Once we received our orders, we went wine shopping to get an array of wines of various vintages, grape varieties, and prices to see what these aerators can really do. We started with our favorite reds and checked blind taste tests to see if the aerator provided an elevated experience. We also assembled a panel of wine professionals and amateur wine-lovers to conduct these blind taste tests over several evenings. Our testers overwhelmingly preferred the aerated version of these (mostly young) wines. We equally compared all models across the board to see which stacked up the best in smoothing out a nice, tannic red. After cleaning up and shelving each unit, we got a feel for how easy it was to process the system and figure out its quirks, too. Here are some stats from our testing process:
- Ten aerators
- Twelve bottles of wine
- Six taste panel judges
- One broken wine glass
- Three loaves of sourdough
- Lots of chocolate
Analysis and Test Results
We analyzed each model according to a test plan we developed to be fair and equal. Our three areas of performance comparison are Aroma and Taste Enhancement, Ease of Use and Cleaning, and Aesthetics. Read on below to see how each metric was assessed and which products shined brightest in each performance criterion.
Aroma & Taste Enhancement
As this is the most sought-after effect of a wine aerator, we went to great lengths to test this aspect of each product. Extensive blind tasting was conducted with a panel of four to six judges to determine which version the testers preferred (either aerated or non-aerated). We looked at a rough to smooth taste scale overall and compared tasting notes on the nose and palate. To create a controlled experiment, we tested each aerator out on each bottle of wine we purchased. We were sure to pour a fresh non-aerated control glass to sip alongside their aerated counterparts to provide true comparisons. We provided bread and plain water to cleanse the palate between tastings.
We found handheld models like the Vinluxe Pro, Zazzol, and Vinturi to all function well in terms of aerating wine. These three models significantly enhanced the taste and aroma of red wines immediately after popping the corks. The Aervana Essential Electric proved in our tests to be the most flavor-enhancing of the electric models, creating similar results in taste and aroma as the handheld models.
Models like the TenTen provide some aeration, but the effects on aroma and taste were barely noticeable — if at all — by our judges. This model seems to focus more on pouring than aerating, based on our assessments. Stopper-style aerators overall also fell short without much actual enhanced aroma or taste.
Ease of Use & Cleaning
This metric consists of how easy it is to use and clean each model. Some product designs make it difficult to balance pouring, holding an aerator, and potentially even a glass. For this reason, we urge consideration for how you may intend to use the device.
Units like the in-bottle Soiree simply replace the cork, allowing you to pour with one hand. The Üllo is another one-handed wonder. This in-glass aerator sits atop your wine glass, making it easy to pour one-handed and more difficult to spill. This ease of use contrasts with the handheld models, which require two-handed operation and are more likely to result in a few errant splashes. The Üllo and the handheld Vinluxe Pro are both very easy to clean as they come apart, ensuring that no wine is left behind. Whether handheld or stopper-style, we appreciated models with a stand to place them in between uses. This kept them stable and off the counter, and therefore, cleaner.
We found the Aervana to be easier to use than the JIFAR model between the electric models. The button on the Aervana functions better to get a more measured and careful pour. It's also less top-heavy and not as easy to knock over as the large and clunkier JIFAR aerator. Furthermore, the JIFAR tended to drip more than the Aervana. We appreciate that the JIFAR model is rechargeable with a USB cord, while the Aervana runs on six AAA batteries.
To clean most of these devices, a simple rinse will do. Some models, like the Zazzol, required unscrewing and disconnecting parts to fully clean, whereas the more simple Soiree can simply be run under warm water and placed in a safe spot to dry. We prefer a simple rinse to sticking these devices in the dishwasher, and not all of them are suited for this anyhow. Cleaning the electric models is more involved. These are best cleaned by filling a wine bottle with clean water and pumping the water through the spout. It's not a dealbreaker, but it does take more time and effort than the non-electrical models.
Part of the wine tasting experience is how the wine looks in the glass, appealing label artwork, and the setting. Nice tools to enjoy your wine help elevate the experience for you and your guests. You could consider matching your choice to align with your home's design theme or even look at how it matches the rest of your kit. To compare, we set tables with the gear out and stored it with bottles on display.
Electric models tested brought in a different feel, from the somewhat large and top-heavy look of the JIFAR to our favorite e-aerator, the Aervana, which has a sleek look that matches most bottles. Our testers unanimously preferred the Aervana for its smaller, more sophisticated look. That said, both electric models look a little funny to us atop a wine bottle. The Vinluxe Pro is striking. We like the mostly transparent design with the simple black band and eye-catching logo. We did not feel the need to tuck it away after using it and instead left it out on the bar for all to see. Models like the Aervana blend tech and function to provide a quality product that blends in well.
We test many aerators across an array of wines. We took every precaution, like bread and water pallet cleansers as well as non-aerated control glasses, to ensure that each aerator had an equal opportunity to shine. We gravitated toward models that were easy to use and easy to clean, but the level of taste and aroma enhancement was our main concern. After spending a good amount of time with our entire test suite, we found that certain options shined brightest in specific situations. We're confident that the specs and conclusions we've reached will help guide you to the perfect option for your needs and budget.
— Evan Johnson
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