Best Wine Aerator of 2020
The Vintorio Omni wine aerator appealed to all of our desired attributes with clean lines, pleasing function, and the ability to stylishly enhance the flavor of the wine by letting it breathe as your beautiful red flows through multiple stages of aeration. Watching it do its thing is captivating; some of our testers likened it to watching a fire or a babbling brook. This model positively affected the nose of wines during testing, opening up a more vibrant bouquet, while also increasing the depth of flavor. The easy to clean system allows for nice display and storage. Simply rinse under warm water (not hot - these are mostly all acrylic) before storing it on its included stand.
The handheld nature of these classically shaped aerators means there's a little extra attention required to use them, but the benefits of a softer profile are unmatched. Steering clear of pretentious design, it blends in well with glasses of wine and empty bottles indicating an evening enjoyed with friends or family. Remember to slip the stand under the device as you remove it from over your glass so you don't want to lose a drop. Grab the Omni for a classy look and functional edge.
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 factor to reduce the chance of knocking it over. The wine is aerated while running through the system and 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 is left inside the unit. And while we love the unique simplicity the electricity provides, we aren't thrilled to add another device to our kitchen that requires batteries. The device does not work unless sealed atop a bottle, but it does help maintain the freshness of wine and allows for a simple solution to putting your favorite vintage on tap. Out of the electric models tested, this one is least likely to drip, 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 you can't get anything easier than a pour through the Soireehome in-bottle aerator. Scoring high across all metrics, this plug-and-play globe-shaped device attaches to the bottle and allows for increased aeration depending on the angle of pour, all the way to fully inverted. Bonus points for the dishwasher-safe design, and you've got a nice, easy 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 line up 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. With reduced aeration, it 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 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 quick to any bottle, even whites at a low angle pour.
If taking things apart and experimenting is your bag, then grab the Zazzol wine aerator. Sometimes it's just fun to be able 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 which 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 and disassembly isn't overly complicated. We're just dealing with more pieces and some extra hassle with the rubber seal. Get the Zazzol for the gear geek vino lover in your life.
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. Our testers preferred the button on the Aervana which dispenses wine as you hold the button down to get a more precise pour. The JIFAR unit also sits tall on the bottle and creates a little extra concern for getting high sided and toppling over. The light and window into the device are kind of neat features, but they don't have much affect on the overall performance. Where the Aervana electric model is simple and balanced, the JIFAR seems over-designed and overdone.
We really liked how the 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.
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 sounds this model makes while aerating are pretty loud. Vinturi is proud of the noise, as the loud noises imply that the device is introducing more air to the wine through the side jets of the device. 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.
These handheld devices require extra coordination throughout operation, and the loud sounds of the aeration could be obnoxious to some. This product performs similar to our top choice overall. If the Vintorio isn't available, don't hesitate to go for the Vinturi in its place.
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 a bit 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 easy to clean thanks to few parts. 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 with the Vinvoli, those visuals are denied due to the black band around the top of the model. Still, this model functions almost as well as our favorite models in regards to 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.
The elegant choice for those looking to do the plug and play style is the Made in Italy Centellino Decanter attachment. Attach this to your bottle and pour out a measured taste, then play with options for passing it back to the glass. Different sized options entertain the idea of multiple uses from tasting to full "friend pours." This device offers class and a cool conversation starter. The Centellino releases the aromas you want without subjecting the wine to overly abrasive techniques.
This model has a larger learning curve to using it than other simpler models. Our first few pours were less than perfect, as we had to manuever the bottle correctly to get wine into our glass, but it's really not hard after a couple of tries. While cleaning is straightforward, you may find it tough to get it rinsed well if you allow wine to dry inside the device. The connections are solid, but care needs to be taken to ensure you're preserving the integrity of seals. And, consisting of glass, this model is more fragile than several plastic models we tested. We really like how this aerator/decanter combo looks and favor it to other pour spout style models. Select the Centellino to elevate your host game and show of even more glassware.
TenTen Labs brings us their spout style attachment in a two pack. While this is easy and an incredibly simple option, it failed to bring forth flavors and aromas as well as the other simple choices. While it comes apart easily in use, one of our testers lost the rubber bits between the acrylic and they 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, and offers 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.
Why You Should Trust Us
Our lead tester, Evan Johnson, reached out to industry professionals, sommeliers, industry professionals, and folks plain psyched on the variety of wine gear out there. A wine enthusiast himself, Evan has a personal pursuit of finding fine wines that aren't incredibly expensive, and also how to enhance the flavor of his favorite reds through aging and aeration techniques. This passion project has led him to trying out several wine aerators, giving him valuable insight on 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.
Research was the start of this review. We consulted professionals and investigated the most popular and well-regarded products available to help narrow down our selection of products to buy and test. 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 some of 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:
- 9 aerators
- 12 bottles of wine
- 6 taste panel judges
- 1 broken wine glass
- 7 pizzas
- 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 saught-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 six judges total to determine which version the testers preferred (either aerated or non-aerated). We looked at a scale of rough to smooth taste overall and compared tasting notes both on the nose and palate. All were tested ultimately with the same wine to keep things straight and provide an even playing field, while we also provided further experimentation with multiple varieties.
We found handheld models like the Vintorio, 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 we tested, 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 we barely noticeable, if at all, by our panel of 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.
We preferred units like the Soiree when it comes to ease of use. Just replace the cork of your select bottle of wine with this aerator and you're ready to pour with just one hand. 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. 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.
Between the electric models, we found the Aervana to be easier to use than the JIFAR model. The button on the Aervana functions better to get a more measured and careful poor. 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 do like that the JIFAR is rechargeable, though, with a USB cord.
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 and Vintorio can be run under warm water alone and placed in a safe spot to dry. We think a simple rinse is easier than sticking any of these models 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 huge deal, but 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 helps 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 with it's sleek look that matches most bottles. Our testers unanimously preferred the looks of the Aervana for it's smaller, more sophisticated look. That said, both electric models look a little funny to us atop a wine bottle.
The Vintorio Omni is striking. We like its transparent design that isn't covered up by bands so that you can watch the wine run through the entire device. Other models block part of this process to some extent. Place next to a glass we really liked how it looked on its stand, too. Models like the Aervana blend tech and function to provide a quality product that blends in well.
We tested tons of options for new wine aerators and gave them all an equal shot at stacking up. We gravitated towards models with an easy to clean system and classy countertop presence, but the level of taste and aroma enhancement each model offers was our main concern. After comparing taste, function, and aesthetics we found winners for every use case. We're confident that with the specs and conclusions we found you're now set up well to find the perfect aerator for your wine-enjoying needs. Cin cin.
— Evan Johnson