What’s a wine aerator?

I got a cute little ram aerator for Christmas. I kind of knew what aerators were supposed to do, but had never really used one before that gift.

An aerator is something you stick in the top of your wine bottle; when you pour the wine through it, air gets mixed in. The same thing happens when you let your wine sit open or swirl it around in the glass. It’s what fancy wine people call letting your wine breathe.

Air is supposed to let the flavors settle down and mingle. Ever had a wine that’s supposed to be really good, but the first time you pour it out of the glass, it’s super puckery and leaves you with an alcohol punch to the throat? Try an aerator to calm that baby down.

Using the deliciously fancy aerator gifted by the lovely @ak_scrumpy on this fine evening

A video posted by Wine For The Win (@wineforthewin) on

Not all wines need an aerator. They’re typically used on red wines, particularly young ones.

If you’re into an aerator that looks like an animal is puking wine into your glass, like I am, you can find them here. You’ll also see them at wineries all over Paso Robles, San Luis Obispo, Santa Barbara, et al.