Let’s all stop for a moment and give thanks to wine. It’s a truly wonderful drink, constantly surprising, endlessly satisfying, and something which has been giving pleasure to mankind for a phenomenal length of time - literally tens of thousands of years.
Those who make our bottles of vino are no mere drinks producers. They’re craftspeople, artists, holders of techniques, secrets, and refined expertise that is often passed down from generation to generation across the centuries, and whose skills we all too often take for granted. The least we can do, then, is to ensure we’re enjoying their produce exactly as they intended. Right?
All too many people seem to think that wine (and in this article, we’re going to be mainly focusing on the red stuff as opposed to the white) just needs to be poured from the bottle into a glass, and then poured from that glass down your throat. If that’s how you like to do things, that’s fine… but a little thought, a little patience, or a little ingenuity with the right tools is going to make sure you aren’t missing out on every last drop of pleasure, or that you aren’t disrespecting your wine and the thought and effort that went into its creation.
In this blog, we’re going to be looking at the best wine aerator for helping your wine to open up, and at wine oxidation (or ‘breathing’, as it’s more commonly known) in a bit more detail overall. With the help of a few simple techniques, and one brilliantly effective device, you can make sure that your red wines are exactly as palatable as intended, and allow for all of those lovely, rich, complex flavours and aromas to come forth and be enjoyed to the full. Read on to find out all about it!
Let it Breathe
Winemakers put a lot of thought into how their wine is going to be received and enjoyed once opened for the first time. Despite what many people believe, not all red wine gets better with age; in fact, less than 10% of red wines are intended for ageing, and the other 90%+ are absolutely intended for drinking fresh, young, and straight from the bottle shop.
However, red wines get much of their character and personality from the presence of tannins in the grapes. Tannins are those harsh, astringent, ‘drying’ notes you feel on your palate when enjoying a full-bodied red, such as a Cabernet Sauvignon or Malbec. Think of those times you’ve bitten into an unripe plum or grape, and the intense sharpness and woolly sensation it leaves on your tongue - that’s the tannin in the fruit doing its job. Some wines are less tannic with others (Pinot Noir and Grenache would be considered low tanning or light-bodied red wines), but a complete absence of tannin would leave your wine seeming totally lifeless and watery. When you age a bottle of wine - for example, a quality left-bank Bordeaux recommended for opening a decade or so after purchase - you’re essentially planning on allowing time to soften the tannins in the bottle, which ends up prompting the release of a spectrum of secondary and tertiary flavours, and resulting in a smoother, more decadent and luxurious mouthful. As such, age-worthy bottles need a lot of tannin and acid present upon release, in order for that slow, steady, and gradual breakdown of tannin to occur.
Now, as mentioned, most bottles aren’t meant for ageing. But that doesn’t mean that they aren’t often very tannic and harsh (known to wine buffs as being ‘tight’) when first opened… and it’s important to allow for the wine to soften slightly before drinking. Why? Because that harshness and tannic quality will mask some of the notes the winemaker wants you to enjoy, and you won’t get the full benefit of the wine’s complexity by just necking it straight away. How do you soften and ‘open up’ your bottle, without sticking it in a cellar for a few years? Quite simply by letting it ‘breathe’.
Wine is, as we all know, a product made from natural ingredients - in this case, from grapes. Like all fruits, the grape juices in wine are sensitive to oxygen, which immediately starts attacking the structure of your wine as soon as it has been exposed to the gas in our environment. Oxygen breaks down the long molecular strings of tannin in the wine, and as it does so, the flavonoids and molecules holding in the aromas start to break free, resulting in a softer, richer, and more interesting flavour… and this is exactly why allowing your wine to breathe is so important. Quite simply, it makes your wine taste and feel better on your tongue. When you’re ageing wine in a cellar, the porous quality of cork allows in minute quantities of oxygen over a period of years (if too much oxygen gets in the bottle, the wine becomes completely ruined… something which is much more common than you might imagine). When you’re enjoying a bottle at home or with your friends, you don’t have the time to wait around for this to happen… so what can you do instead? Make use of the best wine aerator for the job, of course!
What Does an Aerator Do?
A wine aerator is a simple tool with the power to make a significant difference to the structure, flavour, and aroma of your wine. Whoever came up with the first one was clearly something of a genius, as previously people had to rely on the time-consuming and unreliable methods of pouring the wine into a decanter (which can quickly cause over-oxidation to occur), or just leaving the bottle uncorked for 15-20 minutes before pouring… which isn’t exactly ideal if you’ve got a real hankering for a great glass of wine.
An acrylic spout is attached to the neck of the wine bottle, which has been cleverly designed to force air into the wine as its being poured. This causes instant breathing to happen in the wine as it falls from the bottle to the glasses, and mixes bubbles into the liquid which quickly dissipate, leaving the wine smoother, richer, more flavourful, and considerably more palatable. Tight, tannic Cabernets take on an instantly more drinkable quality - no more puckered lips dry tongues - and softer wines become even more luxurious in an instant. You don’t have to wait around, you don’t have to fiddle with overcomplicated aeration contraptions or glass decanters, and you get a perfect glass of wine every time… just as the winemaker intended.
The Best Wine Aerator: Taking Wine Drinking to New Heights of Pleasure
There’s a real beauty in the simplicity and elegance of the Brumate wine aerator. It does the job absolutely perfectly every time, and requires no fuss, no complications, no batteries, and no issues whatsoever. Essentially, if you’re interested in ensuring your wine is enjoyed at its absolute best, it’s an item that you simply cannot do without.
If you have a penchant for full-bodied red wines (don’t we all?), then an aerator could genuinely make a massive difference to how you enjoy your regular glass of vino. If you haven’t yet discovered the impact they can make, there’s never been a better time to start exploring. After all, it’s what those hard-working winemakers would have wanted!