For years we have enjoyed the extra life aerators bring to wine. Silly us. We only have used them on red wines. Does an aerator for white wine really work? Is it needed.
Caesar Aerated Before Us
Exposure to the right amount of air can work wonders for wine. This isn’t anything new. In ancient Roman times, wine from amphorae would be brought to the table in glass decanters.
The decanter – then and now – serve a dual purpose. They allow you to avoid pouring unsightly sediment into your glass. Since that’s not as common a problem in modern times, the more typical use is to allow the wine to “breathe” by exposing more surface area to the oxygen.
First Of All, Aerators Do Work
We have a number of decanters around the house and use them regularly. Typically we’ll pour wine into a decanter an hour or so before we want to drink it. We really like the two decanter system where we drink the wine that has been decanted and pour the next bottle into the decanter to be in the “on deck circle.”
A few years ago we bought a Vinturi aerator and took their “Vinturi challenge.” We poured red wine straight into a glass while in another glass we poured it through the Vinturi. There is a sensual, fuzzy gurgling sound as the wine passes through the chamber and air is drawn into the vortex though strategically placed openings.
After trying the undecanted wine and then the Vinturi wine, the aerated wine certainly tasted better. A quick sip of the “control” wine confirmed this. Not only did average wines open up deliciously, but two-day old wine that was essentially dead was brought back to life.
Don’t Microwave My Wine!
While in Lompoc, California, we were talking to a winemaker about aerating wine. He brusquely said, “I don’t like to microwave my wine.” Despite that, we now have no less than five different aerators. Sometimes it’s not practical to wait one to two hours for a wine to decant.
Until now, we never had a white wine aerator. In fact, we’ve never decanted a white wine either. Simply didn’t see a reason. For me one of the biggest factors in experiencing white wine is the temperature. Served room temperature you get a lousy taste. Served it too cold and the wine remains closed and you are unable to enjoy the full spectrum of aroma and flavor.
The Green Dragon was a huge skeptic. She doesn’t like anything that takes up more counter space in our kitchen. Adding a white wine aerator, which she didn’t think was necessary in the first place, was bound to get her fired up.
Does It Really Make A Difference With White Wine?
Being the “high-lifestyle connoisseurs” that we are, we decided to give Vinturi White a whirl. We sampled a Don Olegario Albarino and an organic Ziobaffa Pinot Grigio using the aerator.
The result: Yes, it does make a difference – but the difference isn’t as dramatic as with red wine.
We sampled untreated wine and wine that had gone through Vinturi. The Albarino is a very crisp white wine. After the Vinturi, it had softer edges and a scootch fuller flavor. With the Ziobaffa Pinot Grigio, the difference to me was more pronounced. It resulted in a rounder tasting wine and more “high definition” to the fruit flavors.
Green Dragon, still maintaining her skepticism, tasted both versions of the wine. She begrudgingly admitted that the wine that went through the Vinturi was more flavorful.
Vinturi is the leader in wine aerators. We’ve used ours for years – occasionally doing the double play (pouring wine from a decanter through a Vinturi into the glass). The Vinturi White (and Red) retail for $29.99. Deluxe versions range up to $59.99.
Aerators can add enjoyment to your wine tasting. Having one for your reds is essential. Having one for your whites is just fun.
Full disclosure: We received this product as a marketing sample.