A wine aerator is a small, in-bottle, hand-held pour-through or decanter top device for aerating wine. These devices mix air into the wine as it flows through or over, increasing exposure to oxygen and causing aeration. They offer an alternative to swirling, traditional decanting, and to aldouze (i.e. to wait for wine to breathe). This category emerged in the United States in or before 2007. This timing can be partially linked to the decline of the US economy which resulted in wineries releasing wine early to compensate for sales dips.
The Vinturi brand is the more recognisable one. However, you can get the RM76 Magic Decanter from Ben's Grocers @ Publika.
The Vinturi Deluxe
There are a number of styles of wine aerators and approaches to accomplish aeration. While injection-style hand-held acrylic aerators are currently most common, in-bottle and decanter top aerators are also available. Sieve-style decanter top funnels have long been used for aeration and catching sediment. Aerators are made from food safe-plastic or glass, and decanter top aerators are commonly stainless steel.
Injection-style aerators work by the Venturi effect, an application of Bernoulli's principle: they feature a wide tube that narrows. This effect is widely used in engineering applications, for example to mix air and fuel in carburetors. This method has been noted by wine experts to be too harsh for thinner skinned verietals such as Pinot noir or Gamay.
p/s there are already many tests done on the credibility of wine aerators, the results are not convincing, but to some they work well ... my view is that if you opening up an expensive bottle, DO NOT use the aerator, use the decanter and let nature takes its course .... but for normal wines, you can test it yourself, I did.
The Informal Test
So I gathered my brothers and cousins for a testing of the product, we actually bought 3 aerators but wanted to know if it works, and how many times should you aerate the wine.
d'Arenberg The Laughing Magpie 2009 Shiraz Viognier
Tasted the wine before aeration, it was a bit tart, acidic and needed time to open up. After first aeration, there was not much difference. After the second aeration, the difference was enormous. The tartness was gone and the wine opened up nicely, very satisfying. All participants agreed the difference was highly significant.
It appears to me that a one time aeration is equal to 30 minutes in the decanter. We tried another Australian wine, a cheaper wine, but this time we went through 4 aerations. The wine improved markedly in drinkability by the 3rd aeration but the 4th aeration saw the wine deflate enormously, it went flat, the flavours were no longer jumping to the tastebuds. So, there is a big danger of over aeration. We were all so excited that the thing actually works and made a significant difference.
Key is, drink a bit after each aeration before you aerate again. I think it works well for wines with harsher tannins as the aerator seems to soften them noticeably, for more forward wines it also brings up the aromas faster. Hence it may not work as well for the traditional French reds I think which are subtler. The aerator works better for new world wines that are less multi dimensional. That said, you do not need to use it for whites.
Gérard Jacumin Châteauneuf-du-Pape 2010
from Southern Rhône
Château Haut-Bergey Pessac-Léognan 2008
I also tried the aerator with the two French wines above, both needed 3 aerations before opening up a bit more. So there you go, need not wait 2 to 3 hours for the wine to breathe anymore, open, aerate and drink. The aerator is also very mobile, you can take it off the stand and take with you anywhere, it will almost fit any decanter as well, just put aerator on top of decanter before pouring, wallah. RM76, how to go wrong.