A quick glance at any wine-related retail website shows that there's no shortage of wine gadgets on the market. But once you have your bottle open, is there anything else you can do to improve the drinking experience? Many wine pros believe that an aerator can make any wine taste significantly better, and the Vinturi Wine Aerator (Est. $30) earns the best reviews.
The Vinturi is an acrylic cylinder with air holes that mix air with wine as it's poured from the bottle into a glass. It comes with a no-drip stand and a filter screen; a package of five replacement filter screens costs about $12. According to the manufacturer, pouring wine through the aerator brings out more of its aroma, makes it taste more flavorful, and reduces or eliminates any bitter aftertaste. These are ambitious claims, and although reviewers don't mention aroma in their comments, they largely agree that the Vinturi aerator improves the taste of wine. Stacy Slinkard at About.com puts the Vinturi on her top 10 list of accessories, saying it gets "the job done right."
More than 1,050 Amazon.com users post comments about the Vinturi Wine Aerator, giving it an average rating of 4.7 stars out of 5; at Cooking.com, about 25 owners give it 4.8 stars out of 5. Most say they find a dramatic improvement in the taste of wine when using the aerator, and one user adds that it even improves the flavor of budget-priced wine. Several reviewers admit they were skeptical at first and conducted their own blind taste tests before deciding that the aerator really does have an appreciable effect.
Only a few users post complaints about the Vinturi aerator, saying they can't taste a difference between aerated and non-aerated wine. Others say wine tends to spill out of the air holes and can create a mess.
While there are other aerators available, none have nearly the volume of positive reviews as the Vinturi Wine Aerator. The model that comes closest is the Trudeau Aroma Aerating Pourer (Est. $20) , which gets 4.7 stars out of 5 from more than 130 users at Amazon.com. Many say it brings out the flavor of wine, but some don't believe it makes a difference in taste and others prefer the Vinturi. The Trudeau attaches to the bottle with a seal, and a couple of owners complain that the seal doesn't hold its shape.