The Best Way to Quickly Aerate Wine

No waiting required.

Published July 30, 2021.

I would classify myself as an impatient person, but there are certain things in the food and drink space that I know require patience: waiting for dough to rise, allowing meat to marinate, and—especially—letting wine breathe.

Red wines, especially younger ones, often need to aerate after they've been opened. This is so that the oxygen in the air can help break down the tannins and sulfur compounds that live in the wine. This aeration helps soften the harsh flavors you may encounter if you don’t let this process take place.

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Typically, the best way to do this is to pour your wine into a wine decanter, which is a wide, shallow container that exposes the surface of the wine to the air, and then let it sit for at least 30 minutes. There are also wine aerators, which help speed up the process—but require buying a single-use gadget.

Fortunately, Cook’s Illustrated has two wine-aerating methods that take only a few seconds and don’t require a credit card.

One of them involves adding your wine to a blender and whizzing it on high speed for 30 seconds, while the other involves pouring the wine from one pitcher to another 15 times.

blending winepouring wine into pitcher

After testing both methods with recent-vintage bottles of Cabernet and Sangiovese, Cook’s Illustrated determined that both of these methods do indeed work. When compared with the blended and poured samples, unaerated wines tasted astringent and flat.

The pitcher method had the best results; the repeatedly poured wine tasted bright and balanced. The blender method produced a wine that tasted developed, but not nearly as much so as the wine from the pitchers.

If you have the time (and the equipment), go ahead and aerate your wine in a traditional vessel. But when you’re in a hurry, either of these quick methods will work beautifully. Cheers!

Image: Image Source / Getty Images

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