At one time, I didn't even own a decanter or a wine aerator. (Some of my friends owned several.) I'm not a wine connoisseur. But I like wine, especially trying different kinds. There are tons of resources out there to help you learn about wine. But I don't have time to read them. So I learn by doing, or . . . by drinking.
Wine decanters are the original version of today's aerators. They are glass bottles with special shapes designed to encourage the heightening of wine flavors when you store your open wine in them. They also make for a nice presentation when you place the decanter on the table.
There are literally countless different shapes and styles that decanters come in. Many resemble a glass flower vase. Certain wines should be placed in specific shapes of wine decanters in order to enhance the flavor of the wine to the fullest extent. Others can be stored in any of the fancy decanters.
For an incredible display, you could find a decanter with it’s own base unit. These are highly stylish, and often hold the decanter at an angle, and suspended over the table.
Air contact tends to improve wine in the short term, but if you leave most wines exposed to lots of air for, say, more than a few hours, they will turn sour or flat.
Do Not Waste!
If your wine turns sour or flat, use it to make a salad dressing, add it to a gravy or any recipe that suggests wine for flavor.
Some decanters come with glass ball stoppers to be placed on the opening of the bottle in order to keep the freshness in when the wine is stored. Air can have damaging effects to the properties of wine, and so it’s usually best to keep open wine in an airtight container.
Additionally, some decanters are able to remove sediments from older wine and aerate younger wines to further enhance their flavors.
Decanters are certainly not necessary to drinking wine (you can place the cork back in the bottle of a wine to keep the air out when you’re not pouring the wine) but they certainly make for a nicer presentation and can actually help the overall flavor of the wine.
In the world of 'Wine Accessories', wine aerators are all a rage. Aerators are meant to accelerate the wine's exposure to oxygen. Basically wine aerators are fancy funnels that enable you to 'aerate' one glass at a time, so you can preserve the rest of the bottle for another day.
Given aerated and non-aerated samples of the same wine and, without knowing which was which, you will most likely prefer the aerated wine.
If you don't own a wine aerator (there are numerous brands) you can accomplish much the same effect with a wine decanter or any pitcher. Empty the bottle into the decanter, then pour it from the decanter into wine glasses. Or, if you don't have a decanter, swirl the wine in your glass.
If you are a wine drinker, get a Vinturi wine aerator. It works. The Vinturi V1010 Essential Wine Aerator, with well over 2000 - five star customer reviews, would be an excellent choice!