What's The Difference Between Decanting And Aerating?

An aerator and a decanter both serve a similar purpose which is to expand the surface area of wine, which allows the air to mingle with it. Whether placing the wine in a larger vessel (decanter) or forcing air to be circulated throughout it (aerator), the end result is a wine with an expanded aromatic profile and/or softer tannins. So, what's the difference?

The main difference is time. If you have limited time to spare and you’d like your wine to be softer, a handy aerator will do the trick in minutes. A Vinturi for example, is held above your glass while you pour wine through the top of the aerator. As the wine flows through the aerator, it "breathes" as bubbles are sent through it. An aerator is therefore more appropriate for casual meals, where time is of the essence, but quality of experience is important as well.

The word "lead" can have a negative connotation. However the "lead" oxide in glass is totally integrated into the molecular structure of the glass which enables manufacturers (like Riedel) to use it. The microscopic roughness of the surface of lead crystal glass helps wine to develop more intense aromas, further adding to its enjoyment. Seams left by the mold can be gently removed through fire polishing, which gives lead crystal pieces an unsurpassed finish in terms of color and brilliance. In terms of decanting, eliciting those aromas and eventually flavors is the main goal so lead is often a positive as opposed to a negative feature.