To soften the flavour profiles of wine, especially hearty red wines, you need to use a wine aerator to allow oxygen to interact with the wine. An aerator expands the surface of a wine, which provides small open areas for oxygen to intersperse with the wine. Forced oxygen circulates the air throughout a glass of wine, which enhances the aroma profile and softens astringent tannins. The best aerators can soften the harshest tasting wines within minutes.
Manufacturers construct a wine aerator using a wide variety of materials. Although stainless steel provides firm support, the steel can succumb to the corrosion from constant exposure to acidic wines. Treated plastic wine aerators find the balance between durability and functionality. The best plastic aerators rarely chip or incur scratches. Attach a wine aerator to the lip of an open wine bottle and watch the tiny bubbles make their way towards the empty glass. Search for wine aerators on eBay, where some sellers may bundle aerators with expensive red wines.