The Vinturi Essential Wine Aerator is not exactly a kitchen essential, unless Frasier and Niles are dropping by, but it's a nifty item for wine lovers and gadget hounds. It does the work of a decanter in a lot less time. You simply hold the device, a sleek acrylic gizmo with a no-slip grip, over a wine glass and pour the wine into the shot-glass-like opening. The device pulls air into the wine with a satisfying glug, glug, glug as the liquid splashes into the glass, and presto: aerated wine. We performed a highly unscientific before-and-after taste test on a serviceable Pinot Noir and found the Vinturi-ized wine brighter and smoother than the non-aerated sample. Comes with a stand to catch the drips and a travel pouch for those wine-drenched fishing trips.
$38 to $40 at www.vinturi.com; amazon.com; and winestuff.com.
-- Janet Cromley