What does it mean to let a wine breathe? In the biological sense, wine is not alive but the nurturing hands of a wine maker might beg to differ. Wine absorbs oxygen and then gives off carbon dioxide similar to humans. Though it can’t reproduce, it can die very quickly if exposed to light, heat, movement, and even noise. But what we are talking about here is something a bit different. If you have ever heard of the term aerate, it simply means to let air get to your wine before you drink it. WHY?
If you have doubts please do your own taste test. Even a few moments can make a big difference, but to completely let your wine breathe helps the wine soften and the authentic flavor profiles to really come alive. Some wines are perfect the moment you open them but wines that are high in tannins (usually young reds) are good candidates as the harshness softens quite considerably. Some white wines can also benefit from aeration.
What are ways in which you can aerate a wine? Simply pour it in the wine glass and wait or decant it. A decanter used to be thought of as just a beautiful glass bottle in which to display or serve the wine, but there is a method to it’s madness. The wide mouth of the decanter allows enough air to the wine to help it breathe better but again for a lengthy time. It is a great way to let any sediment in the wine settle to the bottom so when you pour it you avoid it in your glass.
I personally recommend the VINTURI aerator. It properly aerates your wine so it is perfect to drink the moment that it hits the glass. No need to let it breathe. Now THAT is what I am talking about!!! These devises also remove any sediment left in the wine so you can drink every drop without filtering it.
So is aeration over-rated? I THINK NOT! I have tried it every which way and I AM SOLD that aeration definitely works! See for yourself and have some fun with it!!
Cin Cin!, Salute!