How to Aerate Wine
We’ve all heard of letting a wine breathe before we drink it. If we’re enjoying a red wine that’s under 8 years old, letting it sit for a while would improve its taste.
Wines contain a chemical called tannins, which makes it astringent. These are the same chemicals that are responsible for why your mouth dries up and puckers right after you take a sip of wine. For older wines, the tannins tends to break down as it ages, and the wine bouquet evolves.
However, when you’re planning on enjoying a rather young red wine, the tannin content in the wine could overwhelm the wine’s delicate flavors.
By aerating the wine, you can break down some of its tannins, thereby lessening its astringency and opening up its bouquet.
Here are 3 ways you can aerate your wine:
1. Use a decanter
Decanters come in all shapes, sizes, most are luxurious crystal. There base is usually large and flat to help the wine get maximum exposure to air. Letting the wine come in contact with air in this way helps open the bouquet and make the wine a touch smoother by rounding out those tannins.
To further aerate, you might want to try a special funnel (see video) that spreads the wine out of four small holes causing even more air to get into the wine. The funnel usually comes with a screen to catch sediment as well. This comes in very handy with mature wines that have laid down for several years.
2. Use a wine aerator
These are typically toppers that fit over the wine bottle or you hold it over the glass and pour into them.
As you pour the aerator brings air into the wine simulating the effect in decanting.
Although they act much like the funnel described above, in this case there is no need for the decanter.
They range from $20 to $100 and can be quite useful in a pinch.
3. Use a wine glass
If you didn’t have all that equipment, don’t worry. Aerating wine can be done using just the wine glass.
It’s better to pick a red wine glass with a large bowl. The red wine glasses tend to have a larger bowl that white wine glasses so that it’s easier to aerate the wine.
Pour some of the tannic red wine into the glass. Stop when the wine has reached the widest part of the red wine glass.
This lets most of the wine come into contact with the open air. It also prevents spilling when you start swirling it.
Let the wine breathe for at least 45 minutes. The younger your wine, the more it needs to breathe.
You don’t have to let old vintage and mature red wines breathe as long if they've been stored correctly.
After 45 minutes, start swirling the wine gently and take a sip. The swirling helps it to aerate further.
I hope you enjoyed this post on how to aerate wine. I would love to read your comments down below about which style of aerating wine you would prefer and why.
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Clint Ayesh c.s.w.