5 Pro Tips on Aerating Wine for Great Taste & Aroma
Updated January 20, 2023.
The love of wine is an undeniable part of our culture, so it's no surprise wine drinkers are always interested in finding ways to deepen their appreciation of their favorite wine. One way we can achieve this is by aerating wines before drinking them.
Wine aeration is the process of exposing the wine to oxygen,letting it "breathe" to enhance its flavor profile. Aeration can be achieved by pouring the wine into a vessel or swirling the wine in a glass to initiate oxidation and convert ethanol into acetaldehyde. As a result, the color becomes more concentrated, aromas and flavors are enhanced, and the bouquet is more appealing. Oxidation also helpsevaporate some of the alcohol in the wine, resulting in asmoother taste. Follow these five pro tips on aerating wine to unlock the full potential of your wine.
1. Consider the Effects of Aeration on Different Wine Types
When we let the wine breathe, the oxygen breaks down a phenolic compound called tannins. Tannins are found more abundant in red wine, giving it astringency—that puckering sensation in the mouth while you drink. In younger reds, this can be quite harsh and bitter, but aerating wine cansoften the tannins.
In general, 10 to 20 minutes of aeration should be enough to soften the tannins in most red wines, while more full-bodied reds require up to an hour of aeration to round out the tannins.
2. Pay Attention to Volume
The volume of wine plays a role in the aeration process. When you open a bottle of wine, it's only natural that some air will enter it and some degree of oxidation will occur. However, this doesn't affect the entire bottle of wine, but only the top layer. If you're planning on serving the entire bottle, we recommend pouring it into an aerator.
If you only want to aerate a glass of wine, simply pour the wine into the glass, give it a swirl, and let it sit for about 15 minutes before drinking.
» Wine aerator vs. decanter: seethe difference
3. Don't Forget to Check the Time
The difference between aerating younger and older wines is that younger wines usually benefit from more exposure to oxygen, while older wines require less exposure. So, it's crucial that you time it carefully.
While aerating younger wines, the goal is to open up the aromas and flavors of the wine by allowing oxygen to interact with the tannins and other harsher elements in the wine longer. When it comes to older wines, too much exposure to oxygen can damage their delicate flavors and balance, so it’s best to aerate them for no more than 15 to 30 minutes.
However, over-oxidation can be harmful to all wines, causing them to become flat and lose their color and personality. So, don't be overzealous with aerating your wine.
4. Try an Aerating Device
As we mentioned earlier, aerating wine in the bottle is a slow and ineffective method, which is why aerators can come in handy to increase oxygen exposure. When exposed to more air, wine releases its flavors faster, which cuts aeration time and lets you enjoy your wine sooner.
Aerating devices can help do the following:
- Soften tannins and reduce astringency in red wines
- Mimic the aging process in younger wines and cheaper wines
- Help evaporate certain sulfites and ethanol compounds toreduce hangover symptoms like headaches and nausea
5. Use a Modern Decanter
Our final pro tip is to make use of a modern decanter. Decanting is the process of separating a liquid from solid particles, so it allows for any sediment to settle out of the wine. While these sediments are safe to consume, discarding the gritty particles will make your wine more enjoyable to drink.
Aerate Wine Like a Pro With Mayu Swirl
After aeration, wine is known to have a smoother and more complex flavor. If you're looking for an easy way to aerate wine to further enhance your wine-drinking experience, products likeMayu Swirl are just what you need. In just a few simple steps, the Swirl will improve the taste of your favorite wine.
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