Giving Wine Time to Breathe… and Shine

There are a number of gizmos, gadgets and thingamajigs on the market that claim to “aerate” wine.

We have tried several of them, and they basically do what they claim to do: hasten the aeration process, particularly in red wines.

“Aerate” is a fancy word that, in this case, equates with helping a wine to “breathe” — that is, to show off all of its aroma and flavor nuances after having been bottled up, away from air, for months or even years.

In most cases, it’s a good idea to aerate wine, because it’s really the only way you’ll be able to experience and enjoy its full range of aromas and flavors — its entire personality. Skip the process, and it’s akin to going to a comedy club to hear someone sing songs, or to a concert hall to hear someone tell jokes. No harm done, but no great joy experienced.

Now, just because there are certain products out there that help wine to “breathe” more quickly, does that mean we recommend going out and buying one? Well, not to be wishy-washy, but yes and no.

When you’ve come home after a long day at work, and simply want to use your “Ten-Minute Meals” cookbook to prepare something quickly and easily, it would be good to have a Vinturi or Metrokane wine aerator on hand. (Just keep in mind that they cost about the same as a very good bottle of wine — $40 and $30, respectively.)

But if time is on your side, a much simpler approach is to open the bottle an hour or two before you intend to drink it, and pour the wine into a pitcher — allowing it to aerate naturally.

Then use what you would have spent on one of those gizmos to buy another bottle or two of wine.

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Do you have a favorite gadget or procedure for aerating wine? Tell us about it in the Comments box below.

Posted in Wine in the Glass, Wine Tips
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