Best Wineries
Man aerating Wine at restaurant.

The Importance of Aerating Wine

By Published On: April 30th, 2022

At first glance, aerating wine may not seem necessary. And in some cases, it’s not. 

If you’re curious about which wines you should aerate—and which you can drink right from the bottle—read on. 

First, let’s talk terms. Aerating wine involves simply exposing it to air. 

Now, let’s talk process. Ideally, you’ll empty the wine into a decanter after opening the bottle. If you don’t have a decanter, pour the wine into the glasses you’ll be using to drink it and leave the wine exposed to the air.

During aeration, wine reacts to gases in the air, setting off the chemical processes of evaporation and oxidation.  

What does that mean? 

During evaporation, volatile compounds exit the wine. (These volatile compounds often smell medicinal and impart harsh flavors.) Sulfites, used to preserve wine, also take their leave upon meeting the air. (They sometimes smell off-putting). Now, you’re left with the delicious bouquet. During oxidation, flavors and aromas in many white wines flatten. 

Related: Importance of smelling wine before you taste

Not All Wine Needs Aeration 

This is where it gets tricky. If you aerate  a delicate white wine made to be consumed upon release, you risk oxidation. White wines generally  don’t benefit from aeration like reds. Fine age-worthy wines like white Bordeaux, white Burgundies, Alsatian whites,and some Chardonnay and Riesling, however, do benefit from aeration. 

The wines that benefit most from longer (an hour-plus) aerations are cellar-aged premium reds. You’ll get a tight, closed wine if you drink them straight from the bottle     .

Give these reds some air, though, and they’ll unfurl their charms, like a peacock opening its feathers, a universe of complex flavors and aromas you’d otherwise miss. 

Related Posts:

Explore Jean-Charles Boisset’s World of Spirits and Wine

Explore Jean-Charles Boisset’s World of Spirits and Wine

Winery Interviews
Featuring Calistoga Depot Distillery, Buena Vista Winery, Raymond Vineyards, DeLoach Vineyards and more.
Read More
Talbott Vineyards Wows with Estate-Grown Wines and Welcoming Tastings

Talbott Vineyards Wows with Estate-Grown Wines and Welcoming Tastings

Winery Interviews
A Star of the Santa Lucia Highlands.
Read More
Farmhouse Inn in Forestville, Sonoma County

Farmhouse Inn in Forestville, Sonoma County

Hotels Uncategorized
The Perfect Blend of Luxury, History and Serenity
Read More
Martinelli Winery in Windsor

Martinelli Winery in Windsor

Uncategorized
Interview with Winemaker Courtney Robinett Wagoner.
Read More
1 2 3 51

Related Posts:

Go to Top