Why do you need to let wine breathe ?
Exposing wine to the air for a short period of time lets the wine breathe. There are tannins in the wine, particularly red wine that give the wines quite a rough taste, especially the younger red wines. Breathing the wine allows it to oxidize, which has the effect of giving it a less harsh taste, softer. It also helps the wine to release aromas making the wine a more pleasant drink.
Ways to let wine breathe
Ways in which people let the wine breathe are by using a glass to swirl the liquid around. Some folk like to decant the wine into another glass vessel such as a carafe or a decanter. These methods are better than just opening a bottle to let it breathe because there is more of the wine exposed to the air. The other way is by using a wine aerator as described above.
Swirling around the glass
The way to do this is to place the glass on a table or any even surface and move the glass in small circles for up to 15 seconds or so. The act of moving the glass allows the wine to receive more oxygen. It also leaves a thin layer of wine on the glass which releases the bouquet as it evaporates.
Decanting the wine
The wine should be poured rapidly as this reveals more of the surface area of the wine and let it splatter on the inside surface of the vessel. Give it a few swirls around the vessel to get as much air to the wine as you can. Leaving it to breathe for an hour or two after decanting will allow further development of aromas and smoothness.
Leaving it in the bottle
Many folk just remove the cork or cap from the wine and leave it to breathe for a couple of hours. This has hardly any effect at all. The amount of wine that is exposed to the air is negligible and is not noticeable when the wine is consumed.
A wine aerator is a simple yet ingenious device that you pour wine through to enable the air to work its magic on the wine, enhancing its character, taste and bouquet. The air mixes with the wine allowing it to breathe, without the need to wait for it to breathe using the normal methods.
Not only does it help the wine to breathe my faster, if there is any sediment in the wine or any small bits of cork, the aerator will keep all of the undesired elements out of the wine.
Types of aerators
Wine aerators come in three basic forms. The first two are the unattached types where you either hold the aerator above, or it is rested on the glass or decanting vessel. The one where you hold it above the glass aerates the wine well but doesn’t allow the wine to flow down the inside of the glass or decanter. The one where it rested on the glass or decanter does allow the wine to run on the inside which further develops the flavour. The third type is attached to the end of the bottle. This allows a free hand to hold the glass and run the wine on its inside allowing further flavours to work.