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Aerate wine, the complete guide – Oé

Tasting wine is more than a tradition, an art. Before drinking wine, many acrobatics must be performed, primarily wine aeration . Indeed, putting it in contact with the air by passing it through a carafe is important.

It goes without saying that a wine can only be aerated or oxygenated if it is young. On the other hand, old wines need to be decanted . Aerating wine, what is it? Why do it? Should all wines be decanted?

Why aerate wine?

Today, wine tasting methods are changing. We tend to drink younger wines and sometimes just after the harvest. Bottled, the wine can concentrate on itself and no longer develop certain aromas . This is the essential reason why it must be ventilated. The goal is to put it in contact with oxygen. The action will ensure that it develops all the aromas that constitute it and at the same time release the unpleasant flavors. In contact with the air, “the wine wakes up” and blossoms better.

It is therefore said that the wine is subjected to aeration, when it is closed. To know it, you have to taste it. The operation begins at eye level. The verdict falls when it has been smelled and tasted. If the wine does not reveal any aroma or if it is closed in on itself, it is put in contact with oxygen , so that it opens up to its fruity and aromatic flavors. Experience shows that a closed wine is flat when inhaled. Most often, this defect is observed on red wines .

Indeed, red wines are characterized by a strong presence of tannins which make it astringent. Once a sip of young red wine is taken, your mouth feels dry. In young wines, the tannins mask the aromatic flavor. So, to develop the bouquet of the wine, it can be shaken slightly.

Which wines to aerate?

It is strongly recommended to aerate young wines , preferably red wines . Contrary to popular belief, white wines also need to be aerated. Provided they are young. These need to be boosted, in order to make them more welcoming in the mouth. Exercise also helps dissipate unwanted flavors of sulfur and acidity . Attention ! Old wines should never suffer the same fate. In the context of aged wines, we will speak of decantation .

Wine aeration techniques

The Oé team sheds light on the different aeration techniques for very young wine , from traditional methods to the most sophisticated.

Many techniques exist. From the simplest means to the most revolutionary methods, there is no shortage of oxygenation tips and they are adopted according to the level of aeration that one wishes to obtain.

Uncork the bottle for a few hours

This technique is the simplest and most widespread. It consists of opening a bottle a few hours before going to the table, even half an hour can be enough. However, it is necessary to know beforehand whether the wine should be aerated or not. If the bottle is to be served in the evening, it is best to uncork it two hours before. The wine will therefore be in contact with the air, so that it opens gradually. Here, the aeration surface is limited to the size of the neck, which will ensure that it does not deteriorate.

Use a blender

This method is quite simple. Open a bottle of red wine, if it is less than 8 years old. Pour its contents into a blender, then blend for 15 to 30 seconds. During the operation, air bubbles form on the walls of the blender, which breaks down the tannins and therefore oxygenates the wine.

Use 2 pitchers

These are two light containers in the shape of a carafe which allow the wine to be decanted in turn. It is a traditional method, requiring a little force. Simply replace the first pitcher of wine and quickly pour its contents into the second. The operation must be vigorous to shake up the wine better.

Mix the wine in the glass

Tasting wine is an art. In a glass, it can happen that a wine does not reveal its aromas. We'll say it's closed. Indeed, it is pale to the eye and its nose is not very aromatic. No need to say that he is "old fashioned"! Closed wine says it all when swirled in the glass. Once it is done, the aromatic flavors are revealed allowing a perfect tasting. It is important to specify that during the setting in glass, it is necessary to hold the bottle at approximately 20 centimeters of the glass. This gesture ensures that the wine is in contact with the air.

Use a decanter to aerate the wine

Red wines benefit from being decanted . Rosés and whites, on the other hand, can be content with aeration in the glass. Flared-neck carafes are the most popular for this purpose. This is because they help maintain a good contact surface between air and oxygen. Ideally, the exercise is done two hours before eating, so that the wine is released.

Bet on a good aerator

In the era of technological innovation, a device has emerged allowing easy aeration of wine: the wine aerator . From a traditional point of view, the wine is oxygenated in a decanter, which takes quite a long time. An aerator helps speed up the process, bringing in plenty of air in no time. The aerator technique is quite practical. Simply hold the aerator at the entrance of the glass and pour wine into it. Once it's done, the wine opens up and the instant aeration improves the taste of the wine.

Aerating wine: what to avoid

It should be clarified that old wines should not undergo the aeration process, as this leads to hyper-oxygenation which can cause the wine to lose all its qualities. For many years, the wine rests in the cellar and suddenly takes on great oxygenation. This is why it is advisable not to aerate great wines.

However, rather than aerating an old wine, it is best to decant it. The operation consists in removing the deposits or the residual material at the bottom of the bottle. This must be done delicately at the risk of switching to ventilation. The goal is to provide as little oxygen as possible.

For this exercise, a narrow carafe is essential. Decanting wine is no small feat. Ideally, it is done facing a weak light source or near a candle. The wine should be poured carefully and in small quantities.

As you will have understood, before serving a wine, ask yourself if it should be decanted or aerated. Young wine should be in contact with air, while older wines should stay as far away as possible.

For more wine tips like "how to store your wine without a cellar", take a look at this article on the subject.

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