Have you ever wondered why it is people swirl their wine glasses?

 Well, it isn't just for show!

Swirling a glass helps to aerate its contents and when it comes to wine, this is a very, very good thing. But practically speaking, this isn't the best way to achieve aeration (and can be a bit messy after you've enjoyed a few glasses). Our helpful guide will break down the science of aeration and how it can take your wine drinking experience to new heights.

Aeration 101: The Basics

Aerating is the act of incorporating oxygen into a liquid, in this case, wine. Oxygen reacts with the volatile compounds present in the wine and releases and intensifies the aromas and flavors in it. Let's say you have a young wine you've been dying to try. You open it up and take a sip but can instantly tell it's not showing to its full potential. Fear not – there's an easy fix.

As we discussed above, what you'll need to do is add oxygen to your wine. Two things take place when wine is aerated: evaporation and oxidation. By introducing a controlled amount of oxygen, you give all the lovely volatile compounds in your wine the opportunity to unfold almost instantly. You also allow the wine's less attractive aromas, which are often present when you first uncork a bottle, to blow off. These unsavory aromas tend to react and evaporate off the wine faster than the appealing ones.

Here is where the surface area of the wine in relation to oxygen exposure comes in to play. If you simply pour wine into a glass, only a limited area of it comes into contact with the air. This is why people swirl their glasses but ultimately you'll still end up waiting upwards of half an hour for the wine to open up properly. Decanting and using an aerator dramatically increase the surface area exposed to oxygen and exponentially increase aeration potential.

How To Aerate Your Wine

There's a common myth out there that you can simply open a bottle of wine and let it stand and somehow, this is magically meant to help the wine breathe. Next time you break a bottle out of your cellar take a look at that opening. Pretty small, isn't it? If you're looking to introduce a little oxygen to your wine to help it develop, simply uncorking the bottle is not the way to go about doing it.

 There are several ways to aerate wine but not all of them are created equally. Like we talked about back at the beginning, you can swirl a glass full of wine but frankly, this won't get the job done to the standards we're looking for. 

If you prefer the more old-fashioned route, you can pour the wine into a decanter, however, you'll still have to wait anywhere from a few minutes to several hours for the wine to begin to show. That said, when it comes to older vintages and delicate wines, decanters are a fantastic option. But for that bold, young, tannic red, decanters just won't do. In the interest of saving time without sacrificing results, an aerator is your best bet. It works instantly. Just pour and sip


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