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What is the purpose of aerating wine

When we are asked what is the purpose of aerating a wine we can give a simple answer- to improve the taste of it.

However, we are talking about wine here and wine drinkers know that there seems to be an almost infinite number of wines on the market.  The countries vary, the grapes come in different varieties and then there is the wine made in vast quantities in factories right down to tiny vineyards where a single individual makes a unique wine.

Having established there are thousands of wines made in very different ways it is easy to see that each wine would have a different reaction to aeration or the introduction of air to the wine.  The simple job of pouring out the wine from the bottle is in effect introducing a tiny amount of aeration and evaporation. It is unlikely this is enough time or exposure to make an difference to the taste of the wine. The purpose of choosing to aerate wine is to ensure there is a release of the more delicate tastes embedded within the bottle.

What is happening when you are aerating your wine?  Essentially, when you pour the wine the volatile compounds will start to evaporate and the first smells you get will relate to the ethanol or alcohol components in the wine.

You may also notice, in this first stage, the smells that related to any sulphites which have been added. The sulphites are sometimes added to the wine to stabilise it and reduce the amount of oxidation which can occur in the bottle.

Oxidation is also a normal process in wine-making and we often help to visualise the process by referring to the browning that occurs on a cut apple.  So the sulphites are added to ensure the wine doesn’t just oxidise into a brown fluid. Unfortunately, there can be a side effect for a few moments on opening when the wine will smell of rotten eggs, earthy or of onion skins. Don’t worry this stage will pass.

Whilst opening the bottle and pouring is introducing some air to the wine, it is often not enough if you want the nuances and delicate tastes of the wine to be more evident. This is where adding aerator like WineWeaver assists the process and helps to lift the wine or release the flavours.

In wines with a cabernet grape component it is relatively easy to taste the difference between aerated an un-aerated wine. Firstly, you can smell the wine just after pouring the wine through the WineWeaver into the glass and then you can taste the difference as the tannins fade away.

The Purpose Of Aerating Wine Key Point…

The purpose of aerating wine therefore, is to release the more subtle tastes and flavours that have been stabilised and contained in the bottling of the wine.

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