How and Why Do I Let A Wine Breathe?
Why Let Wine Breathe?
When and how to let a wine breathe is important to consider before serving. When you let a wine “breathe” you allow the wine to aerate through exposure to oxygen. This should result in a wine that shows its full potential for flavors or aromas. It’s particularly important in a young, full-bodied red wine. The tannins will soften, and the fruit will come out. Breathing a wine is the next best option to aging wine through longer-term storage or cellaring. Wines can be stored for 5-20 years, depending upon varietal.
There are several ways to let a wine breathe:
- Open the bottle, recork it, and let it sit for a while. This could be anywhere from 3-8 hours. If you are uncorking before going to work, put it in the refrigerator, and then allow it to warm up for a bit before drinking. Ideal temperature would be 55-60 degrees F.
- Decant the bottle just before serving. There are all sorts of decanters on the market.
- Swirl the wine in your glass before tasting. If it’s a younger wine it will require more vigorous swirling!
Practice Makes Perfect!
The best thing to do is to experiment with different wines, and with different ways to allow them to breathe.
Enjoy, and Cheers!