by Staff Writer - C. Barnett | January 03, 2012

Aerating wine means to allow a wine to “breathe” by exposing it to oxygen. Aerating a wine helps it to mellow and develop its full flavors, especially red wines.

Aerating wine helps to soften any tannins and release the wine’s bouquet and flavor, making the wine taste less astringent than it would have tasted directly out of the bottle. Some modern wine producers do something called micro-oxygenation, which introduces oxygen into the wine in a controlled manner to artificially age and alter the wine during the production process. An older vintage wine can deteriorate very quickly when exposed to oxygen, so you may not want to aerate an older wine. For a younger wine, aeration will likely release the aroma and improve the taste. The amount of time you should expose the wine to oxygen varies from minutes up to several hours, depending on the wine and its age.

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