Aérer le vin : tout savoir sur l'aération du vin !

Aerate wine: everything you need to know about aerating wine!

Wine making involves real know-how based on precise techniques and ancestral practices. And mastery of such a practice does not stop at bottling. The winemaker then passes the baton to the wine lover, who must know the tips to reveal and discover all the qualities of a bottle of wine. Let us then focus on the aeration of wine , to understand its importance in wine tasting.

Why should wine be aerated?

To develop its aromas and all its qualities, wine needs time. However, not all wines are suitable for aging, and most are best enjoyed young. Aeration then helps the wine develop its aromatic palette just before tasting.

To do this, wine lovers then pour their best vintages into a wine carafe , for an essential resting time. It is contact with air which allows the wine to evolve, thanks to oxygenation, but which also eliminates unpleasant flavors.

The consumer can also use a wine aerator to reveal the aromatic profile of a wine, but aeration in a carafe remains the most traditional technique for good aeration.

Which wines should be aerated?

Some wines do not need to be aerated. As we have seen, it is mainly wines which have not evolved enough which are put in carafes, in other words, young wines . Likewise, it is wines that improve over time that need aeration, such as red wines .

Thus, white wines, rosé wines and sparkling wines do not necessarily need aeration for perfect tasting. Let us qualify these remarks, however, by affirming that young and closed white wines can regain certain qualities with a rapid aeration time.

But it is also not necessary to decant all young red wines. To find out, all you have to do is smell and taste the wine. If it is closed and its aromas are almost non-existent, or even if it releases unpleasant odors, then you can decant it. If its aromas are sweet and its tannin structure is balanced, aeration techniques will be superfluous.

How to aerate a wine?

If the wine you want to serve is young and closed, several aeration techniques are possible.

  • Uncork the bottle of wine in advance : the contact surface with the air is small, but a few hours of opening can be enough for a good tasting;
  • Put the wine in a carafe : the carafe with a flared neck offers an optimal contact surface between air and oxygen;
  • Use a wine aerator : Wine aerators are small accessories to place on top of the wine glass during serving. Passing the wine through the object is enough to provide nice ventilation;
  • Transfer the wine into 2 pitchers: to limit the aeration time, it is possible to pass the wine from one pitcher to another, favoring contact with the air.

For more effective and rapid ventilation, it is possible to use less conventional techniques, but just as effective. You can then mix the wine in a blender for 15 to 30 seconds to form bubbles and oxygenate the wine as much as possible. You can also mix the wine directly in the glass, or simply swirl it in the glass .

Aeration of wine: mistakes to avoid

It is often said that aeration is especially necessary for red wines, but you must be very careful with old red wines. Indeed, after several years of aging, they have acquired all the optimal qualities of a wine for aging. Spending too long in the carafe could lead to hyper-oxygenation , and therefore alter all their qualities.

Another mistake is to confuse aeration and decantation . Decanting a wine consists of placing it in a carafe to remove any deposits present at the bottom of the wine bottles. The aim of this technique is, unlike aeration, to limit contact with air as much as possible, by using a carafe with a narrow neck.

For an optimal tasting experience, a wine sometimes needs to be aerated. Carafing is one of the traditional methods, but you can also opt for more modern techniques to facilitate the oxygenation of the wine and reveal its aromatic notes.

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