A Guide to Aerating Your Wine
When you buy a bottle of wine it’s so easy to crack it open on a special occasion and drink it straight away. Most people know that most red wines (and even some white wines) need aerating to allow for better flavour. But what does this mean exactly? Well, it means letting your South African red wine ‘breathe’ before drinking. Exposure to oxygen will open up the flavour and body of the wine, so that you can enjoy the full flavour and aroma, as intended by the producer.
This doesn’t just mean opening the lid of the bottle prior to drinking – No, your wine will need more exposure than this get the full effect. An easy solution would be your table decanter. This is a wide glass vessel that is designed to allow your wine to get maximum exposure to air. Today’s decanters are quite decorative and make elegant centrepieces. Pour in the entire bottle and let it breathe at least 20 minutes before drinking.
There are plenty of aerating gadgets on the market that will allow for speedier aeration. An Aerator Pourer for example, is a great way to aerate your wine by the glass; great if you only want the single glass. As you pour wine through this small device, its swirls around at a high velocity to allow air bubbles to flow through the wine.
You can even buy aerating wine glasses which work in a similar way to the separate aerating gadgets out there. Your glass will feature a higher glass cavity which will pour your wine out through a number of the tiny holes. The increase in the wine’s flow will allow more oxygen to get through the wine at a faster rate; allowing you to drink straight away. Some even prefer to swirl the wine around the glass themselves to aerate the wine as they drink, but your guests will be risking a spill.
If you can, avoid leaving your wine out for too long – it really is a fine balance. Leaving your bottle open overnight will result in the wine tasting more acidic than it’s meant to.