A thought suddenly occurred to me today…I should be allowing my wine to breathe before I drink it, shouldn’t I? I don’t really know what it does, but I’ve heard a lot of hoo haa about this so-called “breathing” and the benefits it brings to the flavour of wine. Now, as I was thinking this I realized that I don’t know what these benefits are or how breathing enhances the wine, but I’ve heard enough about it over the years to realize that it must be quite important and beneficial.
After a few Google searches and Perez Hilton distractions, I found a couple of answers. First of all, there’s a certain way to allow the wine to breathe and secondly, the benefits are good, but can quickly take a turn for the worse.
OK, so, how to let your wine breathe. Let me tell you that just opening the bottle and letting it sit there is not enough. There isn’t a big enough opening in the wine bottle to allow a sufficient amount of air in in order for the benefits to take effect. You’re gonna want to use a decanter, jug sort of thing. Or your wine glass’ll work too. This way you have a nice wide opening and lots of awesome air can get mixed into the wine.
What does the air do you might ask? It mingles with your wine and allows it to warm up a bit. When it warms up, the flavours are unleashed and open up to their fullest yumminess. Now, like I said, you can let your wine breathe for too long which causes a little bit of oxidation and alters the chemicals and make-up of the wine. This is why you should drink a bottle of wine within a few days of opening it (unless you have a device that pumps the air out). But, honestly, who ever needed a reason to drink a bottle of wine within a few days of opening it? I certainly don’t these days
So, next time you’re at a restaurant or having a nice dinner at home, remember to decant your wine and let it breathe for about 15-20 minutes before you drink it. You can even do a little test and taste it just after opening and then re-taste it after it’s opened up and see if you can notice a difference. That’s what I’m gonna do! A little wine experiment is good for everyone, if you ask me.