Wine aeration is a significant part of wine drinking that is done before the wine is poured into a glass. This process entails letting the wine breathe for several hours. The wine is let out to breathe so that the tannins in the wine are released and the wine will taste better and less bitter. The old smell left from the fermentation process is then let to evaporate.
However, for you to understand the importance of aerating wine, you should know how wine is made. Understanding the process will fully allow you to appreciate the process and significance of wine aeration before the wine is consumed.
How is wine made?
Grapes are harvested and prepared for fermentation. The color of the wine produced depends on whether the skins are mixed in the process. Red wine is made when the grapes are crushed and mixed with the skin on. White wine is made when the skins are off.
After crushing, yeast is added to the grapes to hasten fermentation. Fermentation naturally occurs with the air but the yeast is added so that the grapes will have a faster and more predictable outcome. This process takes two weeks and yeast converts the sugar in the grapes to alcohol. Carbon dioxide is lost into the atmosphere.
After the grapes are fermented, they are transferred to oak barrels or stainless steel tanks to begin the aging process. The solution should be clear before it is ready for bottling. For wines stored in oak, the aroma mixes into the solution and adds more tannins into the wine.
After a few months, the wine is bottled. Wines that are young are those which are bottled early. Older wines are those which took 5 to 10 years to age.
Improving the taste of wine
When the wine is bottled, there is a small amount of oxygen that stays in the bottle. The quantity of oxygen is minimized by infusing argon or nitrogen. The wine is then stored sideways in the shop or in the cellar. When the wine is aerated and the liquid is let to spread out, the wine has more contact with the air. This is the principle behind strainers inside aerating vessels which let the wine spread out in many flow streams to let the wine breathe in more air.
By letting the air flow into a narrow opening for a few hours will not have a great effect on the taste of the wine in a bottle. This is why a wine aerator is important in the process.
Another way of preserving the taste of the wine is storing it on its side. When the bottle is put on its side, the wine will have less contact with oxygen. The cork stops entry of air into the bottle and controls the infusion of air, and the taste of the wine is kept intact. If the wine bottle is put on its side, the cork will remain moist and stay intact and will be less likely to crack or break.
Why aerate wine?
The aeration process is important because you are letting the aged solution of grapes, alcohol, yeast and air release the leftover sediments and chemicals that were produced. You should understand that air plays a major role in the fermentation process and air is also responsible for adding tannins in the wine to make the solution bolder and deeper. Having the wine oxidized will let the bitterness be released from the wine.
Aerating wine can be done through a decanter or with a wine aerator. Letting wine breathe can also be done through a blender or mixing wine back and forth using a pitcher. The wine can be put in deep glasses and set out to breathe for several hours. There are many ways to let the wine breathe and the objective is to let the oxygen infuse into the wine.
Among all the method of wine aeration, using a wine aerator is the most convenient way because using such a device eliminates time and aeration can be done as soon as the bottle is opened. Pouring the wine into an aerator will produce an oxidized drink without the hassle of waiting or letting it settle for hours in a container.