Is It Always Necessary To Aerate Wine?

You've mastered the right way to pour wine and know that the shape of your wine glass matters. You've invested in beautiful carafes and decanters in anticipation of your next dinner party and have stocked your pantry with an assortment of bottles to share. Is a wine aerator next on your list of kitchen gadgets to purchase for your at-home bar? Hold up.

Aerators expose wine to oxygen, which in turn impacts the taste and smell of a wine by making intended notes even more noticeable. If you uncork a bottle and can't smell any particular flavors, aerating a wine can help unleash promised bouquets — or even help tone down varieties that are a bit to intense and tannic-filled, notes Real Simple. This usually happens with red wines, not white. 

When a wine isn't exposed to air during the winemaking process, or has tightened up after aging for a long time, aeration can help maximize its flavor before you take a sip.

A better experience

Instead of simply pouring a glass of burgundy and letting it sit, an aerator can help blends come to life. For red wines aged in steel, aeration is more important than for wines aged in barrel or concrete. Cabernets and Bordeaux varieties most benefit from aeration, as tannins (the compounds in wine that give it its structure) exposed to extra oxygen can result in a smoother mouthfeel, notes Glass Half Full. For white wines, a few swirls in your glass can sufficiently turn up any fruity, mineral, or floral aromas. 

While simply opening a bottle will aerate it (although it may take some time), decanting a bottle — transferring the bottle into a decanter before it is served — also exposes wine blends to oxygen. Whether you use an aerator, pour your wine into a beautiful decanter, or let glasses breathe before giving them a few swirls, oxidation enhances most wines, regardless of their price point.