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  • Writer's picture3 Sommigos

3somm secrets: Aerate or Decant Wine

We read somewhere that most Canadians drink wine within two hours of buying it, and because we believe what we read, the need for this note about decanting or aerating wine.

Exposing wine to air helps to open up the aromas and flavours of the wine, allowing you to fully appreciate its complexity. Exposure to oxygen also helps to soften tannins in red wines, making them smoother and more enjoyable.

The best choice for wine drinkers depends on the type of wine and the occasion. An aerator is a device that is designed to quickly mix air with wine to improve the flavour. A decanter is a container designed to hold and serve wine, and allows more oxygen exposure over time. This can significantly improve your enjoyment of an older, special bottle.

Aerators are better for casual drinking when the wine will be consumed soon after opening (such as in a restaurant). Aerators are also good for wines that are best served slightly chilled.

Decanters are better for more formal occasions and when the wine needs to be decanted for a longer period of time (such as at home where you can plan hours ahead).

We prefer decanting older wines as they often have sediment that can be left behind in the bottle through careful pouring, or filtered out on the way into the decanter. Aerators do not filter out sediment.

Also, there is nothing stopping you from using an aerator to pour your wine into a decanter, particularly for young wines that need maximum air exposure. Using an aerator and a decanter together is a great way to get the best of both worlds. The aerator quickly aerates the wine and the decanter separates the sediment and allows the wine to "breathe" for a longer period of time. This combination will help to bring out the full flavour and aroma of the wine.

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