Aeration

Term
eh-ray-shn
Aerating wine simply means exposing the wine to air or giving it a chance to "breathe" before drinking it.
Aerating wine means exposing the wine to air, giving it a chance to "breathe" before drinking it. The reaction between gases in the air and wine changes the flavor of the wine, typically for the better. When air and wine interact, two important processes occur: aeration and oxidation. Alcohol evaporates out of the wine, exposing more interesting aromas. Mild oxidation can soften tannins and make wines more drinkable. Some wines benefit immensely from aeration (most notably big, bold powerful reds such as Cabernet Sauvignon), whereas others would lose all their fruity flavors. Whites are rarely, if ever, aerated. On Vinebase, we have specific recommendations for each grape variety on whether or not it would benefit from aeration.