Most of us opening a bottle of wine want to drink it right away.
Our faces might look like those of Marshall and Lily in “How I Met Your Mother” when they are told they have to wait 30 minutes to let their wine breathe.
So, the real question is – do you have to let your wine breathe?
First of all, it’s always up to your taste. If you open a bottle, pour the wine into a glass and decide “Hey, this is delicious” then don’t let us stop you. It’s that famous “yuck or yum” factor Wayne always talks about.
But, if you’re wondering why you’d let a wine breathe and how this action will affect taste, read on.
“Letting your wine breathe” is a pretty simple process. The idea is that, a young red wine or even a mature red wine need to be mixed with air for a short period of time (meaning about 1-2 hours for a young wine and around 30 mins for a mature wine) in order to allow the wine to achieve its full aromatic and flavor potential. Note that very old wine, whites, or champagne don’t need to breathe. They can be drunk right away.
A common mistake made in letting your wine breathe is simply popping the cork and letting the wine bottle sit out for a while. This doesn’t actually let the air mix in with much wine at all. Your best option is decanting the wine in a decanter. But you don’t have to get that complicated. You can simply pour your wine into your glass, swirl it around, and then let it sit for a short period of time.
Finally – don’t let your wine sit too long. If you’re planning on drinking one bottle over an entire evening, it may be a good idea to simply decant by the glass. You don’t want your wine to turn vinegary.
As with everything in the wine world, letting your wine breathe is a choice that you should make only if it’s something that improves the taste of your wine to your palate. It’s all about the yuck and yum. Enjoy your wine in the way that tastes best to you!