Why You Should Always Let Wine Breathe – Being an avid fan of quality wine, I for one wish to achieve the best experience possible from my bottle. Understanding the process of letting your wine breathe before drinking is a step in the right direction.
Aerating wine simply means exposing the wine to air or giving it a chance to “breathe” before drinking it. When air and wine interact, two important processes occur evaporation and oxidation. Allowing these processes to occur can improve the quality of the wine by changing its chemistry and consequently the flavour of the wine. Be it red or white, young, or old, with aeration, the wine exhales all its flavours and reveals all its aromas.
Wine tech innovators Aveine, have developed the world’s first AI wine aerator, and have revealed the benefits of wine being allowed to breathe – or be aerated – as well as which wines benefit from this process.
Aveine is a French WineTech start-up that was created in 2016 by Nicolas Naigeon. He created the first smart aerator that allows the wine to exhale all its flavours and aromas instantly. The Aveine smart tech wine aerator is a high-tech premium device that is plugged into the neck of the bottle and instantly oxygenates the wine while pouring it via patented micro-oxygenation technology.
The device calibrates itself for optimal oxygenation after recognising the bottle through a simple scan by the user with the application: as simple as taking a picture of the bottle.
Nicolas Naigeon, who comes from a wine-producing family in Burgundy and is CEO of Aveine, said: “Aerating, or oxygenating the wine, is an essential part of improving the flavour and bouquet of the wine.
“Wine is to be savoured and enjoyed and by aerating it you will get a much better tasting glass of wine. When you see professional wine tasters swirling the wine in their glass, it is to infuse oxygen and let all the flavours and aromas burst into life.
“When wine is put into a bottle and enclosed it is left in there all cooped up. When it’s opened, it’s like awakening the wine. When we wake up, we take our time to get ready. This is the same for wine.
“When the oxygen gets into the wine, this chemical reaction does many things. It enhances the characteristics of the wine. It makes the smells more powerful, especially red wines so that the fruit really comes through. This also improves the taste, releasing the flavours on your palette.
“How long a wine aerates for depends on the age and type of the wine. Younger wines need more time. It will soften the tannins and add complexity. Older wines, which have been maturing in the bottle, need less time.” He added: “In terms of the type of wine, reds, whites, roses and even sparkling wines can all benefit from aeration. Age will always be a factor as to how long.
“Young reds such as those from Bordeaux, Merlot, Malbec, Cabernet Sauvignon and Syrah (Shiraz) will definitely benefit.
“White wines such as those from Burgundy or Bordeaux, Chablis, chardonnay and even sweet whites can all be aerated to enhance their flavour.”
How long should wines be aerated for?
Nicolas added: “The old-fashioned way of letting the wine breathe isn’t just removing the cork or unscrewing the cap but pouring it into a decanter. However, for some wines you can take hours to reach perfection – and who wants to wait!
“Another option is to use an aerator, which adds oxygen to the wine as it’s poured. However, not all aerators replicate the right amount of oxygen needed to enrich the wine.
“This is why I invented the Aveine smart wine aerator, which will let the wine aerate to the exact number of hours as it is poured. There is no waiting and whether the wine needs one hour or 24 hours, this aerator has the technology to replicate it perfectly.
“Using the Aveine smartphone app to scan the wine label on the bottle, it will indicate how long the wine needs to aerate and this information is sent directly to the aerator, or it can be done manually for the perfect glass of wine.”
The aerator comes in two models, has received several awards and accolades, including a CES Innovation award (honouring outstanding design and engineering in consumer technology products)
Having tried the product, myself I can understand all the hype. The Micro oxygenation technology certainly altered the flavour of the wine for the better, giving a smooth, flavoured outcome. When serving, as the wine passes through the aerator, Aveine adds beneficial ambient air, directly to the heart of the flow for each glass served.
The handy Aveine app communicates with the aerator to calibrate it automatically. Simply scan the label on the bottle or enter the desired configuration yourself. There are 70,000+ wines in the library, which is constantly growing, so this input is vital. The application also provides useful information for a perfect tasting experience: aeration time (open bottle), food and wine pairings, and ideal temperature.
It is good to know that the aerator does get updated via the app. Therefore, If you’ve not used the device for a while and an update has happened – the app prompts you, you click – and it does the rest for you, very much like a Microsoft update we may all be familiar with!