noticed a search engine report for this site where someone was looking
for information on how long after openning the wine, should it be
served. Perhaps you have asked yourself, "How long do I have
to wait before drinking an opened bottle of wine?". Or, worse
yet, maybe you've never considered the notion before. No matter,
let's address these questions and talk about letting the wine breathe.
Letting the wine breathe is only for wines that are dark, heavy
and robust. Lightly colored wines do not require that the wine be
allowed to breathe before serving. Lightly colored wines are usually
served chilled and are ready to drink immediately after openning.
Robust wines like a Cabernet or Merlot are a different story. Robust
wines should be allowed to breathe (or be exposed to open air) before
serving. The simplified reason for this is that there are microscopic
gas bubbles that are released from the wine when it is uncorked.
This gas is sort of a by-product of the natural frementation process.
The gas is "suspended" in the wine while it is in the corked bottle
but is allowed to escape after uncorking. This gas causes a bitter
taste in the wine and gives it a sharp "bite" so to speak. Allowing
the wine to breathe a bit, will allow the gas to escape so that
you can enjoy the true taste of the wine.
To let the wine breathe, pour a glass for each person at the table
and let the wine just sit there for about 10 minutes or a little
less. If you suspect that your dinner guests are going to dive right
into it, pour the glasses ahead of time and bring them already filled
to the table. Letting hte wine breathe in the wine glass is the
fastest way to allow the wine to become drinkable. The more of the
wine that you expose to fresh air after uncorking, the less time
it will need to breathe. For example. If you uncork a 750ml size
bottle of wine and leave it sit on the counter, there is only a
small amount of the wine that is exposed to fresh air. If you allow
the wine to breathe in the uncorked bottle, the wine would need
to breathe for about 30 minutes at a minimum.
Another way to help speed up the process is to make use of a carafe.
I don't know if I spelled that right or not but I do know that pouring
the whole bottle into one and serving the wine from that will help
a lot. Make sure that if you serve the wine from a carafe, that
you place the empty bottle on the table next to it because people
like to see what kind of wine they are drinking. It gives the table
guests the opportunity to study the lable.
So, letting the wine breathe is a good thing. The taste of the wine
will smooth out and you'll be able to enjoy the true taste of the
wine. On that note, I should mention that one of the most common
reasons why a person will return a bottle of a wine to the store
is because they don't know about the need to let a bottle of wine
breathe before drinking it. If after you let it breathe a while
and it still tastes like stale wet socks or something, then you
might actually have a bad bottle. A bad bottle of wine is not an
uncommon thing. Good wine is difficult to make and I would catagorize
it as "produce". It's just as easy for wine to go bad
as it is for produce to go bad.
of the ways a wine can go bad is if it turns to vinigar by having
been exposed to air somehow. Corks that dry out can allow air to
seep past it and slowly turn the wine bad. That's why you lay bottles
of wine down in a wine rack , so that the wine will keep the cork
moist and the bottle sealed. Another ailment that a bottle of wine
can suffer from is called, being "corked". It has to do with bacteria
growing in the cork and causing the wine to taste like stale socks.
It won't hurt you if you drink "corked wine" but who would
want to? To battle these two problems, wine makers are often using
artificial corks. I actually prefer them because they are cool to
play with and you don't need to store the bottle on it's side with
an artificial cork.