How Long Should Red Wine Breathe?

  • 2023-02-15

Allowing your red wine to breathe is a very useful trick that assists in releasing the aromas. Tannic and young red wines such as red wine Gran Reserva can benefit from being left to breathe as it softens the wine's tannins. However, the amount of time you leave your wine to breathe varies depending on the type of wine and how old it is. Read on to learn more about red wine and how long it should breathe.


What Are The Benefits of Letting Red Wine Breathe?

Letting wine breathe not only improves the quality and flavour of your wine but also improves the texture. Letting wine breathe enhances the aromas and allows the wine to oxidise. You may be wondering why uncorking the wine and leaving it to breathe isn't as effective as decanting the wine. This is because you want all of the wine to breathe - just uncorking the wine doesn't allow enough air to reach all of the wine. So overall, the best way to allow your wine to breathe is by using a decanter as this increases the oxygen exposure to the wine.


How Long Should You Let Your Wine Breathe?

Older wines such as Port may not need as long to aerate, whereas younger wines may need a lot longer. This is because red wine loses its hue as it ages. If you are unsure as to whether you need to aerate your wine, pour yourself a sample. Just pouring yourself a small amount of wine after opening it can help you to decide whether the wine needs aerating or not. When you pour yourself a sample, there are many different ways in which you can judge if your wine needs to be aerated or not. Investigate the wine's aromas and taste, there are certain smells to look out for which indicate that you need to leave your wine to breathe, such as:

  • Sulphur
  • Rotten eggs
  • Burnt matches
  • Rubber
  • Harsh Tannic taste

The age and type of the wine ultimately determines the amount of time you need to aerate your wine. For example, if your wine is older than 10 years old, pour yourself a sample to judge whether or not it needs to breathe. If your wine is young and has an unpleasant smell or chunky tannins, then you should allow 1-2 hours for your wine to breathe.

Doing this will reduce any harshness and improve the texture of your wine. If your wine is a lighter type of red wine such as Pinot Noir, 30 minutes should be more than enough to allow your wine to breathe. This is because this type of wine is less concentrated in flavour.


Old Wine Compared to Young Wine

The biggest difference between old wine compared to younger wines is the aerating time. For example, older wines don't normally need as long to breathe compared to younger wines. If you have an older wine rich in colour (e.g Cabernet Sauvignon), it's best to decant it for about 30 minutes. It’s important to decant old wine that has been stored in a bottle for at least 8 years. This is to remove any excess sediment that has been built up over the years.


What is a Decanter?

A decanter is used to hold liquids such as wines that may contain sediment. Its main job is to store and serve wine as well as allow it to breathe. The two main things that are often found in red wines are sediment and crumbled cork. A decanter acts as a filter to help remove unwanted residue and eliminate the bitter taste and flavour associated with older wines. A decanter is used to aerate wine, slowly pouring it into a decanter allows the oxygen to be absorbed into the wine.

There are many different types of decanters for different beverages, the best decanter to use for wine is a circular decanter. This allows the air inside it to move freely. A wide-neck decanter is also convenient when decanting wine as this allows for a lot more oxygen to enter in a shorter amount of time. Experts recommend decanting your wine for at least two hours to receive the best results. A successful decanter is able to:

  • Soften the wine's tannins
  • Release the wine's aromas
  • Separate the wine's sediments from the bottom of the wine.

Certain decanters are also used for certain wines. For example, A larger and wider decanter is recommended for red wines as this allows more oxygen to reach the wine. However, when it comes to decanting white wine, a smaller decanter is used. This is because white wines hardly contain any sediment.


How Should I Store My Wine in The Long Term?

Wine is best stored in a dark room away from sunlight. This is so that your wine can be preserved for a longer period of time. The best places to store your wine are either a wine cooler or a wine cellar. A wine cellar is an option if you have enough room to renovate one of your rooms into a wine cellar. However, we believe that a more convenient option to store your wines is in a wine cooler.

Here at Dunavox, we offer a range of excellent-quality wine coolers from built-in and integrated wine coolers to freestanding wine coolers. Our wine coolers offer a variety of features that allow you to preserve your wine in the best possible way, whether it be a sparkling wine, white wine, or full-bodied red wine. Our range of wine fridges features LED lights, dual-zone temperature control, humidity control, UV light protection and much more. To find out more about what type of wine coolers we offer be sure to check out our vast collection of wine coolers to see what style you would like.