How Long to Let Wine Breathe?

Daniel Lawson
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There are many myths and facts about life, and wine is not any different. There is a whole culture and world that surrounds wine consumption. And many wine enthusiasts take part in this culture and retain the best benefits from this beverage. Letting wine breathe after opening it is one of those lesser-known deets.

It’s easy to wonder, is it necessary to let the wine breathe before consumption? That is because many purchase wine for the simple pleasure of it and just pour and serve, not noticing any difference in the wine taste or aroma. 

However, have you ever poured a glass of wine and given it a sniff, noticing a lesser-than-pleasant aroma? That’s what wine aeration or wine breathing cures. It improves the overall health of the wine, making it all the more enjoyable. 

This article will discuss wine aeration and how long to let the wine breathe after opening. Let’s get into it. 

Should All Wine Be Aerated Before Drinking?

Pouring White Wine From Bottle in a GlassLetting wine breathe oxidizes it, softening its flavors and releasing its aroma. However, regardless of these benefits, you should only aerate some wines. Some lose their flavor, becoming undrinkable if exposed to air for too long. 

For the most part, you do not necessarily have to aerate white wines. They do not have the high level of tannins red wines have. White wines you could aerate are those that are made to age and develop earthy flavors. However, taste aged white wines to determine if they will benefit from aeration before doing so. 

Decanting an older wine is a good way of stopping the wine’s sediments from making their way into your wine glass. And aerating young wines soften their harsh tannin texture, revealing all their subtle aroma and flavor notes.

Inexpensive red wines with fruity flavors usually have low volumes of tannins, so they do not benefit from aeration. 

How Long Should You Let the Wine Air After Opening?

Wine aeration works splendidly, but it’s primarily a personal preference. And not knowing if your wine needs aeration before doing so can ruin it. Consider taking a wine sample and swirling it around your wine glass to decide if it needs to breathe. 

There’s much debate about how long a wine should breathe before consumption. That is because wine and air do not have a good relationship in aging. If air gets into a bottle of wine meant for aging, it oxidizes, making it taste like vinegar.  

And this contradicts letting air inside the wine after uncorking to amplify its taste. To clarify, airing wine for minutes before consumption is a positive way of consuming wine. The wine can breathe in a bottle after stagnating for months, weeks, and years. 

Usually, the recommended aeration time is 20 to 30 minutes, but you should research the wine and know the manufacturer’s aeration time. Additionally, many believe you should decant older wines for hours before consumption.

Decanting for an hour or two might seem like an opening to the wine’s ruin due to its antagonistic relationship with oxidation. But when in doubt, use the manufacturer’s recommended aeration time or pour a sample of the wine to decide how much time it needs to breathe. 

Use a silicone stopper to cover the wine bottle’s mouth after serving and leave it in the fridge to preserve it for some days. If you’re going to leave it in a room temperature setting, ensure the wine bottle cover is tight enough to prevent extra oxidization. 

Rotational Movements of Wine in a Glass for Saturation With AirHow to Aerate Wine

There are different ways to let wines breathe hassle-free. They are as follows:

Swirl in Your Wine Glass

Wine glasses are different from everyday drinking glasses. It has a large bowl that enables wine aerating. Hold the wine bottle about 10 inches (25.4 centimeters) above the glass to expose the wine to air as you pour. 

Do not fill the wine glass to the brim. Stop at the broadest part of the glass because the wine needs room when you swirl to avoid spillage. The wine comes in contact with air while on your wine glass, and when you swirl, it mixes up the wine, speeding up the aeration process. 

Pour the Wine Into a Decanter

Wine decanters are a proven way of airing wine. Decanters are wide shallow containers that expose the wine surface to air. Simply pour the wine into the decanter and let it sit before serving. 

Pouring Red Wine in Glasses From Decanter

Use Two Pitchers

Get two light pitchers, pour wine into one of them, and then transfer the wine into the other. Do these continuously for several minutes to aerate the wine. Don’t worry about your speed. The purpose is to mix the wine with. Whichever speed you choose will still get the work done. 

When you’re done aerating the wine, pour it into your wine glasses, or use a funnel to transfer it back to the bottle. 

Pour Wine Into Your Blender

Using your blender with wine may sound like a far-fetched idea. But it’s a proven method of aeration. Pour wine into the blender and pulse it for 15 to 30 seconds. This process helps mix wine and air, softening the wine’s tannins. 

You will see bubbles forming as the wine swirls in the blender, but think nothing of it. The bubbles will help aerate the wine. Also, the foams will settle afterward, leaving your wine in its original state. 

Use a Wine Aerator

Wine aerators are fixed to the wine bottle, allowing the wine to breathe instantly by mixing the perfect air with the wine. Wine aerators usually have serving spouts. So you can efficiently serve the wine without needing to pour it into a decanter. 


Leave your wine to aerate for 20 to 30 minutes after opening to enhance its flavor and aroma. Research the wine brand to know the manufacturer’s preferred aeration timing if you want such exactness. 

Sample the wine and sniff its aroma to know if it needs aeration. Also, wines are sensitive beverages. So be conscious of the temperature. Heat and light can cause damage, so ensure not to have it anywhere around such elements. 

Enjoy your wonderfully aerated wine!

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