Aerate With Abandon – Your Wine Will Thank You

If you’re a die-hard fan of California wine, you may have noticed that the second glass tastes better and richer than the first. No, it’s not the alcohol influencing your taste buds, it’s air.

All but the most premium, aged vintages need to be decanted or aerated to achieve their most pleasing states. Contrary to your popular happy-hour bartender, you shouldn’t pour wine straight into a glass and drink it.

Wine is a living thing, in the sense that it absorbs oxygen and “ages” or oxides. Many wines benefit from “breathing” – exposing the freshly corked wine to oxygen to mellow the flavors and transform vino to an ideal, drinkable state.

Let it Breathe

Decanting is great if you have an hour or more to let your bottle breathe but when you want to break out a second vintage at the dinner table, you may need more than a wide mouthed carafe. You need an aerator. An aerator will transform your inexpensive bottle into the perfect vintage in seconds, not hours.

An aerator is a clever, funnel like gadget that maximizes the airflow through your wine while it’s being poured into a glass or decanter. This holy-grail gadget saves hours of waiting and is used extensively by chefs, sommeliers and wine professionals around the world.

Aerating has long been touted as an absolute for reds, but whites are emerging as benefiting as much, if not more from the process. Young wines, like our beloved California whites, have been found to improve dramatically from aerating immediately after opening – using an aerator ensures that your crispy white is served cool from the bottle, at the ideal temperature.

Aerating Reds

The darker your red, the more air it likely needs. Look at the color of the wine before opening your bottle – pale garnet or brick colored wines may only need a short time to breathe, as they’re closer to full maturity and at their peak state already. New, full-bodied reds need a thorough airing, between 1-2.5 hours in a decanter, or a room temperature run through your aerator.

Don’t make the mistake of uncorking a bottle and leaving it out to breathe, you won’t get enough oxygen into the narrow bottle neck.

Aerating Whites

If your freshly opened white seems to have little or no complexity, your wine needs more time to breathe, (and you may be serving it too cold). A word of caution, leaving a fresh Sauvignon Blanc to decant in the fridge puts your wine at risk of absorbing other food smells. A cheesy, garlicky glass of white isn’t on anyone’s menu. Use an aerator that funnels directly into the glass.

Where do I find wine aerators?

There are several new products on the market. Try to find one that uses a dual alteration air system and has a design that pleases the eye. After all, your guests are going to be watching in awe as you take their $15 bottle of wine and turn it into a masterpiece.

Now, who wants a drink?

Discovering the Ideal Wine Opener

We have all already been there before. A luxury evening meal that you’ve invited friends over for, a good bottle of wine to pair while using food. Then it’s time to open the container. It may be a lot less difficult said then done. On some occasions you’ve no trouble and on other people the cork breaks up and everyone is left fishing out bits of cork from their glasses.

Discovering the appropriate wine opener is completely private. You will find some openers that nearly anyone can use without any issues but everyone has a preference. It all comes down to how much money you wish to pay for a wine opener and how many bells and whistles you need stated opener to have.

A wine opener that is certainly ubiquitous in restaurants, thus earning its name, may be the waiter’s corkscrew. That is a wine opener which is extremely straightforward and serves its function and nothing much more. Many persons locate that this will be the ideal wine opener for them. All you will need to do is screw the corkscrew into the cork along with a mechanism pulls the cork out cleanly.

A lot of of these corkscrews appear having a foil cutter to assist you cut the foil on top of the bottle. The greatest element is that one of these models is really cheap and you are able to buy many for possibly les

Around the other end in the scale you will discover also quite higher tech wine openers on the market. An electric wine opener requirements to be plugged in and is not for anyone who needs to conserve room within the kitchen counter or cabinets. That is mainly because an opener like this does take up very a bit of room.

About the upside an opener like this requires next to practically nothing in terms of effort on your component. All you would like to complete is plug within the opener, put your wine container in location and press a button. That’s all you would like to do to open your container of wine. This can be good if you hate the element of opening a wine bottle that tests your wrist strength.

In in between these two extremes you will find a lot of other wine openers which will make opening a container of wine easier for you. In case you don’t desire to fork out twenty or so dollars for an electric one you can find still a handful of manual ones out there that don’t need you to possess guns of steel to use.

Just What is a Wine Cork?

Wine cork is defined as the lightweight elastic outer bark of the cork oak tree used especially for bottle closures, insulation, floats, and crafts.  Cork is an amazingly versatile natural material.  It is harvested from the Cork Oak tree and is unharmed by the process, thus the cork oak tree can produce for up to 150 years. Corks elasticity makes it suitable for bottle stoppers on wine bottles

The use of cork dates back hundreds of years even being found in Egyptian tombs.  It has been used for fishing net floats, bottle stoppers, flooring, roofs, shoes and even clothing.

You may not remember but back in 1892 there was a widely known cap called the bottle cap that had a metal lid lined with cork. It was used on drink bottles up until recently.

The Cork Oak Tree

Most of the commercial cork trees grow in western Mediterranean and the Iberian Peninsula.  Portugal produces at least half of the world supplies of cork.

The tree grows to be about 40-60 feet with a trunk circumference of 6-10 feet.  The first harvest happens when the tree is about 20 years old and is normally of poor quality.  The next harvest is about nine years later and occur every nine years after that.  The harvest usually starts when there is two inches of thickness.

Types of wine corks

The type of wine cork that is used in bottling is dependent on many factors, especially the type of wine being bottled and the possible time between bottling and drinking.  A few other factors include; bottle size, bottling speed, wine quality, wine color and sparkling or not. 

There are seven types of wine corks

Natural Wine Corks

These are natural and high quality and because of that they are expensive.  These corks are punched from cork boards.  They are then washed, sterilized and sold.  There are seven grades of these corks and the quality is precisely checked.  They last long and are used on wine that are to be stored for long times.

Ice Wine Natural Corks

Made specifically for this rare wine as the bottle necks are thin and they need to withstand the high sugar content that is in the wine.

Double Disc or Twin Top Corks

Combination of natural and agglomerated corks and are used with a precise consistency and for a wine industry standard.  These are pretty technical stoppers and are used because they are consistently the same density, quality, and price

Champagne corks

These corks fit champagne bottles and are designed to be used to make a tight seal that withhold the high pressure of champagne.

Colmated or pore filled natural corks

The air spaces in the natural wine corks are filled with a resin and these are used for volume wines.

Agglomerate Wine Corks:

These stoppers are made from the waste product of natural wine corks.  The pieces are glued together and it is a cheaper alternative.  They are used mostly on wine that will be stored less than a year.

Synthetic Wine Corks:

This is the modern cork and is used in many wineries.  They never dry out or rot and yet there are a few problems; cork screws can be damaged and the biggest concern is that the seal is not long-lasting and thus good wines can be destroyed when air gets in.  A benefit is that they come in virtually any color so fancy designs are easier.

As you can see there are many types of corks available for sealing your wine bottle.  Make sure to go through the thought process of what type will be best for you before you spend your money and preserve your wine.

Storing Your Wine

Wine consumption has become more and more popular over the years. As they say older the wine the better it tastes, storing and preserving wine properly is very essential.

Storing a wine in a right way can lead to euphoria while in a wrong way can lead to depression. Drinking wine from a bottle while has been poorly stored can be a letdown. Poorly stored wine can taste like vinegar.

Factors to consider while storing a wine bottle are humidity, temperature, lighting, the cleanliness of your storage area and the angle at which the bottle is kept on the rack. The temperature is one of the most important factors and you should maintain around 50 degrees at all times. Avoid sudden temperature changes and if any change in temperature occurs make sure it happens slowly. The wine should be OK as long as the temperature does not rise too much and if the temperature fluctuates slowly.

To maintain proper humidity is also very important. Try to maintain 70% of humidity and its OK if it goes above or below this level by 10%. In high humidity the label can easily rot and affect the value of the wine. On the other hand if the humidity is too low it could shrink the cork and bring air into the wine which can completely ruin the wine.

Light causes wine to age prematurely so make sure you store your wine bottle out of light. It’s best to store wine in a dark location. Also if the wine stays in contact with the cork it doesn’t dry out. If wine doesn’t stay in contact with the cork then the cork could dry out and let air into the wine bottle. Keeping wine bottle at the right angle so that the wine is always in contact with the cork is important.

To maintain the quality of your wine it is very important to consider all the above mentioned factors while storing it. Take proper care while storing your wine and you are sure to enjoy it for several years. It is not a difficult task but just needs a little more care and attention.