Any large jug will do. A magnum bottle is also ok. Or simply get an
extra regular bottle and split the wine between the two, it will aerate.
A $60 decanter will generally look better, so if you want something that
looks good, spend the money.
Stirring vigorously is not always a good idea. You may do that with
certain low sulfite wines that may develop some CO2, stirring gets rid
of it. Or with wines that really need a jolt of oxygen. Some wines,
older ones, may need a lighter aeration plus you may want to decant the
deposits, so stirring is not recommended.
My friends from France go crazy when you aerate or decant wine or even
the mere suggestion of it.
They always say, open the bottle and let it breath but the wine should
not be moved until it is moved from
the bottle into your glass to drink it.
For many wines this is OK, but some require extra care... If a wine has
a lot of sediment you have to decant it, if it is going through a closed
phase it needs to be aerated. Some wines don't express much of their
flavours unless you aerate them.
By opening the bottle and letting it "breathe" you are exposing a very
small surface area, it may not breathe at all.
I fear that many French people don't understand the purpose or
advantages of decanting. I'm a firm advocate of it although many of my
French friends are quite shocked to see me do it. Until they taste the
results. Then they go and do the same. You might like to suggest to
your friends that they come and stay with me here, so they can become
better educated about decanting wine!
Opening a bottle with no further action will do virtually nothing
towards aerating the wine. How much is actually in contact with the
air? Maybe 1/2 sq cm or so. (pi*r^2) If a wine is in need of air, then
decanting (which the french differentiate from "carafing" for some
bizarre reason) is the way to go. If it isn't then there's no point in
removing the cork early.
The only time I ever saw anyone shaking wine was the Count Xavier St
Exupéry at Ch Tiregand in Pécharmant. He did it for a very particular
reason, which was to project the wine 5 years into its future for
about 10 minutes - at the end of which it was nearly dead. I've used
the technique myself on some very young wines where the flavours were
all knotted up, in an attempt to see/taste where they were going.
All the best
Fatty from Forges
I've never tasted (red) wine that tasted carbonated, but then again, I
don't have too much experience.
I was thinking of stirring the wine after it was poured into a glass,
unless it is the lass glass of wine in a bottle, sediments won't be
too bad (though I haven't really tried wines with sediment).
I could not agree more Ian. Here in Ontario where our VQA wines tend to be
consumed young they usually need a less than gentle decanting to get them
in shape to be really enjoyed. Sediment, other than harmless "Wine
Diamonds" don't really come into our decanting needs. Air contact,
sometimes vigorous, is what wakes these youngsters up!
Hmm, I didn't really have in mind to shake it, but to stir it with
limited vigor in the glass, exposed to the air.
Does your post imply that shaking wine to artificially age it would
automatically cause it to go badly shortly afterward? Would you know
why that would happen even after the shaking stops?
Would the same effect occur under stirring?
That looks like what I picked up for a housewarming gift. It's quite
the discussion garnerer. I never compared wine with and without the
aerator. However, I'm not a connoisseur, so I'm not sure if I would
have noticed a difference.
Stirring and shaking wines are not necessarily good for them. It really
doesn't increase aeration. Simply keeping a wine out in a glass for an
hour will give you a better idea how the wine will taste down the road
but nothing beats experience with wines and familiarity with brands and
I understand what you are saying, but I'm just trying to understand
it. Why does stirring not help when it exposes more of the wine to
Also, I didn't realize that 1 hour of aeration in a glass is
typical...it's a long time to sit and look at the wine in
anticipation. I'm liable to walk off and have it slip my mind.
It really doesn't increase that much more wine to air simply by physical
principle. To increase airing one would want to increase the amount of
area there would be for air exchange. Probably spreading it out in a
large shallow dish would work the best but I would think it would then
be very difficult to drink.
Bi!! card to enlighten us with:
The don't even need a dish to enjoy wine.
Of all the dogs in my life (and there'vewen wuite a few), only Winston,
my first bulldog, loved wine. He didn't drink often, but drink he did,
or rather, he would lick up every single drop under the table whenever
someone had overturned a glass at the "Heurigen" winery...
And if it was funny (well, sort of) to walk home with a slightly drunken
bulldog, it was a lot funnier to behold a bulldog with a terrible
hangover the day after!
Winston has long gone to wherever bulldogs go when their time's up, and
all the following dogs, bulldog or not, didn't care for wine, but rather
My recent Rottweiler, however, seems to be a teetotaller...
who just poured himself
a nice glass of "Messwein"
(Spaetrot a.k.a. Zierfandler)
from Freigut Thallern, Gumpoldskirchen