Wine Word of the Week: Breathing

By Kori ~ September 18th, 2010.

This week’s Wine Word of the Week is breathing.

Official definition from Jancis Robinson’s The Oxford Companion to Wine:
Breathing is an operation believed beneficial by some consumers, involving pulling the cork and letting the open bottle stand for a few hours before it is poured. In fact, in such circumstances, the wine can take only the most minimal of ‘breaths’, and any change is bound to be imperceptible (except possibly in the case of bottle sickness). The surface area of the wine exposed to the air is so small that the effects of any aeration are negligible.

Layman’s terms from Kori:
Breathing is the process practiced by some wine enthusiasts of opening a bottle of wine and letting it stand for a while before it is poured to let it “breathe”. However, it is not a very effective method of aeration. Consider decanting a wine in order to really let it “breathe”.

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