Should you systematically aerated your wine ?
The answer is no, not systematically…but if you have any doubt, please do. Let’s be clear, if when opening your nice bottle of wine just bought from your independent wine merchant there is any suspicious smell it worth trying to carafe it.
Fresh fruit aromas (primary aromas), spices, vanilla, brioché (secondary aromas) or even better leather, game, mushroom (tertiary aromas) have the right to stand in you glass of wine !! The first sip and…ouch, aaarg, an astringency is taking you up to your ?*/%!!?…toes and leave you as dry as a worm on the Californian asphalt, you only have one solution: the kiss of life ? No, the wine aeration.
The oxygen brought by the aeration permits a micro-oxygenation which soften the tannins, making them velvety and better giving some chew to the wine. That case usually happens with rich, complexe wine made for aging. The breathing just mimic the aging process.
Another story is the strong barnyard smell (in the unpleasant way), horse sweat, rotten eggs or even worse cabbage (except if you have a cauliflower and cheese waiting for you in the oven) appears. We are facing a case of reduction from light to extreme, Mr Watson, and reduction is the opposite of oxygenation that can produce the unpleasant H2O pols, sulfite hydrogen. Great news, the aeration will just reverse the reduction process (if it’s not too late). Elementary !
Be aware the Shiraz/Syrah and Pinot noir tend to reduce very easily.
If it doesn’t work, please read our article “How to spot a default in wine ?”