When you open a bottle of red wine, it often needs a little time to open up and breathe. This can take anywhere from 30 minutes to a few hours, but what if you simply don't have that long? Perhaps you forget to open it and then find the wine is too tight, or you have a guest drop by and want to pour out the wine right away? Well, an unexpected kitchen tool can help you out. First, why aerate your wine in the first place? It's certainly not right for every wine, but the thought behind it in certain cases is to expose your red wine to as much surface oxygen as possible so the tannins and compounds that lead to a rough-tasting wine are slowly broken down. This especially goes for inexpensive wines that are perhaps lacking a little finesse, or are too young. Vigorously aerating a rougher, less expensive big red wine can make for a much smoother, more enjoyable sip.
The folks at Cook's Illustrated Magazine came up with the idea of aerating wine using a blender. It may be a little too gauche for true wine aficionados, but it does the trick. They note that while it's "seemingly harsh," many restaurants practice the trick and that it results in wine that tastes more developed than undecanted wines.
If the blender is simply too odd for you, the testers found that pouring the wine from one carafe or container to another at least fifteen times had a fantastic result with bright, balanced, and complex flavors.
So you take your pick: if you have time to plan for folks coming over, then cracking open a bottle and using a decanter if you have one is a great idea. But when you need a glass right away, the kitchen whiz that's usually in charge of morning smoothies and pureeing soups may just come to the rescue.
Megan is a freelance writer and recipe developer. Her cookbook, Whole-Grain Mornings, will be available in bookstores nationwide Dec/2013. Megan also owns the Seattle-based artisan cereal company, Marge Granola.
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