While many wines benefit from aeration, different types of wines benefit from different types of aeration.
Young Wines with High Concentration of Tannins
Examples of these wines are Cabernet Sauvignon, Bordeaux, Barbera, and Montepulciano, amongst others. These wines benefit from aeration by having the edge taken off of their tannins. This makes them more pleasurable to drink. If you think about it this way – aeration is mimicking the process or what would happen to the wine through ageing, with the tannins softening.
The benefit of aerating younger wines is that you get to enjoy the wines now, rather than having to wait years to drink them. The taste will be very much the same. It is important to remember that wines with a higher concentration of tannins and/or younger wines need a longer time to breathe.
Old Red Wines With Sediment
In the process of ageing, the different chemicals in the wine can bind together and clump, causing sediment as the chemicals become more solid. It collects at the bottom of the bottle, where this is usually observed at around 10 years of ageing. The sediment itself can impart a bitter taste to the wine. It is important to separate these solid bits in the process of decanting the wine. If you are using an aerator device, click here, decant the wine first before going through the aeration.
Remember that the more aged the wine, the more sensitive it will be to things like mixing with the sediment, and to the effects of aeration and decanting.
Select White Wines
Certain white wines can have their taste enhanced through aeration. These whites are often dry and full bodied. Let these wines sit in the decanter for around an hour before going through the process of aerating. White Bordeaux wines and Burgundies benefit from decanting and aerating.