"Is oxygen bad for wine?"

Monday, 11 February, 2013
Shante Hutton, wine.co.za
Dear Chard O’Nay,

I keep seeing all these contraptions that ‘air’ your wine.
Isn’t oxygen bad for a wine and if not, should I be using one of these tools?

Many thanks,


Dear Ariana,

The contraptions you speak of are called aerators and whilst I’m more of a fan of a using a good ol’ decanter, many people swear by them even if they do look like weapons found in a Sci-fi movie.

Oxygen may be the culprit in aging but for wine that has just had its cork popped or lid unscrewed, it allows it to ‘breathe’ thus stimulating the aromas and mellowing the flavours. Where an aerator comes in handy most is with a young wine that, when straight out of the bottle, can be a little harsh and in need of air to soften it. As opposed to pouring your wine into a decanter which then needs time to rest, an aerator works instantaneously and doesn’t give you the hassle of cleaning the awkward shaped decanter.

I must add though that no amount of ‘airing’ will help a bad wine and older wines also won’t benefit as well as a younger counterpart.

YuppieChef has a large range of Aerators and other wine gadgets and they deliver for free so it works out well as a Valentine's gift for a wine lover.