Do You Aerate White Wine?

Do you aerate white wine

Quick Answer: No... and yes!? The answer depends on how long ago you bought the bottle, vintage, what type of varietal/grape, and personal preference.

Aerate or Don’t Aerate? That is the Question for White Wine Drinkers

It can be confusing trying to figure out what to do with your white wine. Red wine gets decanted and aerated, but does white wine need this too? The answer is not a simple yes or no. Let’s explore why you might or might not want to aerate your white wines.

Table of Contents

What is Aeration?

Aerating a wine refers to exposing it to oxygen to improve the flavor and texture of the beverage. Wine enthusiasts often say that the process “opens up” the flavors of a particular bottle. 

When you aerate a red wine, you are essentially allowing more time for the tannins in the wine to release their flavor compounds. But, when it comes to most white wines, there really isn’t any tannin structure that needs releasing so why bother aerating them?

Should You Aerate White Wines?

aerate white wine

The answer depends on how long ago you bought the bottle, vintage, what type of varietal, and personal preference.

If you have had a bottle of white wine sitting in your cellar for more than five years, then you should consider aerating it before drinking. This will help open some of its subtler flavors and aromas that may have been trapped in the bottle for some time.

However, if your white wine is fresh from the store, then there is no real need for aeration since all those subtle flavors are already present in the glass.

The same thing applies when considering different types of grapes used to make white wines.

If you have an older Chardonnay or Sauvignon Blanc from a reputable winery, then these tend to benefit from some amount of aeration prior to serving them up at your next dinner party or gathering.

However, if you are drinking something like a Muscadet or Pinot Grigio that is just one year old or less, then you won’t really reap any benefits from aerating them first – they will taste just fine without it!

How Do I Aerate White Wine?

If you decide to aerate your white wine, there are several ways to do it.

  • One way is simply open the bottle and let it sit for about 30 minutes to an hour before drinking it.
  • Alternatively, if you’re feeling fancy or want faster results, you can use a decanter or even an electric aerator device which will quickly introduce oxygen into your glass of vino!


Ultimately, deciding whether to aerate your white wine comes down to personal preference and depends on several factors such as age and type of wine being consumed.

Though, older whites should be allowed to breathe while younger varieties can usually be enjoyed right away without any additional steps needed. Whatever you decide though, make sure you enjoy your favorite drink in style! Cheers!

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