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Stevew1

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I make all my wine from juice buckets. My question is about how the wine changes after it is opened. I age in carboys for 12 months before bottling. I have noticed how my wine is better the second day after the bottle is opened. The difference is considerable. It is softer, smoother, and certainly more like a bought wine. What is causing this and what can be done to have the wine taste like that from the first sip? Or is that just part of home wine making?
 

AZMDTed

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As far as I know, what you're referring to is caused aerating the wine, i.e., letting it breathe. Opening it up exposes it to oxygen, which is good and bad depending upon where you are in the lifecycle of wine and how much it gets. In the case of most newly opened wine, reds in particular, the wine greatly benefits from about 30 minutes to an hour of air time. This let's some of the sulfur in the wine realign itself or drift off, and many of the other good things in wine to relax (like tannins) and others to open up.

The analogy of a flower bud is often used. Opening a bottle of wine is like the bud, but to truly appreciate it you need to let it breathe and open up.

I'll leave it to a scientist or scholar to better explain how phenols work and all those other strange names that I just refer to as good smells.

In order to get your first day wine tasting like your second day wine I recommend decanting it and letting it sit for an hour or pouring it through one of those vortex type gizmos that are out there to quickly add oxygen to wine as you pour it.

I look forward to other answers, perhaps better answers.
 

bkisel

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I have some sort of wine aerating gizmo and it does seem to do to a poured glass what the OP mentions as happening the next day with his opened wine. I've only tried it with reds so don't know if it would do anything with whites. Even though the gizmo is generally within arms length when I pour my evening glass of when I most often forget to ud it... but not tonight!
 

Boatboy24

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Are you making mostly reds? I think most commercial reds are 18+ months old when they're released, so age may be a factor. Over time, acids and tannins tend to mellow and part of this is due to exposure to oxygen. An open bottle of wine accelerates that process. So that 'day old' bottle of wine has had some time to breathe and open up, as was said.
 

Mismost

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And it could be a touch of CO2...I know...we all completely degas our wines. But CO2 is sneaky stuff.
We spend hours talking about degassing. We spend very little time about letting wine breathe...which I think is just as important.

AZMDTed's bud into a bloom was a great mental picture, poetic! Much better than mine...stinky little fart spreads out over the whole room and now it is hardly noticeable, real life!

You know what to do...open early!
 

Stevew1

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Thanks, I am always trying to make a better bottle of wine. I think it's time for another oak barrel. I'm thinking 15 gal or so would fit my needs. I have a 5 gal now.
 

Spikedlemon

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And it could be a touch of CO2...I know...we all completely degas our wines. But CO2 is sneaky stuff.
We spend hours talking about degassing. We spend very little time about letting wine breathe...which I think is just as important.
I found the aerator tips for bottles eliminates most of any residual CO2 issues I might have with my wines.

It also works to aerate the wine too.

I used to think they were useless but I really do like mine.
 

crcarey

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Stevew, do you degas your wine? What's your method?
 

Stevew1

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I dont degas much. I don't do anything other than wait it out. Everything is in a carboy for about 12 months.
 

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