Hello there! I'm Dr. Vinifera, or "Vinny" for short. Ask me your toughest wine questions, from the technical aspects of winemaking to the fine points of etiquette. I hope you find my answers educational and even amusing. Looking for a particular answer? Check my archive and my FAQs.
Dear Dr. Vinny,
Should a wine be decanted or aired before using it in a recipe?
—Greg F., Bethel, Conn.
No, I don’t think it’s necessary. Ideally, you’ll use a wine to cook with that you’d also like to drink. But even if that wine would improve with aeration, I believe the cooking process would negate those effects.
You can use just a splash from the bottle you’ll be drinking with the meal, or something in a similar vein. It’s also a good idea to pick a wine that’s made in a fruity style, so some flavor will be left after the alcohol evaporates. Keep in mind, too, that old, oxidized wines will not do anything to help the flavor of your dish.
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