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Dear Dr. Vinny,

A friend of mine insists that you can "simulate" how a bottle of wine will age by opening it and tasting it every hour. He claims that one hour equals one year of aging. I claim that you can't simulate bottle aging by simply letting the wine oxidize for five to six hours. Have you heard about this before and is there any truth to it? Thanks, as always, for your great info and tips.

—S.J.G., Villa Park, Calif.

Dear S.J.G.,

I'm on your side. Aerating a wine in a decanter or wine glass will expose it to oxygen, but that's about it. Aging wine is not simply the same as oxidation. Other stuff happens when a wine ages—compounds interact, phenolic molecules combine to form tannin polymers and, well, other science stuff. Aerating a wine might soften some of the tannins and mellow a wine out—and this can also be an effect of aging—but that's where the similarities end.

—Dr. Vinny

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