The Weekly Walla Walla Wine Word for Dummies is: Aeration
Aeration is the deliberate addition of oxygen to wine to round out and soften a wine. Why aerate the wine? The whole concept of letting wine "breathe," or aerate, is to maximize the wine's potential. Letting wine aerate, you are allowing the wine to open up the aromas and flavor profiles.
There are several tools designed for wine aeration. Frankly, I don't buy into those gadgets much. The tool of my choice, especially for wines with age? A decanter. A glass decanter or even a pitcher, clean flower vase, whatevv - - any large liquid container with a wide opening to pour the bottle of wine into. The increased surface area of the container is the key to allowing more air to make contact to the wine.
Let the filled decanter set for about 15 or 20 minutes before serving. One can even swirl the wine around, shake it up a bit or take the filled decanter on a bumpy car ride on a gravel road to create some movement.
Want to make it even easier? Simply pour the wine into your wine glass, give it some air time, swirl and enjoy.