POLL: What does the term "slow-ox" mean to you?

How would have worded it differently?

“Opening the bottle and letting it sit without pouring out any wine”
That one.


I would have phrased the question this way and given the following options:

When opening a wine and allowing it to breathe for a period of time, which is the preferred method that you would call slow-O?

  1. Opening a bottle and not pouring any of it out and letting it sit open for a period of time
  2. Opening a bottle, not pouring any out and then recording it immediately/within a few minutes
  3. Opening a bottle, pouring some out (anything from a little bit, up to a glass) and then letting it sit open for a period of time
  4. Opening a bottle, pouring some out, and then recorking immediately/within a few minutes
  5. Opening the bottle, decanting or double decanting into the original bottle
  6. I never Slow-O wine
  7. I have another method if Skow-Oing
  8. What is slow-Oing?

You would then give options that say include 1 and 2 but not the rest, etc. Etc.

I’m no expert…or fan of…polls, but I would have said which of the following do you believe best defines the term “slow ox” as you believe people define it (not what you do or what you prefer).

and then use your list.

maybe I could come up with something better, but…

So you’d rather have a poll based on speculation than actual knowledge? (i.e.: “What do you think others think?” vs. “What do you think?”). I don’t understand how that would make the poll better. IMO, it would make the poll worse. Actually, it’s neither better or worse, as it’s a different poll entirely.

Some of those simply are not slow ox and 7 is an invitation to reduce the term to meaninglessness by inviting people to makeup pretty much anything. Slow-ox is not a meaning free term though and redefining it to mean “hey, I’ve opened the wine” doesn’t help. For people who have read Francois Audoze’ postings on the subject starting back on eBob, it’s pretty clear how slow oxygenation differs from decanting and we shouldn’t let the fact that some people use the term in a completely wrong manner distort things.

Here’s the more or less accepted definitions:

  1. Pop and Pour… What it says. To open the wine and t hen start serving it either immediately or within some short timeframe (i.e. you might open the wines all at once and serve them over the course of the dinner).

  2. Decant. To pour a wine from the bottle into a decanter of some type and leave the wine in the decanter for service.

  3. Double decant. To decant the wine from a bottle into a clean decanter and then to pour the wine back into the original bottle (after having washed sediment from that bottle if it was present).

  4. Slow-Ox. To open a bottle and leave it for several hours or more. Depending on the fragility of the wine and how the nose shows on uncorking, one might recork the bottle right away, leave the cork out but otherwise not disturb the bottle or pour off a small amount (no more than enough to expose the wine to the top shoulder of the bottle).

There’s some leeway, but the idea of slow-ox is that it’s used on older wines to GENTLY expose them to oxygen because decanting might risk the wine evolving too fast and fading. It’s a technique that’s almost exclusively useful on old wines. Younger wines (under 20 or so) probably won’t benefit nor will it hurt them. Removing a significant portion of the wine (say, half the bottle) is just a variation on decanting. The difference between slow-ox and decanting a wine for hours is that in decanting the wine is left exposed to a lot of oxygen for a long time and in double decanting the entire contents of the bottle are exposed to oxygen at once. With Slow-ox, the wine is minimally exposed to oxygen and thus the interaction between the wine and air is, well, slowed.

I mostly agree with Rick’s post #27, except I do believe young wines often react well to slox ox, and sometimes they react badly to decanting by soon withdrawing into a shell. So I often pull the cork from a young wine, pour an ounce or two, and let it sit in the cellar for a few hours or maybe all day.

Berry, IMO you are saying sometimes you don’t have time to slow-ox, so you fast-ox (if you are enlarging the surface area to bottle diameter or close to that large. How can that be slow-ox?

I voted #1, but may have selected #2 if it described less wine being poured.

I did just that today when I pulled the corks on two young burgs this morning for a virtual tastings this evening. Just pulled the corks and put the bottles back in the cellar for 12 hrs. If I would have poured a couple glasses I imagine I would have had 2 glasses of “pour down the drain” by 5pm.

I consider increasing the surface area to say a silver dollar size slow oxygenation compared to decanting. Even pouring out enough to get past the shoulder would be much slower than a full decant.

"oxygenation’ does absolutely nothing for a wine. Aeration may cause a wine to open up, but not oxygenation. Oxygen comprises a minority of air, and it is dissolved air that makes beverages taste better. Not oxygen.

It is also partially for this reason that there is absolutely no difference between having a wine breath in the bottle versus having it breath in a decanter. Simply the act of pouring (whether in your glass or into a decanter) will dissolve far more air into the liquid than just allowing it to sit and exposed to AIR (not oxygen). Swirling the wine in your glass also dissolves more air, and does far more than sitting in a bottle or decanter. Everything else is just a myth that sprung out of the Squires BB.

Part (and only part) of the confusion arises because mosy people do not understand the difference between ‘oxygenation’ (as I said, the correct term is aeration) and ‘oxidation’, which are two completely different things.

Oh bullshit. First, your initial para is unbelievably pedantic. Really, oxygen comprises only 20% of air? Wow, that’s a very important fact to… wait, no it’s not, you’r just trying to act superior.

Second, there’s very much a qualitative difference between slow oxing and old wine and decanting it. I’ve tried both and the difference isn’t subtle. I couldn’t care less if you don’t feel there is one - I’ve tasted the results and on older wines the results of slow ox vs decanting are quite noticeable.

Yeah, because everyone else here is an idiot and only you get the difference. Full of yourself?

So if not oxygen, what component of air is causing the chemical reactions that release the bound flavor and aroma compounds? Air is almost entirely oxygen and nitrogen. Nitrogen is used as a gas to perserve wine so that would seem to leave oxygen, right? I’m not following your line of thinking at all.

With bottle variation being magnified over time, I imagine that it would be very difficult to draw any sort of meaningful conclusions from a comparison, even if it was the same wine from the same case.

With older wines I would agree a direct comparison becomes slightly less accurate but open enough wines using decanting and slow oxing and clear patterns emerge in how wines react to the methologies in general.

I’m not a huge fan of decanting in general. If a wine needs to spend 8 hours in a decanter, it isn’t ready to drink. Have done any comparisons with a simple pop and pour vs. “slow-ox”?

Scroll… up… 8 hours in a decanter isn’t slow ox.

Thanks, captain obvious…I never said it was. The basis of Berry’s, as well as your conclusion about the benefits of “slow-ox” are anecdotal evidence in comparing it with decanting. I was making a general statement about decanting and my general disdain for it, especially when I see extended decant times.

Back to my original request, have you done any comparisons between popping and pouring and “slow-ox”?

In a way yes, I have slow oxed wines and then at a tasting/dinner have decided to open another bottle of the same wine. Often in that case the popped and poured wine is too tight to enjoyed and has to be decanted to open up quickly enough to be consumed. Also each time I slow ox, kind of by definition I am comparing how the wine tastes when it was just opened to how it tastes after it receives air.

Slightly off topic, but my favorite way to enjoy a wine is open it around lunch and slowly enjoy it throughout the rest of the day and into the evening. Since the wine spends alot of time in a partially filled bottle its fun to watch it transform over time as it reacts to the air. This approach has failed me though with some high acid wines or older burgs that couldnt handle the air for too long and just closed in on themsselves never to reopen.