• verb to take air into your lungs through your mouth or nose and let it out again, a process that is necessary to oxygenate the blood and keep tissue healthy


  • to open a bottle of wine (usually red wine) and allow it to stand for an hour or two before serving. This practice is supposed to improve the flavour of the wine and reduce the effects of the tannin, but since the amount of wine in contact with air is so tiny in the neck of the bottle, this has very little effect. It is better to decant the wine into a decanter, where it has more contact with oxygen; this can help balance an older red wine or young white wine. Wine exposed to air can, however, lose some of its flavour.