The process of letting a wine open up via the introduction of air. (see also Decant)"My manner of living is plain and I do not mean to be put out of it. A glass of wine and a bit of mutton are always ready." George Washington (1732-1799), first President of the United States."In Europe we thought of wine as something as healthy and normal as food and also a great giver of happiness and well being and delight. Drinking wine was not a snobbism nor a sign of sophistication nor a cult; it was as natural as eating and to me as necessary." Ernest Hemingway (1899-1961), American author, from A Moveable Feast.
What a wine will do once you open a bottle and expose the wine to air. In older wines it will allow for off-flavours to dissipate however, modern winemaking hygiene is making this process unnecessary. This is more necessary for young wines as they are very often taut and closed and will benefit by the process of sloshing a wine into a decanter and leaving it for a while before drinking.
reach full flavor by absorbing air and being let to stand after having been uncorked; "This rare Bordeaux must be allowed to breathe for at least 2 hours"