Quick answers at PeterWhieldon.co.uk
Yes, breathing is the same as aeration and is very important. Most young and old wines need breathing time. In my opinion, its just a matter of how long and in what room and temperature would be the most beneficial.
Looking at white wines first, you might think that a bottle bought from a supermarket would not require any breathing but in most cases, once you have taken it home, chilled it down in the fridge and opened it up and left it to stand for about 20 minutes, the difference in taste is clear.
If you bear in mind that all the mass produced wines you see in the supermarkets are designed to be drunk within 0 to 4 months, all the maturing has been completed and the wine is already at its optimum level for the best consumer experience.
Be careful not to over chill the whites (we’ve all done this) as the taste experience will be impaired.