Wine decanting is a process of pouring wine from its original bottle into another container called a decanter. The main purpose of decanting wine is to separate the wine from any sediment that may have formed in the bottle during the aging process. Decanting also allows the wine to breathe, which can enhance its aroma and flavor.
Here are some general guidelines for decanting wine:
1. Choose the right type of wine: Not all wines benefit from decanting. Generally, younger and more tannic wines like Cabernet Sauvignon, Syrah, and Bordeaux blends benefit from decanting, while lighter and older wines like Pinot Noir and Burgundy may not need decanting.
2. Choose the right decanter: The shape and size of the decanter can affect how the wine is aerated. Generally, a decanter with a wide base and narrow neck is best for red wines, while a smaller decanter with a wider neck is better for white wines.
3. Prepare the wine: Stand the bottle upright for at least 24 hours before decanting to allow any sediment to settle at the bottom of the bottle. Carefully remove the cork or cap, wiping away any dust or debris from the top of the bottle.
4. Decant the wine: Slowly pour the wine into the decanter, stopping before the sediment reaches the neck of the bottle. Pouring the wine through a filter or cheesecloth can help remove any remaining sediment.
5. Allow the wine to breathe: Let the wine sit in the decanter for at least 30 minutes before serving to allow it to aerate and develop its full aroma and flavor.
6. Serve the wine: Pour the wine into glasses and enjoy!
It's worth noting that not all wines need to be decanted, and some may even be harmed by the process. If you're unsure whether or not to decant a particular wine, it's always best to consult with a wine expert or sommelier.
Aeration is when you introduce oxygen to a wine. This allows the wine to breathe and enhances the flavour of the wine, and also helps in softening harsh tannins if present.
Decanting helps in separating the sediment from the wine. Some older wines and vintage ports might have sediment that needs to be removed before drinking. It can also help in removing cork particles if you’ve had the cork crumble in while opening.
A decanter looks great on the table at a party or a wine dinner. It’s a great way to dress up your at-home bar or perhaps even your dinner table.
Sometimes the labels on our bottles might come off, or not be in perfect condition. So when serving, they don't look too great. Using a decanter means you wouldn’t have to show the bottle, therefore you don’t have to worry about the label. Decanters are also used during blind tasting to hide wine labels and bottles.