When, Why, and How to Decant WineThis piece originally appeared on Fix. To decant or not to decant? With apologies to Shakespeare, this traditionally decanted wine so often the question on the minds of wine lovers, for whom the time-honored testosterone sale of decanting a favorite bottle of wine can feel baffling and intimidating. It can be accomplished easily in the comfort of your own home, whenever the occasion arises. As important a role as traditionally decanted wine plays in the appreciation of wine, not all bottles require it.
Everything You Need to Know About Decanting Your Wine - Tansey Reviews
Traditionally, decanting wine is the process of slowly pouring the contents of a bottle of wine into another container leaving any sediment behind. This is only necessary for wines with sediment like an aged bottle of red wine or Port sediment is rare in a bottle of wine that is designed to be ready-to-drink. However, decanting a bottle of young wine is a more effective way of aerating wine than simply pulling the cork and letting it breathe in the bottle, the surface area of wine exposed to air is minimal.
The same goes for young and concentrated or especially astringent white wine, such as white Burgundy.
Aeration artificially speeds up the maturation process, causing subtle chemical changes that affect both the flavors and the texture of wine. Remember, most wines are ready-to-drink. Effective aeration can be accomplished by pouring wine through a wine funnel into a decanter. If the wine still needs more aeration after decanting i.
The younger and more tannic the wine, the more time it needs to breathe. As a general rule, most tannic, young, red wines soften with one hour of aeration. An exception to the one-hour rule would be many young Barolos or Barbarescos that are very tannic and can benefit from three or four hours of aeration. Young vintage Port is extremely tannic and demands many hours of aeration.
Eight hours is a good target, some people even decant it the day before. White wines only need short-term aeration, maybe half an hour to achieve optimum aroma and flavor.
Remember, you may have to put the decanter in the refrigerator to maintain proper serving temperatures. The decanter is an effective wine tool, but some experts prefer to let wine breathe in the glass.
In general they are the most important wine accessories for improving your in-home wine experience. For a full discussion on wine glasses and their effects on the perception of wine, see the following link:. Crystal Wine Glasses for the Connoisseur. These days, the Vinturi Wine Aerator is quickly supplanting the old decanter and wine funnel routine.