Decanting wine


Written by:

Joe Becerra

Last updated:

why decant wine
To decant wine, or not to decant

Three Reasons for Decanting Wine

  • Old wines that have been in a wine cellared for years will contain sediment due to the aging process. By properly decanting wine, the sediment will remain in the bottle.
  • Decanting wine can benefit young, full-bodied red wines. When the wine comes in contact with oxygen, the aromas present in the wine are released. The decanter, in this case, should be wide-bottomed. See the photo above. Widebody decanters provide more surface area for oxygen to allow aromas from the wine to be released.
  • The presentation of wine in a beautiful crystal decanter adds to the ambiance of a beautifully set the table and prepared dinner.

How to decant aged wines

  • For old wines with sediment, one needs to be very diligent about pouring the wine into a decanter. First, stand the bottle up for several hours to allow the sediment to settle at the bottom. Fine sediment will take longer to settle to the bottom of the bottle.
  • Use a lit candle or lamp. Hold the bottle of wine so that the area just below the neck of the wine bottle is in view while pouring. Ever so slowly begin pouring the aged wine into the decanter. Be patient. Hold the bottle as much as possible perpendicular to the candle. Observe as little wine remains in the bottle. Stop pouring when any sediment appears in the neck of the bottle.
  • Are you storing your wines properly? Check our brief description on how to properly store wine.

How to Decant Young Red Wine

  • I just found the perfect wine decanter for young wines. I was at the Louis Martini winery in the Napa Valley tasting and touring. The tour leader opened a newly released Monte Rosso Cabernet Sauvignon. He whipped out this decanter called the Wine Breather. It gently aerates the wine and then does something no other decanter can do. You can reverse the aeration by turning over the device, and the wine safely is poured back into the wine bottle for second aeration. The aeration is smooth and gentle, just what wine needs. I was hooked, and I purchase one from Amazon. Winebreather Carafe

An aerator that just might do the job

  • This little cool gadget is a wine aerator plus strainer to remove sediment from older wines. It is called the Nuance Wine Finer and is made by a Danish company. There are two things to like about this device. First and foremost, it does the job of aerating and improving the flavor of the wine. Just don’t take my word for it, Cooks Illustrated tested aerators and it was their favorite of five products they tested, including the popular Vinturi aerator. Secondly, it looks fabulous on a wine bottle. Some of the other aerators available that sit on top of the wine bottle make it look like you are running a science experiment. Amazon sells this device for around $30.
  • Joe Becerra

    Joe Becerra has been traveling to wine country and enjoying wine since 1965. He is a retired educator, and now have the time the opportunity to share his wine travel experiences through this Website.

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