To Decant or Not..!?

To decant or not, that is a question most avid wine drinkers ponder when opening their favorite bottle. Decanting has been a part of historical practice within the wine culture dating back to the Venetians who brought to life the long skinny neck and wide bottom form to enhance wonderfully kept and produced wines! Although much of its appeal is within its stunning display, there is in fact a true rhyme and reason to its methodology!

Decanting, usually used to ‘open up’ red wines, is a process that creates a very authentic and romantic way of presenting and drinking wine.  Functionally, it allows the wine to aerate and removes the sediment from older red wines. Lucky for us, it’s an easy process that should be endured and valued versus viewed as a tedious practice.  To start the process, gently pour the wine keeping the same side down as it was ‘aging’, into the decanter to remove sediment.  To be more effective and precise some hold a candle along the neck of the bottle while pouring to clearly see the lingering sediment. As the wine splashes into the decanter, oxygen mixes into the wine, which creates the process of oxidation.  Let the delicious wine rest and wait a few minutes before pouring and enjoying!

So when should one decant? Here are 3 main reasons when decanting should take place:

  1. Sediment is what collects over time in an older vintage of wine.  When transferring your bottled wine to your glass decanter, you leave behind the sediment thus the decanter to glass to mouth result is clarified and filtered.
  2. Decant to let a young full-bodied wine ‘breathe’ so the wine’s magnificent aroma and taste can be enjoyed to its fullest.  When the wine oxidizes, its distinct scents are released and the tannins become a bit softer which amplifies the entire ‘tasting’ experience and process – swirl, smell, slurp, taste, YUM!
  3. When entertaining, what better way than to present your wine in an aesthetic manner through a beautiful glass decanter.  Your company will undoubtedly ‘ooh and ahh’ over what they are about to taste by its elegant presentation.
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