Decanting Wine: What, Why and How?

Decanting Wine: What, Why and How?

What?

Decanting wine is essentially the process of pouring (decanting) the contents from its bottle into a decanter. Wine is often decanted into a glass vessel with an easy-pour neck. We normally associate this process with older vintage wines but many young wines can also be decanted to help open up the aromas and flavors. 

Why?

Decanting has three main benefits:

  • Decanting separates sediment from the liquid. Red wines contain the most sediment, especially older wines and vintage ports, while young white wines contain the least. Sediment is not harmful but tastes unpleasant.
  • Decanting enhances flavor through aeration. This is also called allowing the wine to “breathe.” 
  • Decanting saves wine in the event of a broken cork. 

How?

Decanting wine requires a gentle hand and a little patience. Here are 4 easy steps!

  1. Ensure your bottle has been upright a full day so the sediment settles at the bottom
  2. Open the bottle with a corkscrew
  3. Tilt the neck towards the decanter and keep the bottom of the bottle below 45 degrees so the wine doesn't gush in the bottle
  4. Pour at a steady pace and leave around 15ml in the bottom of the bottle

This can be done up to 4 hours before you want to enjoy the wine.


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