The wine decanter is a actually a standard vessel found in many glassware collections or restaurants. It is also a rather mysterious object that inspires questions about how to use it, and if it really helps.
What actually is decanting?
Decanting wine is the process of pouring (decanting) the contents from one vessel (usually a bottle) into another vessel decanter). Usually the wine is then served from the decanter.
Decanting helps separates the wine from the sediment, which not only would not look nice in your glass, but also will make the wine taste more bitter. Slowly and carefully decanting the wine guarantee that the sediment stays in the bottle and you get a nice clear wine in the decanter, and after, in your glass.
Why decant wine?
Not every wine needs decanting. Many of us associate decanting with older wines that holds a lot of sediment as they age.
Many young wines can benefit from decanting as they can be tight or closed on the nose or palate. As the wine is slowly poured from the bottle to the decanter it takes in oxygen, which helps open up the aromas and flavours. Highly tannic and full-bodied young wines benefit most from this as they soften up and become more approachable.
Many cheaper wines may have too much Sulphur Dioxide, making them smell a little 'quirky', and ruining part of the wine tasting experience. Decanting a cheaper bottle of wine can help to soften up the wine and increase the drinking experience.
How long to Decant a wine?
Decanting times can range from about 30 minutes to more than 3 hours depending on the variety and age of the wine.
''At the end of the day, you really can’t make a wrong choice.
As long as you pay attention to what it is that you don’t like about a wine
each bottle will get you closer to what you do like.
Take it one glass at a time!''