Why And When You Should Decant Your Wine
What Is Wine Decanting?
If you’ve dined at an upscale restaurant or visited a winery then you’ve likely experienced the process of decanting. This is when a bottle of wine is poured into another vessel.
The wine you’re drinking will usually be served from the decanter, but sometimes you’ll see restaurants pouring the wine back into the original bottle.
Many wine drinkers are unsure of which wines require the process. They’re also unsure of when the proper time is to decant. Some will even question if this is just an outdated tradition that has no place in the modern world of wine drinking.
However, this process serves two very important purposes. First, to separate your wine from sediment that comes with age. Second, to expose the aromas and flavors of the wine to its full capacity.
Why Should You Decant?
You don’t have to decant every bottle of wine you drink, but when it comes to those vintage ports and beautifully-aged Bordeaux wines, you’ll need to rid the bottle of the sediment. Not only does sediment create a cloudy appearance in the wine, but it also makes the wine taste far more astringent than it should.
This process must be done with care so that the sediment stays in the bottle as the wine is transported to its new vessel for drinking. You’ll also find that there are wine drinkers and connoisseurs who use decanting as a method to aerate wine. Exposure to oxygen unlocks aromas and flavors of otherwise younger wines. Fuller-bodied wines with high tannin content will also benefit from aeration.
Once you’ve decanted your wine, there’s hardly any need to swirl the wine in your glass. The process of aeration has already begun. Playing too much with oxygen will actually cause your wine to lose some of its flavor and aroma.