How to Decant Wine

Published on April 13, 2008
It seems that most people who love wines never bother to decant their wine. They simply try to pour our a glass straight form a bottle and enjoy it. Decanting wine seems to be a practice that is reserved to the most serious of wine enthusiasts. This may be the reason why the art of decanting wine may have been quite forgotten by most wine lovers today.

But to the truly serious of wine connoisseurs, the art and science of decanting wine seems to be an important part of its actual enjoyment. Part of the reason why decanting wine may no longer be a common practice is that most of the wines today no longer needs to be decanted. It is usually reserved for a quite select few of the finest wines that most of wine enthusiasts can never afford anyway.

Decanting is the process of removing the sediments left in a wine and letting it breathe properly. This is usually done to much older wines, usually the reds. Younger and white wines do not need to be decanted since they usually come without sediments anymore. The sediments in the wines usually are very small particles contained in the wine. These particles are usually different sorts of minute organic materials that comes as a result of the wine making process. For instance, in processing red wines, yeast and grape skin become an important part of the wine. These particles settle down at the bottom of the wine bottle as the wines gradually age. Removing these sediments is the aim of the art of decanting.

Some wines that need decanting are those red wines that are usually aged right from the bottle. Over time, these wines will have sediments at the bottom. These sediments may need to be removed when it is time for the wines to be opened since they can be unsightly at times. Not only that, these sediments can also leave unpleasant tastes on the mouth when drunk.

Decanting wine is a simple procedure really. The first thing that one should do is to carefully remove a stored wine bottle from its storage area to prevent the sediments from mixing back into the wine. If you see a considerable amount of sediment at the bottom of the bottle, it is suggested that the wine bottle be left to stand upright for a day or so before decanting to let the sediments settle further.

For decanting, you might need to slowly transfer the contents of the bottle into a suitable receptacle. This will include opening the bottle by carefully removing the cork totally with a corkscrew. While pouring the contents of the bottle, it is important that you have a clear view of the wine that comes out. To get a better view, it is better to have a light source shining through the bottle neck from behind.

It is important not to rush when decanting a wine. Doing so will disturb the liquid and may enable the sediments to mix up with the wine. Use a slow and steady movement when pouring out the wine, all the while checking out the neck of the bottle for possible appearance of the sediments trying to come out. When this is observed, it is time to stop pouring. It is important to try and separate as much of the sediments as possible. At first try, some of the sediments may be seen on the decanted wine. But is is much better as long as most of the unpleasant sediments are removed.

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