While not all wines require decanting, the majority of quality or aged red wines can greatly benefit from this process. Decanting helps separate sediment and allows the wine to "breathe," enhancing its flavors and aromas. In this article, we will provide you with simple steps to ensure the best results when decanting your wine.
Why Should I Decant?
Decanting serves two primary purposes. Firstly, it separates the clear wine from any sediment that may have formed, particularly in aged red wines. Sediment is a natural occurrence as wines mature. Secondly, decanting allows the wine to come into contact with oxygen, which can help young wines develop and showcase their full potential.
How to Open Your Wine
Screw-capped wines require little instruction to open. These closures tend to preserve the wine's youthful vitality. For wines sealed with cork, we recommend using a two-stepped waiters' friend corkscrew on most occasions. For significantly aged wines, an Ah-so cork puller or two long corkscrews can be helpful.
Here are some key tips for decanting your wine:
Stand the bottle upright for a few hours, or preferably days, before opening. This allows any sediment to settle at the bottom of the bottle.
Before decanting, pour a small amount into a wine glass to assess the wine's initial state. This will guide your decision on how long to decant.
The recommended decanting time varies depending on the wine's style, varietal, and age. As a general guideline, all red wines benefit from at least 30 minutes of rest after decanting, with an average of two hours being ideal.
We suggest double decanting all our red wines. To do this, open the bottle carefully and slowly decant the wine into a clean jug in a continuous stream, ensuring the sediment remains undisturbed. Rinse the original bottle with clean water to remove any residual sediment. Once clean, hold the bottle upside down until all the water drains out.
Using a clean funnel, carefully refill the bottle from the decanter. Double decanting not only helps remove sediment but also aids in the wine's aeration. For very old wines, trickle the wine slowly down the sides of the decanter and bottle to minimise splashing and excessive aeration.
Should White Wines be Decanted?
In general, it is not recommended to decant white wines. They tend to react quickly with the open air, potentially losing their freshness and vitality within just a short time, typically around 15 minutes.
Enjoy the Process: When decanting, take your time and pay attention to detail. Enjoy the journey and savour the tastes along the way. By decanting your wines properly, you are ensuring a truly exceptional experience