The art of decanting wine has been carried out for hundreds of years, and in that time many
lessons have been learned.
Before you start the process yourself ensure your decanter is thoroughly clean. If it’s been in
the cupboard for a while, it’s best to wash it in water, or mix crushed ice and coarse salt in order to get rid of
any stale odours or lingering wine residue.
The older the wine the more sediment accumulates in the bottom of the bottle. For this reason
wine that has been laid on it’s side needs to be stood upright for at least twenty-four hours prior to decanting.
Even older wine may need to be left standing for days or weeks, depending on the amount of sediment.
Once you’re satisfied the wine is ready to be decanted, slowly pour the wine into a decanter
until you can see the sediment appear in the neck of the bottle. To do this some people use a cheese cloth or a
wire mesh placed in a funnel, but the method you use is entirely up to you.
A proper decanting funnel can be purchased in most good wine stores as
well as online. I found the cheapest option at Amazon at only around $20 or so. They
generally come in three parts i.e., a sieve, funnel and stand.
The sieve collects pieces of cork and sediment and as the wine streams down the sides of the
carafe or decanter contact with the air releases the aromas and rids the wine of any harsh tanins. By holding the
bottle in front of a lighted candle or torch, you’ll be able to see the light through the wine.
As the bottle empties the sediment starts to come through the neck which is when you stop
pouring. Any residue of wine left in the bottle is not worth bothering with and should be thrown away.
Many connoisseurs believe that decanters should have a long neck with a wide bottom, which
allows air to reach the wine and creates a mellower wine. Sediment is basically grape skins, yeast and some other
ingredients which in themselves are completely harmless. However, they do nothing to enhance the colour of the wine
and by decanting the texture becomes sweeter and the colour exquisite.
Decanting is a ritual and a process that adds to the enjoyment of any meal. A wine that gives
off a divine aroma is one that has been decanted properly and allowed to breathe, allowing it to release it’s
aromas and flavours into the air.
For those who really want to get into the more expensive side of
presenting their wine, a decanter cradle is a lovely feature. The bottle is placed in a metal cradle which keeps it at
an angle and the sediment is not disturbed as the wine is poured. Cradles do mean that you’re able to get the
maximum amount of liquid from a bottle, particularly an old wine where there is usually a great deal more
Check out at Amazon some amazing
wine decanters that you can use to master the
art and craft of decanting wine.
The art of decanting wine can add to the enjoyment of your evening, and will fill the air with
delicious perfumes that your guests will undoubtedly enjoy particularly when served in a beautiful crystal decanter.
Check out this Youtube video to see
how a professional in the field is decanting mature red wine today.