Decanting Wine: What You Need to Know
What is decanting?
Decanting is the process of allowing a wine to breathe. When the wine is poured into a decanter and allowed to sit, it mixes with air and the molecule structure changes. Doing this stimulates the aromas and flavors of the wine.
Why is decanting a bottle of wine important?
The wine tastes better, especially those that have been aged for a considerable time.
While white wines can benefit from decanting, it’s really the red wines that need it the most because they have a tendency to be bottled longer than white wine.
How long does it take to decant a bottle of wine?
If you ask 10 different wine enthusiasts, the answers will probably vary.
Here’s our personal rule of thumb:
- House wines: 10-20 minutes (or use a Vinturi)
- Aged wines: 1-4 hours (we’d decant a Brunello di Montalcino for about an hour whereas a Chateau Chalon needs at least 4 hours)
- The older the wine, the longer it needs to breathe
- Full-bodied wines: 45 minutes
- Don’t decant if you’re only going to have a glass. Either use a Vinturi, let it breathe in your glass, or save that bottle for another night!
Do you need to purchase an official decanter?
Absolutely not. Before purchasing a decanter, we used a glass pitcher and it worked just fine. We didn’t buy a decanter until this year… and guess where it’s from? Ikea! It works for us.
However, if you’re into brand names, prestige, and quality you should consider a Riedel Decanter.
* Photo by Tomas Er