Decanting Wine: Everything you need to know

Why should you decant your wine?

The world’s wine expert agree; the enjoyment of aroma, taste, texture and finish of a wine is improved by decanting. Decanters allow wine to breathe and can also remove sediment from older wines. Decanting wines is not just for show, and even fine and filtered wines will benefit from spending some time in a decanter.

What wines to decant

Wines which have been aged in a bottle, generally red wines build a sediment over time. This sediment is not just unpleasing to look at but can also be unpleasant to taste.

Young wines can also benefit from decanting as it aerates the wine, softening the wine and altering the aromas that can normally develop with years in bottle. For this reason, even inexpensive wines from your local supermarket can benefit from a decanter.

How to decant

Pour the wine from its bottle into your decanting vessel at least fifteen minutes before you plan to serve. For older wines, set the bottle upright for 24 hours before decanting so the sediment can slide to the bottom of the bottle making it easier to separate.

Cleaning your decanter

Narrow necks and wide bottoms offer beautiful presentation when decanting your wine, but it leaves you with a challenge to clean. Initially, rinse out the decanter with lukewarm water and swirl out before emptying it into your sink. Repeat this step a few times and it should do the trick. For stubborn stains, decanting beads are a good option. These beads are designed to remove residue, sediment and wine stains from the inside of your decanter. To use, simply add some water to the decanter, pour in the beads and swirl them around.

Following that, for brilliance, a decanter should also be polished. Hold the decanter above a bowl of hot water, allowing the steam to surround the piece and then polish with a microfiber cloth until the steam has been removed.

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