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Why You Should Decant Your Wine

Why You Should Decant Your Wine

Laurita Winery , wine advice 🕔September 19, 2017 0 comments

We’ve talked before about decanting wine, and whether you should bother. (You should.)

If you’re unfamiliar, it’s nothing to be intimidated by. The word decant simply means to pour something from one container to another. That’s all. It doesn’t even have to be a decanter or any particular vessel. Just something to pour your bottle into.

So why should you bother? Because exposure to air changes wine. Marissa Ross at Bon Appetit explains.

They’ve been literally bottled up for months—maybe years, decades even!—making their flavors tight, edgy, and not at all enjoyable… they taste crumpled, tense, and bitter. They need some air and some space!

Wine that’s more than ten years old should always be decanted. Aged bottles contain sediment that settles to the bottom, so you’ll want to pour off the wine as we shared before.

To decant these older bottles, “pour really slowly and tilt the decanter and bottle toward each other. At a fancy restaurant, they will use a light source of some sort under the neck of the bottle to see where the sediment is. It’s the ritualistic way — the Old World romantic way.”

But sediment isn’t the only reason to decant wine. Exposure to the air softens wine and allows volatile compounds to evaporate, making it taste smoother. If you’re not sure whether a wine needs decanting, trust your gut… or rather, your tastebuds.

If a wine tastes unbalanced or straight up not good to you, throw it in a decanter. Does it taste too acidic, too tannic, or too high in alcohol? Throw it in a decanter! Does it smell of volatile acidity, like nail polish remover or balsamic vinegar? Or maybe it smells reduced, like rotten eggs or burnt rubber? Throw it in a decanter! Not sure what it is but not digging it? Decant that sh*t.

And that’s the best answer to why you should bother…

By decanting, you can fine tune your wine to your own taste. Decant a little longer, or a little less. Taste as you time, until you find your personal sweet spot.


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