Decanting and Letting Your Wine Breath

Decanting wine is a traditional past time for many wine connoisseurs. However, it seems, not many outside of the wine lovers ‘club’ know about decanting.

Some people let their wine breathe for a few hours before they serve it. However, decanting is not just letting your wine breathe. It is when you pour your wine into a completely different container to allow the come into contact with air or filter sediments. Some people even apply a special filter when decanting to remove bitter sediments that might have formed in the wine. This is especially true with older wines.

What is decanting?

Decanting wine is a simple process to help improve the quality of the wine you drink. It also allows the wine to aerate and breathe. When pouring the wine from the bottle into the decanter the wine becomes exposed to oxygen. This greatly enhances the taste, flavours and aromas of the wine.

The container the wine is poured into can really be anything. However, there are many decorative decanters available at most reputable homeware stores. Decanters can be an attractive addition to any table. And many people believe that serving in a more attractive container is reason enough to decant.

Decanting has another interesting property – it aerates the liquid, letting it breathe so that a mixture of wine with air occurs. This freshens the taste of the wine and brings to life the tannins during the oxidation process. Many times, wine can be saved simply by decanting. Even when the initial taste of a newly opened bottle of wine is not that great, you can easily change that by either simply leaving the cork off the bottle for the air to get in contact with the liquid, or by decanting it if you have a nice glass decanter handy.

Why should you be letting your wine breath?

Decanting is mostly done to wines that are older which have sediments deposited at the bottom of the bottle. When you are drinking your wine, you don’t want to feel all those sediments in your mouth. It spoils the enjoyment of your drink.

Younger bottles of wine benefit more to an aeration process than the older bottles. However, the sediments are more common with the older bottles. Many people say that airing out the bottle can relax the flavour of the wine, making them taste smoother.

The wine might have better integration. However, all wines do not benefit from this method. Some wines are meant to drink immediately after popping the cork from the bottle.

The best way to tell if you need to let a bottle of wine air out or be decanted is to taste it first. As soon as you pull the cork off of the wine bottle you can tell by tasting if it needs to air out a little.