Sep 6, 2022
What Does A Decanter Do For Wine?
By Rai Cornell Have you ever gone to the house of a friend and saw an enormous, intimidating wine carafe sitting on the counter, and your first thought was, “What on Earth?” Don’t be concerned. You’re not alone. There are a lot of people who enjoy wine but aren’t entirely sure what a wine decanter is or what it’s used for.
After all, why would you want to increase the amount of time it takes to consume wine by adding another stage to the process? And while we’re on the subject, what exactly is the issue with decanters coming in all of those peculiar shapes? Is it possible that having a decanter that looks like the most abstract ceramics in the MET’s collection may improve the taste of the wine? We’ll tell you.
The following is an explanation of what a decanter is, what it is used for, whether or not you need one, and when it should be used. Super simple: The container (which is often made of glass) that is used to serve wine is known as a wine decanter. The act of pouring wine from a bottle into a decanter is what is meant to be understood as the “decanting” procedure for wine.
- When you are entertaining guests at your house, you will pour the wine into each guest’s glass using a decanter.
- In the context of a restaurant, some businesses may pour the wine that has been decanted back into the original bottle for the sake of presentation.
- This is done since many wine lovers, like ourselves, enjoy gazing at the bottle before drinking from it.
The purpose of decanting, like that of anything else we do to our cherished wines, is to improve the tastes and overall pleasure of drinking wine. There are two primary paths that lead to this result.
What is a wine decanter?
If you buy a bottle of wine, do you immediately place it in the refrigerator or possibly a cupboard, or do you take further steps, such as moving the wine into a different container? When you have completed the third step, you will know that you have successfully decanted the wine.
However, what precisely is it that this technique imparts into the wine? Does it make a difference if someone goes to the trouble of buying a decanter and taking the time to pour an entire bottle of wine into it? Find out together, but before we do, let’s take a moment to discuss what a wine decanter is and the process that is known as decantation.
The process of decantation may be simplified into the separation of solid particles from a liquid medium. In the case of wine, the sediments that are included within it need to be extracted in order to achieve a clear wine. This is necessary due to the fact that sediments have the potential to adversely alter the flavor and expression of the wine.
To give you a better idea of what sediments are, let me describe them as the very little particles that resemble crystals and sink to the bottom of your glass. When aged for a significant amount of time in bottles, red wines are more likely to get cloudy with sediment. In addition, the process of decanting wine involves carefully emptying the wine out of its original bottle and into a new container known as a wine decanter.
People go through the trouble of decanting their wine even though the sediments in it are perfectly safe to consume but are seen as a defect because of this perception.
What does decanting a wine bottle do?
Have you ever come across the expression “let it breathe” in reference to a bottle of wine? It is strange, isn’t it? Actually, what they mean to say is that the wine has to have an interaction with the oxygen in the air for a few minutes in order for the tannins to soften and for the flavors and aromas of the wine to become more pronounced.
- This is exactly what the wine is able to do after it has been decanted.
- The longer your beautiful wine spends in the decanter, the more oxygen it is exposed to, which helps it wake up.
- This aeration procedure is particularly significant for older vintages, which have been confined in their bottle for a longer period of time and have developed quite a substantial body of tannins.
However, you should be aware that there is some debate in the world of oenophilia over how long your wine should be allowed to breathe after being aerated. While some wine experts suggest only one or two minutes of decanting time, others insist that wines that are more than 15 years old require 20 to 30 minutes.
But you shouldn’t allow the heated discussion alter your opinion. Learn the answer for yourself. Conducting your own tasting tests is the most effective method for determining whether the wine is ready to be decanted after being stored. Take sips of your wine straight from the bottle for the best flavor.
Evaluate. After waiting a few moments, you should give it another swig. Iterate in a responsible manner. If you notice that the flavors grow more prominent after some time has passed, then you already know the solution. If it looks like the wine’s notes grow subdued as it spends more time in the open air, you should decant that vintage less the next time you drink it so you may get the most out of it.
How do you know if a decanter is good?
The shape of a Decanter The finest shape for a decanter to utilize for wine is one that is circular since this shape enables the air within to circulate freely and perform its function. It need to have a broad neck on the bottle so that it can accommodate more air in the shortest amount of time.
Within an hour or less, a competent decanter should have finished its task of aerating the wine, reducing the intensity of the wine’s tannins, releasing the wine’s aromas, and separating the sediments at the bottom of the bottle from the wine’s liquid. However, the majority of wine experts agree that the wine should be decanted for at least two hours.
The bottle’s neck being shorter and the decanter having a larger bowl both contribute to the decanter being able to accomplish its objective in a shorter amount of time. It is important to keep in mind that the type of red wine that you intend to decant might also have an effect on the design of the decanter that you will use.
A smaller decanter is sufficient for red wine, rose wine, and white wine with a light body. A minimal amount of open air is all that is required to fulfill the requirement to aerate the wine. Pinot Noir and Beaujolais are two examples of wines with a lighter body. After being decanted for around half an hour, these wines are ready to drink.
A decanter with a middle-weight capacity is required for wines with a medium body since they require more surface area for air circulation. Merlot, Sangiovese, Dolcetti, and Grenache are some of the wines that can be served from the medium-sized decanter.
- A decanter with a big bowl is ideal for full-bodied wines like Cabernet Sauvignon, Petite Sirah, and Tannat because it allows for greater surface area to be exposed to the air during the aeration process.
- At the very least, one hour is required for these wines.
- Old red wines, depending on the style, may also require decanting for two hours or longer, and the large-bowled decanters are the finest choice for serving these wines when they are ready to drink.
For instance, it is suggested that Madeira be decanted for one day for every ten years that it has been stored in the bottle. According to this advice, decanting a Madeira that is 20 years old should take place over the course of two days. Even after the bottle has been opened, it may be stored for a considerable amount of time successfully.
What is decanting and why is it important?
Wine Decanter Explained! When And How To Use It?
During the decanting process, the sediments that have settled to the bottom of the bottle are first and foremost removed from the wine. The sediment levels in younger white wines are lower than those in older red wines and vintage ports, whereas red wines, especially older red wines, have the greatest sediment overall.