How To Use A Wine Decanter

Surely you must have heard of wine decanters if you’ve been a fan of drinking wine. But what its purpose really is what makes people confused! Why is it so special? Why do we need to use it? Well, if you want to understand more about wine decanters and their importance keep on reading ahead! 

What is a Wine Decanter and what are they used for?

A decanter is a glass or crystal “vessel” which wine is poured into. They come in different shapes, sizes, and designs which also serve for different types of wine! The meaning of the word “decanting” means to pour the wine slowly from its bottle into a different container without disturbing the sediment that lies on the bottom!

Decanting wines are mainly used for three reasons! These are:

  1. To separate sediment from liquid – the top reason why decanting is done is to be able to separate the sediments of the wine from the bottle! Sediment is usually present in Red wines, especially older and vintage wines because of the ageing process! Young white wines on the other hand contain the least amount of sediment. Although this isn't particularly harmful to consume, they really don’t taste that good! 
  2. To enhance the flavour by aeration – Basically, aeration is the process of circulating air through a liquid, in this case, the wine. Using a decanter, the wine is aerated through the vessel which allows the wine to “breathe” and enhance the flavours! Aeration softens the tannins in the wine by releasing the gases that were created during the ageing process of the wine. It gives the wine an opportunity to release the flavours and aromas that have been dormant when it was sealed up in the bottle.
  3. It may save your wine if your cork breaks – sometimes corks may break or split, breaking the seal of your bottle, and you DO NOT want cork pieces in your wine! So while pouring into a decanter, make sure you use a strainer so your cork doesn't go with the wine in the decanter. 

Which wines should you use a Decanter with?

Most types of wine can actually be decanted! But the most important wine that should be decanted is the young, strong red wines because of the intensity of their tannins! Here is a list of wines that should definitely be decanted:

  • Malbec
  • Shiraz
  • Cabernet Sauvignon
  • Bordeaux 
  • Burgundy

How to Decant Wine

And finally, here’s the step-by-step guide on how to use a wine decanter and how to decant your wine! 

Step 1: When you store your wine horizontally, do not decant it immediately! Sit it upright in a dim environment for a full day before the day of your consumption. This is to ensure that the sediments stay on the very bottom of the bottle to make separation easier.

Step 2: Open your bottle, then pour it into the decanter. When you’re pouring, keep the bottle below an angle of 45 degrees to prevent the wine from going back into the bottle and reaching the bottom which will then disturb the sediments. Make sure you pour in at a steady pace! 

Step 3: When you’re pouring, keep an eye out for any sediments by using a light to see if there are any coming up the bottle, if you see any sediment, put the bottle down and wait a few minutes to pour again. Once you’re done pouring, make sure you leave about half an ounce of wine in the bottle and the sediment if you’re planning to re-cork or reseal your wine. 

Decanting should be done at least two to four hours before drinking! If you’re re-corking your wine, make sure you do this within an 18-hour period!

Now, we are off for a cheeky drop. Catch ya 🍷