Decanting Tips And Tricks

Decanting a bottle of wine insures that the sediment that builds up inside a wine bottle is not served in a glass. Decanting is a process that transports clean wine into a separate container while containing the sediment buildup inside the original bottle.

Many red wines, and some white wines, will begin to buildup a sediment after 10 years of aging. This visually displeasing material also produces a bad taste. While older wines typically require decanting there are younger bottles that can benefit from the process because it aerates the wine, softening the first notes and stirring up the complex aromas.

The majority of wines today do not need to be decanted. Most winemakers follow a process that thoroughly clarifies the wine before bottling. However, if you are decanting a wine here are some simple steps to follow.

The first step in decanting a bottle of wine is to set it upright the day before. This will allow the sediment to build at the bottom of the bottle.

When you are ready to decant remove the entire capsule from around the neck of the bottle. Doing this will allow you to have a better view into the neck of the bottle. Take the decanter, or the container you plan to use, and slowly pour the wine into it. The stream of wine should glide over the inside rim of the decanter and you should pay close attention to see if any loose sediment travels through the bottle’s neck. If you begin to see sediment stop the pour.

You will need to have a light source such as a lamp, or a candle as they used in the old days, that shines on the other side of the bottle’s neck. This will give you a better view of any sediment traveling out of the bottle.

If done properly you should have a container full of clear wine and a half a glass of wine left in the original bottle. Many people have found that this leftover wine with the sediment becomes a great cooking ingredient for dishes such as gravy or sauces.

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