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Beginners Guide to Wine Decanting

History of wine decanters

Wine Decanters have been used for thousands of years; for as long as people have been drinking wine, we would initially use jugs and vessels made from silver and gold to store and serve wine before introducing glass.

In today's world, wine decanters with traditional and modern designs are available in all shapes and sizes. They all have the same purpose: to hold and store wine ready to serve in a glass.

Traditional Vs Modern Wine Decanters

Wine Filter & Aerators

Why do we decant wine?

Decanting wine is performed for two main reasons: first, to remove the sediment from reaching the glass, and second, to assist the wine in aerating and 'opening up' before consumption.

Removing sediment and minimising the amount that reaches the glass is particularly important with older, 'vintage' wines. Over time, the bottle will build up unwanted sediment (mainly in red wine instead of white). Very occasionally, pieces of crumbling cork can also be apparent, so removing these in the decanting process is also vitally important.

Regarding allowing the wine to aerate sufficiently when initially exposed to air, most wines will 'open up',  allowing more complex flavours and aromas to emerge. Not all wines (younger generally) require decanting as some may not need as much air. These may not appear remarkably different after decanting, but any amount of decanting usually helps, even if just a little – better some than not at all! Others may appear utterly different after decanting compared to going straight from the bottle to the glass. The bouquet and taste can remarkably alter from just 15 minutes of sitting in a decanter. Aged red wines most deserve decanting, and the benefits are very apparent.

How to decant a bottle of wine?

  1. Ideally, stand your bottle upright for at least 24 hours before drinking it. This will allow any sediment to settle at the bottom.
  2. Very slowly, with a steady hand, pour from the bottle into the decanter and keep an eye on the clarity of the wine as it leaves the bottle and enters the neck of the decanter. The older the wine, the more likely you'll eventually see some sediment appearing and if and when this occurs, stop pouring immediately. Ideally, this is where you should use a funnel to trap the sediment before entering the decanter.
  3. Allow the now-decanted wine to stand for 2 hours; this will allow the wine to reach room temperature, which is ideal for red wine.

Our most popular Wine Decanters:

Click here to see our full range of Wine Decanters.

Accessories for decanting wine

The great idea is to purchase and use a filter or 'aerator' positioned between the bottle and the decanter. The wine passes through the filter, which is usually fine mesh designed to trap any sediment from reaching the decanter.

As mentioned above, once unwanted particles are seen within the wine and, through this process, trapped on top of the filter mesh, stop pouring. The wine already in the decanter should be fine to enjoy once it's had time to rest and breathe.

Popular Wine Funnels / Aerators to help with Wine Decanting:

Click here for more information about our great selection of wine filters and aerators, perfect for decanting your wine.

Check out some of the other Decanting & Serving Guides: