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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, originally jugs and vessels made from the likes of silver and gold were used to store and serve wine before the introduction of glass.

In today's World, Wine Decanters are available in all sorts of shapes and sizes with traditional and modern designs, all with the same purpose in mind, to hold and store wine in readiness to be served into a glass.

Traditional Vs Modern Wine Decanters

Wine Filter & Aerators

Why do we decant wine?

Decanting wine is performed for two main reasons. Firstly, to remove the sediment from reaching the glass and secondly, to assist the wine to aerate and ‘open up’ before consuming.

Removing the sediment and at least, minimising the amount of sediment that reaches the glass is particularly apparent with older, ‘vintage’ wines. Over time, a build-up of unwanted sediment (particularly in red wine as opposed to white) will appear in the bottle. Very occasionally, pieces of crumbling cork can also be apparent so removing these in the decanting process is also vitally important.

With regards to allowing the wine to sufficiently aerate, most wines, when initially exposed to air will ‘open up’ allowing more complex flavours and aromas to emerge from the wine. Not all wines (younger generally) will require decanting as some simply 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 completely different after decanting when compared with going straight from the bottle to the glass. The bouquet and taste can remarkably alter from just 15 minutes sat in a decanter. Aged red wines are those that are most deserving of decanting and the benefits are very apparent.

How to decant a bottle of wine?

  1. Ideally, stand your bottle upright at least 24 hours before you plan to drink it. This will allow any sediment that’s in the bottle 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 it is, that you’ll eventually see some sediment appearing and if, and when this occurs, stop pouring immediately. Ideally, this is where a funnel should be used so the sediment can be trapped 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

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

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

Popular Wine Funnels / Aerators to help with Wine Decanting:

Click here for more information regarding our great selection of wine filters and aerators that are perfect for using when decanting your wine.

Check out some of other Decanting & Serving Guides:

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