The wine lover on your holiday shopping list would no doubt love a nice bottle of wine for the holiday season. Another nice option for connoisseurs is a wine decanter plus accessories for easy upkeep. Many oenophiles routinely use wine decanters. This and other wine accessories are as appealing to a wine lover as a blank canvas is to an artist. If those you are shopping for have a custom wine cellar with a tasting nook, a decanter may add to enjoyment of their wine room.
What is a wine decanter for?
Wine decanting is an essential tool used to get the best from a bottle of superb wine. Decanting allows red wine to be separated from its sediment. There is typically a generous surface area in a decanter, which allows for aeration of the wine, as well. Aerating wine serves to create more vibrant flavors and aromas upon serving, and it can be beneficial for red and white wine.
Decanting actually means to pour wine from one vessel to another. In other words, simply pouring wine into a wine glass is a way to decant.
Some types of wine can benefit from decanting more than others. Older red wines naturally produce sediment during the aging process. Tannins and color pigments bond together, create a gritty texture, and settle to the bottom. If this sediment is stirred up, the wine’s appearance is clouded and the wine tastes gritty and bitter. Decanting helps to ensure that the wine can be enjoyed and the sediment is kept separate from what’s poured in the wine glass.
How to decant wine
A simple approach to decanting wine is to pour wine into your decanter a few hours before you serve the wine. In restaurants, it is not unusual for the wine to be poured back into the wine bottle, after pouring it into a decanter to air out and get rid of the sediment. Here are more detailed tips on how to decant wine:
- About 24 hours before opening the wine, set the bottle upright, so that the sediment slides to the bottom of the bottle.
- Remove the cork and clean any smudges off the bottleneck.
- Place a light such as a flashlight or candle under the bottleneck.
- Slowly and with a steady hand, pour the wine into the decanter, without stopping. As you near the bottom of the bottle, slow the process even more.
- Watch for sediment in the neck of the bottle throughout the process. When you see it, stop pouring. Sediment isn’t always glaringly obvious. Sometimes it looks like small specks of dust or a cloudy appearance.
Aeration of the wine
Experts provide a few different guidelines for aerating wine. An old wine tends to benefit best from being decanted for about 30 minutes. Younger, full-bodied red or white wine can benefit from an hour or more of decanting before service.
If you’re interested in having the perfect environment for storing and decanting your wine, contact Rosehill Wine Cellars. We build custom wine cellars; and we love it so much, that’s the only type of construction we do. A popular addition is a tasting nook, where wine can be decanted and enjoyed in the wine cellar. Visit our website to see wine decanters and accessories and to order them for the wine lovers on your gift list.