Using a Wine Decanter

When enjoying a fine wine, it is important to allow it to breathe before actually drinking any of it. The longer it breathes, the better the flavor is going to be. Many people suggest opening a bottle at least a half an hour before serving. Others prefer to use a decanter, which will aerate the wine and improve the flavor even more than just letting the bottle sit open. No matter how large or small a get-together is, a decanter can be used. One can pour a single glass of wine into the decanter, or pour in the entire bottle for dinner parties and other gatherings. For harsh tasting wines, two carafes can be used with the wine being poured back and forth between the two to aerate it even more.

In addition to aeration, decanting is often used to get rid of sediment. Older red wines that are high in quality often contain sediment, which is made from yeast cells that are left over from fermentation and chemical compounds that provide the red color. To eliminate the sediment, the wine is slowly poured from the bottle into a glass carafe. The pouring needs to stop when the first little bit of sediment reaches the bottle neck. This should be done in a good light to be able to see the sediment.

Not all wines need to be decanted. For instance, it is not necessary to decant white wines. The wines that need it the most are fine Bordeaux wines and vintage ports. The Cabernet Sauvignon and Merlot grapes used to make Bordeaux wines are high in tannins and colorants, and wine can have a harsh taste over time. If vintage ports have been aging for many years, there may be a lot of spent yeast cells built up.

An attachment that is often used is a wine decanter aerator. These are inserted right into the decanter. The wine travels through the aerator, where it goes through tiny holes. The wine sprays into the decanter, and is exposed to a lot of air in the process. The wine is instantly oxygenated and can be served immediately after decanting.