Decanter - how to use it and for what purpose?

19 May 2023

A vessel that looks like a vase and can contain up to liter of wine is called decanter. Decanter is desirable in every house in which wine is often drunk, since red wine is being decanted in it some 30 minutes to 2 hours, before lunch or dinner. The purpose of this procedure is to enable the wine to ‘breathe’ as the experts would say, since it is not enough to just open the bottle whose opening is insufficient for ‘ventilation’. Decantation results in wine aeration, i.e. its spraying, thus removing the heavy smells caused by the long aging of wine as well as removal of clear wine from the precipitation. Furthermore, the expression ‘to decant’ originates from the French word ‘decanter’ which means draining. The shape of decanter is not crucial, it is important that the bottom of the vessel is wide enough in order to expose as much as surface to aeration. That should be regular procedure at the restaurants, where the waiter should slowly stream wine from the bottle into decanter, all in front of the guests. Simultaneously, brightness of the wine is achieved and trapped aromas and scents are being released.

What is the duration of wine decantation?

Usually, wine is being decanted from 5 minutes to 2 hours. Sipping of the wine from the bottle into decanter do most of decantation process. For wines with a high level of tannin (syrah, barolo, brunello di montalcino and chianti), it is necessary to decant it a little bit longer, even up to two hours before consumation.

Young VS Aged wines?

When you decant young wines, sip the wine as fast as you can in a vessel in order to speed up aeration and when you decant aged wines, it is necessary to slowly sip wine with a bottle syringe being leaned against the throat of decanter and slowly pour the wine so that sediments could be left in a bottle.


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