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Decanting Wine | The Wine Virgin
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Decanting Wine

March 3, 2008

How do you go about the process of decanting wine and does this relate to wine aeration? - Cassie in Fairbanks, AK

Cassie, you are right. Decanting wine does help with allowing it to breathe which is known as wine aeration or to aerate wine but the main focus is to actually help with removing the sediment that gets stirred up when you pour a glass. Long ago, before wines were routinely filtered, it was pretty common for wines that were poured from barrels and bottles to contain a fair amount of solid matter which is also known as wine lees.

When you decant wine, the process lets this sediment settle down to the bottom of the decanter and allows the wine to clear which of course affects the over all taste and experience. You can use a proper wine decanter but all you really need is a simple carafe together with a suitable source of light. A small candle will do or even small butane torch will suffice also.

First, remove the entire capsule from around the neck of the bottle. This is important as will you need to have a clear view into the neck of the bottle when you are pouring it into the decanter. This allows you to observe the sediment that is and you should position your light source in a way so that it is shining through the neck from behind.

With a smooth and steady action, pour the wine into the decanter. Don’t rush when decanting, take time to observe what you are doing so you avoid disturbing the sediment in the wine. Being patient allows you to see the arrowhead of this sediment moving into the neck of the bottle. Once you see begin to see this happen you should stop pouring.

If you have done this correctly you should have a full decanter of clear wine, with just half a glass or so of sediment-laden wine remaining. So basically you have accomplished two things being that you have helped clarify the wine while enabling it the wine aeration process to occur. There you go Cassie, enjoy and remember to have a few glasses for me.

Comments

4 Responses to “Decanting Wine”

  1. Something Leesy : The Wine Virgin on March 4th, 2008 7:59 pm

    […] during the wine fermentation process. As a primer, for those newly christened virgins out there, wine lees are a sediment consisting of dead yeast cells and other solid matter such as grape pulp […]

  2. Truth About Wine Tannins : The Wine Virgin on March 6th, 2008 9:37 pm

    […] winos such as myself say of drinking a young wine before its ready, this is the one case in which decanting wine and allowing it to aerate may help in softening the rough edges. Cheers!! wine tannins tannins in […]

  3. Lead in Wine? : The Wine Virgin on March 17th, 2008 2:02 pm

    […] concern has been with very expensive decanters that are made from crystal that some of these do contain a tiny amount of lead because it makes the […]

  4. What is a Wine Sommelier? : The Wine Virgin on April 2nd, 2008 11:03 pm

    […] around what a person is willing to spend on a bottle. Sommeliers also decant wines, when necessary. Decanting, is the process of pouring the wine into a decanter before serving it. This allows the wine to […]

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