In July 2017 we wrote a blog on Decanting Wine, today we talk about how to choose a decanter, giving the choices available on the market.
To recap, Decanting wine is the process of facilitating oxygen into the wine usually in a vessel other than the bottle in which the wine is bottled in - a decanter.
This process is usually carried out on Bold Italian wines such as Barolo, Chianti, Brunello di Montalcino, Montepulciano d’ Abruzzo also bold oaky Malbecs, shiraz and big French wines such as Merlot and Pinot Noir. Not usually done on white wines however some acidic whites can benefit from it. If you decant a white wine pay attention to its age as it might be subject to faster oxidation if it is an old wine. On average 30 minutes is sufficient decanting time.
Decanting has two main objectives:
Improve taste by allowing some oxidation and separate the sediment from the wine which is usually present in old wines. If a wine is young, most likely you can just pour it into the container until your heart’s content, with older wines you need to be careful to ensure that the sediment at the bottom of the bottle does not get transferred into the decanter.
When it comes to decanting a wine the vessel used should be wide at the bottom to allow a wider surface of wine in contact with the air. Also you must ensure that the decanter is not filled to its neck otherwise you are defeating the object of maximum oxygen exposure.
Sometimes people confuses a carafe for a decanter. Be mindful that a carafe even though tends to be lager that a standard bottle, it does not usually offer the surface space needed for an effective aeriation.
Despite the different designs on the market, there is one thing you will need to look out for: A very wide base where the wine will rest throughout its airing process.
Remember: Enjoy your wine responsibly and don’t drink drive!