What are the subtleties of decanting?

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Serving wine doesn’t seem like a particularly difficult task, does it? We open the bottle and pour. If you are particularly experts and wine lovers, however, you have undoubtedly heard about a rather curious ritual or the so-called decanting. For many, this action is shrouded in mystery and is only for the enlightened. The reality is different and has its own simple explanation.

Specialists from the University of Oxford have given their definition of decanting: „An optional and controversial step in serving wine, which involves pouring wine from the bottle into another vessel called a decanter.“ According to the linguists, the name of this vessel comes from a French verb meaning „to pour“, that is, a decanter is a vessel into which a liquid is poured.

Behind the word „decanting“ is actually the process of wine molecules contacting with the oxygen ones from the environment. This activates the aromatic profile of the wine.

What it is good to know is that there are varieties of wine that are not suitable for decanting. The opinion of most oenologists is that such wines, for example, are Pinot Noir and Chianti.

Another interesting fact is that wines with sediment are decanted, regardless of their age. It is also good to go through the decanting process when the cork is broken and pieces of it have mixed with the wine. However, decanting wines older than 10 years is not recommended. Their aroma, accumulated slowly over the years, weakens very quickly on contact with oxygen. If we still decide to decant them, due to the presence of abundant sediment, this should be done in a special decanter, the so-called duck decanter. The wine is carefully poured down its sloping throat and, without being shaken or subjected to any shocks, is consumed immediately.

And yet: How to decant? There are a few simple steps that if followed, we could easily look like a professional who has been doing this all his life:

  • It is good to initially leave the bottle in an upright position for about 24 hours before consumption. This way, any sediment will fall down at the bottom of the bottle and transferring the liquid from one container to another will be easier.
  • The next step is to prepare the decanting vessel or decanter by cleaning it with water and making sure there are no extraneous odors in it.
  • The last and most important step is to open the bottle and pour into the decanter against a bright background: daylight or a strong lamp. We need the light background to follow the movement of the sediment and avoid it falling into the decanter.

The decanter exudes elegance and decanting shows class and wine knowledge. This gives this beautiful vessel even more value and makes it a perfect gift for anyone. Paired with a bottle of quality wine, it will definitely blow the mind of anyone who touches it.

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