Decanting wine – when, how, why?
I think it’s totally fun all those beautiful jugs in which you can pour wine. They have round shapes, pear shapes, some have huge horns, some even look like boa constrictors. What exactly is a wine decanter good for? Does decanting have a function or is it just for decoration?
Why decant a wine?
Decanting is basically just meant to separate an older wine from its sediment, also called depot. When a wine matures for a long time in the bottle, a chemical reaction occurs between the color pigments and the tannins, which causes the creation of some floating particles in the bottle. These particles plunge to the bottom and voilà, there’s some trash in your bottle. To prevent this from ending up in your glass, carefully pour the wine into a carafe, sometimes through a sieve or with a lighter under the bottle so you can clearly see where the mud is located.
Why aerate a wine?
Aerating is done with a young wine that needs to ‘breathe’ a little before drinking. These types of carafes are nice and wide at the bottom so the oxygen can dance optimally with the wine. You can swirl a carafe around or just leave it for a while.
Some carafes are beautiful to look at, Zieher’s model is called Eddy and is so effective because of its special construction a few hours in carafe is reduced to a few minutes. Watch the video to see how it works exactly. Personally I find it very ingenious but above all very beautiful to see.
Wines that I like to decant are beautiful Bordeaux wines, Taurasi’s from Campania but also some white wines can really get a boost from a moment in the carafe.