Decanting wines - should you do it and why?

Unless you’re a sommelier or a wine enthusiast, it’s unlikely that you’ve decanted wine or even know how it affects the flavour of the wine. 

In this post, your trusted wine supplier, Plonk Wine, shares information on the art of decanting wine:

What is wine decanting?

Decanting wine is the process of transferring a wine from its original bottle into another container. During this process, wine is aerated and exposed to oxygen, allowing the wine to “breathe” or “open up.” Wine decanting is essentially a process of aerating wine to release its aromatic qualities and give the wine a chance to mature.

Why decant wines?

Decanting is the classic method of introducing air into a bottle of wine. When the wine is exposed to air, the aromatic molecules are activated, and the flavours of the wine are released. This is especially important when the wine is older and kept in a bottle for too long.

Wine decanting allows the wine to breathe before serving. It also allows older wines to breathe, often making them taste better. When you decant wine, you allow air to come into contact with the inside of the bottle, releasing the aromas and flavours that may have been trapped in the wine.

What are the different types of decanters?

There are many different types of decanters. The kind of decanter you choose depends on what the wine will be used for. A simple glass decanter will do the job for most wines. For older wines or wines that are more sensitive to air, you may want to invest in a more specialised decanter with a cork stopper or a unique shape.

Is there such a thing as over-decanting?

Yes! It’s called oxidised wine. A wine that has been exposed to too much air will become oxidised, causing the wine to go bad. It’s essential to check your wine regularly for signs of oxidation and remove it from the air as soon as you notice any.

Which wines need to be decanted?

Any wine that is worth its salt needs to be decanted. This includes any wine meant to be served in a style that requires it to be decanted, like a Burgundy or Bordeaux. Decanting is also a good idea for any wine meant to be served soon after opening, like Beaujolais Nouveau.

How long do you need to decant wines?

The length of time you need to decant wine will depend on the wine and the container you decant it. Typically, the larger the surface area, the faster the wine will move, and the less time it will take to decant. If you are decanting the wine, you’ll want to pour it back and forth a few times, allowing the wine to aerate, then place it in an upright position for an hour. If you are decanting wine in a carafe, you’ll want to pour the wine back and forth several times, then allow the wine to sit for 10 minutes or longer.

Decanting is something you should try

Decanting wine is a great way to improve the flavour of a wine. Wine is a very delicate product and can be ruined very quickly by exposure to oxygen. However, when handled properly, decanting wine can do wonders for the flavour and perceived quality of the wine. Just make sure that you choose a good wine from a trusted wine supplier to decant.

Plonk wine is a highly-trusted wine supplier in the United Kingdom. Check out our wine collection and have your favourite bottles delivered straight to your doorstep!

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