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Use Your Wine Decanter to Make The Most of Your Wines

As you enjoy new bottles of wine, the fine art of decanting becomes more important. Using a wine decanter helps refine the taste of your wine. Discover how to make the most of your next bottle of wine with a decanter.

What Is A Wine Decanter?

A wine decanter is a vessel for wine poured from a bottle. The decanter allows air to pass over the wine, which in turn brings out the full flavor of the wine.

  • A standard decanter is shaped like a vase, with a wider bowl at the base and a longer, slimmer neck and mouth.
  • Decanters come in other shapes, too. These shapes mainly change the angle of the bowl or neck or, in the instance of a swan decanter, elongate the neck greatly.
  • The time the wine spends in the decanter varies. A light, everyday wine needs 20 minutes or so, while a full-bodied red can take 2 hours.

Do All Wines Need Decanting?

Not every wine on your rack requires decanting, but the taste of nearly every wine improves with decanting.

Younger wines open up with oxygen. Older wines benefit from a slow pour into a decanter to filter out sediment.

  • Use small decanters for whites and rosés or light-bodied reds, like a Pinot Noir. Lighter whites can decant in the glass.
  • Medium decanters are for medium-bodied wines, like merlots.
  • Full-bodied red wine, like Cabernet Sauvignon, goes in a large decanter with a wide base.

Try Decanting Champagne

One of the best things about Champagne is the bubbles, but a recent trend is to decant Champagne. This is a fun thing to try, particularly if you are a fan of the mousse or foam.

  • This is particularly popular with older Champagnes as the complex aromas become more enticing as the air out in a decanter.
  • For some Champagne enthusiasts, the bubbles of a younger Champagne are too aggressive and they prefer to let them dissipate slightly to fully enjoy the mousse.
  • You can use a special champagne decanter or try it with one you'll use with wine, too.

Experiment with Decanting to Form Your Tastes

Ultimately, how you decant your wine will be determined by your tastes. Play with different decanting times across different vessels. See how different wines taste in the same decanter. Eventually, you'll form your own taste and touch for how to decant.

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