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The Basics of Wine Decanting

Last updated 6 years ago

Decanting, or transferring wine from its original bottle to a specialized decanter, serves to separate out the bitter sediment left at the bottom of aged wine and oxygenates the liquid which provides a fuller flavor. Keep reading to learn how you can easily decant wine to get the most out of every bottle:

  • Decanting Young Wine
    Wine that is less than 10 years old is unlikely to have developed sediment, but decanting wine allows it to breathe, and the oxygenation that results can greatly improve its flavor. Simply pour the entire bottle into a decanter at least twenty minutes before serving—the longer it rests, the more the taste will evolve.
  • Decanting Aged Wine
    Older wines are likely to have sediment within them, so if possible, keep the bottle sitting upright for a day or two before drinking in order to allow the sediment time to settle. Otherwise, you can strain out most of the sediment using a horizontal pour. To do this, first open the bottle, removing the entire covering so you can see into the neck. Next, holding the bottle horizontally, begin pouring the wine into the decanter, using a flashlight or candle to observe the liquid as it flows through the neck. Watch for specks of sediment, and before they join the wine in the decanter, stop pouring. This will leave you with a decanter full of clear, palatable wine as well as a few ounces’ worth of sediment-filled liquid that can be either strained and drunk or used for cooking.

For help choosing a delicious young dinner wine or a beautifully aged bottle for your next special occasion, call D&L Liquors at (781) 894-1907. Visit one of our wine stores in the Newton area for weekly tastings, each with wines from a different country.


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