Decanting is an operation that involves transferring a liquid, the wine, from a container, usually the bottle, to another, usually a carafe, holding the deposits in the first one.

The decantation has however been attributed another property, that of allowing a good oxygenation of mature wines. All this stems from the natural bond that exists between aging of bottled wine and the simultaneous formation of its deposits. Considering that the wine stored for a long time in a closed environment needs to awaken its finer perfumes, the best thing, while we separate it from the deposits, is to let it breathe in the abundant space offered by a carafe.

Pay attention to the contraindications. Not all wines deserve or tolerate these concerns. Very old wines, those over the age of twenty, generally suffer from such rapid oxygenation and subsequently change their characters, decaying immediately. Instead, they prefer to give them air in small doses, awakening them slowly in the glass.

Some young wines, white or red, with a pinch of excess sulfur dioxide or which go through a period of “youth” during which they are still rather “closed” and express themselves with difficulty, improve after a decantation.

We can therefore note that if there is only one method of separating the wine from its deposits, in order to make it oxygenate, one can choose: it is only a matter of time. It is absolutely useless, however, to open the bottle a few hours before serving as the space available for oxygen, reduced to the neck, is too small.

  • How to decant the wine

Let’s start with having the right tools available. You need a clear and transparent crystal carafe, a candle and a glass.

Before starting, make sure that the bottle is in a vertical position for a few hours, or if you have just taken it from the cellar where it was in a horizontal position, proceed with caution, keeping it in the same position with a wine basket.

After opening the bottle, pour a drop of wine into the carafe to put it in, then transfer it into the glass to check its olfactory and gustatory correctness.

Start pouring the wine, checking the flow through the neck lit by the candle: as soon as a filament appears, a deposit, stop the flow.

After use, the decanter must be washed with water, without detergents and left to dry by dripping it upside down.


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