Aerating & Decanting Wine

Decanting is not just pouring wine from one container into another. Well, it is, but it does serve a purpose. Decanting allows a young red wine to come in contact with the air, helping it develop a fuller, richer flavor.

When people talk of letting a wine breathe, they are talking about aerating the wine. The more oxygen a red wine reaches, the better it will taste. A young wine in a decanter will aerate and release its bouquet, developing stronger and more pronounced aromas and tastes. After an hour a young wine poured into a decanter will often taste completely different than the same wine from a fresh bottle.

Using a decanter for an old wine gives you the opportunity to leave sediment in the bottle, making your experience much more enjoyable. To do this, just use a light source (a candle or a flashlight) beneath your wine bottle and pour slowly. When you see the sediment start to creep up the bottle, stop pouring. This way you can enjoy the complex taste of an old wine without the bitter sediment.