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Ask a Pro: Do or Do Not Decant

Ask a Pro: Do or Do Not Decant

Dear Wine Pro,
I am a wine novice and I am trying to learn more. I have heard that decanting wine can make a difference in the flavor and aromas of the wine. I am wondering if you could tell me more about decanting and whether it is something that I should do or is it just about showing off a fancy decanter?
New Wine Guy
Great question and, yes, sometimes we just want to show off the gorgeous piece of glass that is our newest decanter, but there are also plenty of benefits to decanting wine. That said, if you have a bottle of Sauv Blanc in the fridge and you just want to unscrew the cap and drink it straight out of the bottle, you be you, we don't judge.
Since you asked though...

The Benefits of Decanting Wine

Decanting is the process of pouring wine from the bottle into a decanter, a broad container with a narrow neck. This allows the wine to breathe and aerate, which can improve its flavor and aroma.

There are many benefits to decanting wine. First, it can help to remove sediment from the wine. Sediment is small particles that can form in wine over time. It is not harmful to drink, but it can make the wine taste cloudy or unpleasant. Decanting can help to remove sediment by allowing it to settle to the bottom of the bottle.

Second, decanting can help to aerate the wine. Aeration is the process of exposing wine to oxygen. This can help to soften the tannins in red wine and make it more enjoyable to drink. It can also help to bring out the fruit flavors in white wine.

Third, decanting can help to improve the flavor and aroma of wine. The oxygen that is introduced during decanting can help to open up the wine and release its aromas. This can make the wine more enjoyable to smell and taste.

There are a few things to keep in mind when decanting wine. First, it is important to use the right type of decanter. A decanter should be made of glass or crystal, and it should have a wide base to help the wine breathe. Second, it is important to decant the wine for the right amount of time. The amount of time that wine needs to decant will vary depending on the type of wine. For example, red wine typically needs to be decanted for 30 minutes to an hour, while white wine only needs to be decanted for 15-20 minutes.

Decanting is a simple process and it really can improve your experience, give it a try and show off that glass.

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