Decanting

Port
Some good advice by Roy Hersh, notably use of food grade cheesecloth, and an age related decanting period.

Champagne
Hugh Johnson, in Wine, A life uncorked, relates how decanting into a glass jug seems to release more flavour, and of course it’s much quicker to pour from a jug, a nice crystal one mind. Having consumed a few quite old vintage examples, I am not convinced of the necessity or benefit of decanting. What I do recommend though is the use of a foil pourer, not so elegant, but avoids losing a drop.

Still red
After tasting for a few years now, I find that for tasting purposes it is best not to decant, so as to experience the complete unfurling of the aromas and flavours as the wine opens out. This can take 30 minutes, or up to 2 days, for a vino di meditazzione, as said in Italy. If the purpose is to consume with a meal, then I always, at room temperature, double decant to hasten things along, that is to filter into a jug, watching carefully to keep back as much sediment as possible in the bottle, wash the bottle out with water to remove any sediment, and then pour back into the bottle. Once back in the bottle, it goes into the fridge for 30 minutes, before serving.

It is frequently said that decanting can soften the tannins of a young wine, that would otherwise be noticeably astringent, or drying. However, scientific analysis of tannins before and after decanting, shows no change in their constituency [1].

Still white
Inspect for any visible tartrate crystals at the bottom of the bottle, also check the underside of the cork for adhered crystals, I have found that these can be indicative of crystals in the body of the wine. Decant off any crystals and pour back into the bottle. Remove from the fridge 30 minutes before serving.

References

  1. How does decanting red wine affect its taste? And why is it suggested for red wine, but not white? Scientific American. [online] 06/03/19.

Updated 06/03/19

About citbp

I am interested in everything about wine, from site selection to tasting.
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