Decanting Wine – Which Wines Need Decanting?

I’m sure you’ve all seen a wine decanter. From the most simple ones to the most fanciful, the use is the same. The question is, when should these fascinating crystal decanters be used? What is their function? How is it done?


As we know, wine is a live substance that continues evolving and aging even after being bottled. When the cork is removed from the bottle, the wine needs being aerated to release scents and flavours, to express themselves at their best in the glass. This is true mostly for red wines, in fact, as we know, red wines need to be uncorked at least thiry minutes before serving.


Concerning recent-vintage red wines, pouring the wine in the decanter in a “splashy” way, helps open the wine and the bouquet of aromas and tastes will burst forth.



Completely another story for aged wines. Wines, which have aged in bottle, typically red wines rather than white, will generally throw a sediment. This sediment is displeasing to the eye and also quite unpleasant in the mouth.

In this case, the decanting procedure is a bit more complex. It is advisable to stand the bottle upright for a day before decanting to allow the sediment to fall to the bottom of the bottle.

First remove the entire capsule fron the bottle top. This is necessary to have a clear view into the neck of the bottle while decanting. A source of light, either a candle or a small torch must be placed behing the bottle neck to show the clearness of the wine while being poured.

With a smooth and steady action the wine is poured into the decanter until sediments reach the bottle neck. At this point pouring is stopped, the remaining wine in the bottle shouldn’t be more than half a glass.

Nothing complicated, just a few rules to make your wine experience…fascinating!



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