The Best Times to Decant Wines

by Editorial Team | May 13th, 2019 | Cooking Basics

The plain and straightforward act of pouring wine and letting it have some air time, to all intents and purposes, improves and enhances the taste. However, the question here is how long should you wait. Also, does wine taste bad if it is decanted for too long? 

Ideally, decanting plays two purposes: to allow it have some air time in the hope that its flavors and aromas will be bolder upon serving and to take the wine away from sediments that might have formed. 

Simply speaking, decanting is the process or method of taking out sediment from the clear wine. And there is a proper way to decant a wine. In this post, we will walk you through how a wine should be decanted and some tips for decanting various wines. 

Decanting

First and foremost, set the wine upright for at least twenty-four hours before drinking or consuming. You need to do this so that the sediment can sink to the bottom of the bottle, allowing you to separate it from the wine easily.

Next, look for a decanter or other clear, clean vessel from which the bottle can, for the most part, easily drained into glasses. Then, remove the cork and the capsule, and wipe the neck of the bottle clean. 

Hold a flashlight or a candle under the bottle’s neck, and then pour the wine into the clean vessel steadily and slowly, without stopping. Once you get to the bottom half of the wine, pour more slowly. Stop once you see the sediments reach the bottle’s neck. 

Keep in mind that sediment is not always obvious and chunky. If you notice the color of the wine becoming cloudy or see some dust or particles in the neck, then stop. When all the sediments are removed, you can now serve the wine. You can ignore the remaining sediment liquid in the bottle. 

Red Wine

Almost all red wines such as Janasse Chateauneuf du Pape Cuvee Chaupin benefit from decanting. Intricately, there are two main processes involved in decanting red wines, which is evaporation and oxidation, that make red wines taste smoother and fruitier than ever. 

For full-bodied red wines, you need at least sixty minutes or one hour of decanting. For medium-bodied red wines, you need at least thirty to sixty minutes. For light-bodied red wines, you need at least twenty to thirty minutes.

At around sixty minutes, tannins start to ripe or mellow out. This decanting time is ideal for bold red wines with sharp, rough tasting tannins. Although there is not a lot of info supporting this observation, some people claim that the boost of aromatic compounds may minimize our perspective or awareness of tannins. 

At around thirty to forty-five minutes, the sharp or burning aromas and flavors in red wines are, more often than not, less detectable. You may think these sharp smells are coming from alcohol, but the truth is it is volatile acidity. Sure, every person and every room senses volatile acidity quite differently, so ensure to allow your wines to have some air time. 

At around fifteen to twenty minutes, the minimal traits in red wines go off. Minimal smells such as hot farts, burnt rubber, old lunch meat, and rotten eggs. It is quite common in red wines and occurs when aromatic compounds show or display in an anaerobic environment. 

Rose Wines and White Wines

Believe it or not, most rose wines and white wines do not need to be decanted. As a matter of fact, some aromatic compounds, such as the passion fruit flavor in Sauvignon Blanc, drift and float away. Thus, the only cause or basis to decant a rose wine or a bottle of white wine is if it is reduced. 

It takes up at least thirty minutes to ensure that the rose wine or white wine is reduced. Reduction in rose wine and white wine usually smells or stink like a burnt match. However, for the most part, it is just insufficient in aromas. So, if you only smell minimal fruit smells and mineral-like flavors, you might need to have some reduction. 

More often than not, you only need to pour the wine into a vessel and wait for about fifteen minutes, and the issue is fixed. After that, you should smell, without a doubt, lots of fruit aromas.

Sparkling Wines

There are hardly any cases when you need to decant a sparkling wine. Some Champagne growers have a reduction and enhanced with decanting. In a nutshell, sparkling wines decanters have less surface area and are amphora-shaped to maintain the finesse of the bubbles. 

Takeaway

Is decanting really necessary? Well, if you want to improve the flavor of the wine and separate the sediment, then decanting is necessary indeed. The process of decanting a wine makes the wine taste better over time, as it releases flavors and aromas in the wine. Read the guide above to know more.

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