Learning More About Using Wine Decanters

by Rebekah Alford

Wine decanters take drinking red vintages to a whole new level. If you have never experienced the sublime flavor of a properly decanted red, then you may want to purchase a proper set for decanting and letting your red vintages breathe. The process of adding air to red vintages is a complex one that if done right, will give you a full bouquet in your glass with each pour.

You may think that simply opening up a bottle to let sit and breathe is enough to aid the flavor of a vintage. However, the tiny opening of a bottle does not allow near enough oxygen to flow. When you pour into a decanting vessel, the design allows for a maximum mix of air and alcohol to blend and become something altogether different in terms of taste.

An important thing to know is that decanters come in all shapes and styles to suit various tastes. Some models are hand blown with a long neck and the base of the bottle elongated sideways. Others are basic bottles with wide bottoms. The shape does not matter as much as the process and time of exposure to air.

Red vintages are generally the ones that benefit from this process. Pouring a good red into the vessel and allowing enough time for the bouquet and flavor notes to form and rise to the surface can be time well spent. You may soon notice the tannins receding in the background of the flavor and the smells becoming more pleasing.

Give yourself plenty of time for this process to work its magic, particularly if you are serving a specific vintage to guests. This whole presentation takes about an hour for most wines to free themselves in terms of flavor. Allowing the proper amount of time will bring out the optimum blend of oxygen mixed with the liquid for the best taste possible.

For older vintages, decanting may not be enough. There may be free-floating particles that are in the bottle along with the liquid. This is sedimentation, and is seen in wines that are nearing a decade old. Merely use a wire mesh strainer over the glass vessel you pour into to keep these particles from flowing into the glass.

If you do not have an hour to spend in the decanting process, there is another option. Portable, hand-held aerators can help you infuse a pour with air bubbles. This can help to open and expand the wine and its properties for a smoother taste. When time is critical, this process can work in a pinch as another vintage goes through the decanting process.

Wine decanters are a useful and elegant part of enjoying rich, red vintages. You can find a wide selection online, with experts to help you select a good one for your own needs. Take time to compare the different varieties available to find just the right type. Your sipping sessions with friends may take on a new level of enjoyment.

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