The Deal with Decanting Wines
What’s the big deal about decanting wines? Pouring it straight from the bottle is simple affair, why complicate it? Agreed.
Decanting wines is a very personal decision but it does have tons of benefits. Infact decanting certain wines can make so much of a difference, you will wonder why you did not get in the habit of decanting wines earlier. Apart from the aeration/oxidation allowing the nose and bouquet of wines to open up better, they help in discarding sediments that accumulate in a wine.
Glass is the best bet. Crystal ones might just be too elaborate for the modern day and while plastic also works, we won’t recommend it. When it comes to wines, the sight is as important as the smell, so avoid colored or tinted decanters. Decanting is all about aerating the wine, so the decanter must have broad enough neck and a capacious body.
Apart from building aromas of wines, older wines tend to have sediments which need to be extracted; decanting is the easiest way to do it. With years in the cellar, there are changes which the wine undergoes and there might be residual aromas which are build, decanting also allows these smells to evaporate.
Which wines to decant
White wines usually don’t need decanting, but if its an old vintage, give it 10-15 minutes. Decant all red wines, yes all, irrespective of whether the bottle you buy is for Rs. 500 or Rs. 50,000. Decanting a cheap wine will help reduce any unpleasant aromas. Decanting aged reds will give you more flavors which might not come across right away.
Watch this space closely to know more about decanting sparkling wines!
How to decant
Decanting really isn’t rocket science. Tilt the decanter a bit and pour the wine on to the neck of the decanter. The aim is to allow oxygen to reach the wine. The process of pouring the wine into the decanter does most of the job of aeration, but if you’re not convinced swirl the wine around gently in the decanter.
If you’re the impatient sorts you can speed up the process by double decanting, which is simply pouring wine back and forth between 2 decanters or the decanter and bottle. Alternatively you can also use an aerator.
How long to decant a wine
Young wines could need could need just about 20-30 minutes where as heavy and aged reds can be decanted for 2 hours. It is often debated that keeping older red wines in decanters for too long will allow the fade away completely making it a tough decision to decide for how long to decant the wine. It is all about personal preference.
Your glass is a decanter too
When there is no decanter available, just get a pour of the wine in another glass and let sit for sometime, its going to have the same effect. So you can start tasting the wine right away and know how it is straight out of the bottle and later have a decanted glass waiting for you.
Which decanter to buy
Like any prized possession, even a decanter needs care. It’s a tricky shape to clean so avoid strong detergents and also detergents with fragrance; it is difficult to remove detergent residues and smells. A mix of coarse salt and crushed ice thoroughly cleans a decanter. Rinsing with mineral water is also known to remove any smells. As long as you have a decanter which fits the bill, it doesn’t matter if it is expensive or cheap. We found some good deals on FabFurnish and Zansaar.
Holy Jesus what is that decanter shown in the title picture?
Thats the Twenty Twelve decanter by Riedel and costs USD 495.