How and why to decant red wine?

decanting red wine

Decanting is an essential process in the tasting of certain wines, allowing them to reveal their true aromatic and taste potential. It consists of eliminating deposits and sediments present in red wine; which may have formed over time. To carry out this decantation, it is necessary to use a wine decanter .

When the wine is decanted, it is at the same time aerated. Aeration of wine is an operation which consists of breathing oxygen into the wine in order to make it better.

What is red wine decanting?

Wine decanting is an ancestral method which consists of separating red wine from the sediments which have settled at the bottom of the bottle .

Decanting involves pouring red wine into a carafe before serving it. By letting red wine rest for several minutes or several hours in a wine carafe, the liquid will naturally separate from the deposits present within a bottle.

It is also possible to use aerators to carry out decantation. However, they must have an integrated filter.

Why is it recommended to decant red wine?

There are several reasons why wine decanting is so appreciated by professionals and lovers of good wine.

Indeed, the wine decanting process has many benefits for red wine . Decanting wine allows: the elimination of deposits , the aeration of the wine and the release of aromas .

  • Removing Deposits : Red wines, especially older ones, can develop deposits and sediment over time. These deposits are generally harmless, but can give an unpleasant sensation in the mouth and alter the clarity of the wine. Decanting allows the wine to be separated from these deposits before serving it. To carry out this elimination of deposits, it is advisable to use a wine carafe or a wine aerator with a filtration system.
  • Aeration and oxygenation : The decanting process exposes the wine to oxygen, which allows for beneficial aeration. This aeration can soften the wine's tannins, which are compounds found naturally in grapes and can make the wine feel astringent. Young, tannic red wines are particularly affected by this aspect, because aeration helps balance and soften their structure.
  • Release of aromas : The oxygenation of the wine during decanting also allows the aromas to be revealed and intensified. Some wines need to be aerated in order to reveal all the potential they possess. This is particularly true for young wines. An old wine will not need to be aerated, this could lead to a reduction in its flavors.

How to decant red wine?

Decanting wine can be done in a variety of ways, however the most popular way is to use a wine decanter .

Among decanters, there are decanters and wine aerators .

Decantation, done using a decanter, can be done by rest or by filtration.

Decantation of red wine by rest

By using a wine carafe, natural and gradual decantation can take place. Simply pour your bottle of red wine into your wine carafe.

Let your wine rest for several tens of minutes or hours. During this time, red wine deposits will accumulate at the bottom of the carafe. This corresponds to the decantation process.

After several hours, the wine deposits and sediment will be completely separated from your red wine. You will thus be able to enjoy a wine purified of all impurities and obtain a tasting worthy of the best red wines.

This decanting process also allows aeration of the wine. This is essential in order to fully enjoy all the aromas contained in a bottle of red wine.

Decantation by filtration of red wine

Wine accessories allow decanting. These are wine aerators.

Wine aerators have a filtration system. So, by passing your red wine through an oxygenator, the wine will instantly be aerated and decanted.

Deposits and sediments from red wine are automatically captured by the filter present in the aerator.

You will be able to enjoy a sublimated and purified red wine instantly.

What accessory should I use to decant red wine?

To decant red wine, it is essential to use a wine accessory. There are 2 types of accessories: the wine carafe and the wine aerator.

In addition to a decanter, it is helpful to have a light source (such as a candle, flashlight, or phone with a torch function) to illuminate the neck of the bottle while pouring. This makes it easier to see deposits and avoid them when transferring the wine into the decanter.

Wine decanters

The wine carafe is a glass or crystal container, generally transparent, designed to accommodate wine and allowing decantation to take place.

There are several shapes and sizes of decanter, but all aim to maximize the contact surface between the wine and the air to promote oxygenation.

Carafes with wide necks and a flared base are particularly popular for decanting red wine. In fact, this type of wine carafe offers a larger oxygenation surface.

Some decanters have more artistic shapes or a unique design, but their function remains the same: separating red wine from its deposits.

Manual decanters

Some aerators allow decantation. These aerators look like caps. Simply add them to the neck of the wine bottle and pour the wine to enjoy instant aeration and decantation.

These decanters are very simple to use and generally cost less than wine decanters.

How long does it take to decant red wine?

Decanting is a process that takes time. It can be more or less rapid depending on the age of your wine or the equipment used.

Decanting a young wine

When you are looking to decant a young wine, the decanting time will naturally be longer than for an aged wine if you use a wine decanter.

Allow 1 to 2 hours for a good decanting of a young wine.

Decanting an aged wine

Concerning aged wines, it will be essential not to decant them for more than 30 minutes .

Decanting will cause aeration and this aeration can denature wines that have rested for many years. This will result in a loss of quality of the red wine.

Discover the best decanters

Are you looking to live a unique experience during each of your red wine tastings? Enjoy perfect decantation using the best wine carafes and aerators.

The ADV wine aerator site offers a complete range of quality wine carafes and aerators, at the best price.

Discover our collection of wine accessories and enhance each of your bottles in an instant.

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