This year for Christmas I got a pretty cool hourglass wine decanter. And though I am no daily drinker of red wine, I can certainly taste the difference a little breath of fresh air makes. Usually I would just set an open bottle of red wine on the counter for a little while before finally drinking it. However, after having used a wine decanter, I’m hooked. Just when I thought swirling and sniffing were cool enough, now there’s something else I can do before finally drinking the damn goodness! I have decided that I will never go back to the old ways again and if there’s no decanter around, I’m having a beer.
Here’s a breakdown of what heck a decanter is and does; A vessel, often made out of glass or lead crystal which is used to separate sediment from another vessel of liquid, for example a bottle of red wine. In this separation process, the sediment is left in a small amount of liquid in the original vessel, and the clear/clean liquid remains in the decanter.
Decanting red wine, however, serves another important purpose besides the whole sediment separation bit and that is to oxygenate the wine. All the Winos I know call it Aeration so I’m rolling with that. Whereas every body outside of the Wine Blogosphere would likely call the process of adding oxygen to a liquid, Oxygenation. Whatever. I trust you’ll make the right choice.
Why do this in the first place, you ask? Well, pretend you did. Why are you so difficult? Since Wine has been sealed in a vacuumed bottle for years, its body and shape are compressed to some extent. Oxygenating wine opens it up by expanding it with air. That breath of fresh air takes the edge off and enhances the aromas and bouquet. Or not. Some Wine experts will disagree with Aeration completely but they’re not cool anyway, so let’s not even talk about them. 🙂 We’re the boss of us and we say Aeration rocks!
Okay, back to business. Decanting an old bottle of wine is quite simple if you keep in mind two steps. Firstly, it is important to stand the bottle of wine up for several hours to allow the sediment to settle to the bottom of the bottle. Why so long?! Because the big chunks of sediment will settle to the bottle quite quickly, however the finer sediment will take much longer silly.
Here’s how; In a well lit room slowly begin to pour the wine into your awesome decanter. If your decanter’s not awesome, drink beer. Once you have roughly one third left in the bottle have a look at the neck of the bottle for the sediment. Continue but once you begin to see sediment in the neck of the bottle, stop pouring. The wine in your decanter should now be sediment free. If it isn’t it’s because you’re not very good at it. Practice makes perfect and it’s fun! Practice!
Some people say that it is not necessary to decant your everyday bottle of red wine. While this might be true, other people say there’s certainly no harm in it. I think those two groups should meet and duke it out sometime. I’m the kind of Wino that wants clarity. I need answers! LOL! Anyway, with your Average-Joe-Wine, there might not be as much sediment in the bottle to separate or any at all, but the aeration will still likely enhance the flavor and aromas favorably and besides all that, you need the practice going from bottle to Decanter. The easiest wine to decant will be your young bottles of wine sine the goal is to have as much of the wine come in contact with oxygen as possible. Just pour it in so it splashes a lot in the Decanter. Make sure you’ve got that new white Silk shirt on you got for Christmas! Finally, let the decanter sit for a moment to rest before serving. All that splashing about is tiring. 🙂
Thanks for reading.