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The process of decanting wine used to be a practice only popular amongst connoisseurs and vintage wine collectors. Thankfully, this process has now been adopted by most wine drinkers, rightfully so. Decanting is simply the process of pouring wine from the bottle into another container. You may have a fancy decanter somewhere around the house, but any other vessel will do. The purpose of the transference is to allow the wine to be exposed to oxygen, which is why you’ll often hear the word “aerate” when discussing decanting. You’re letting the wine breathe. 

Enhance the Aromas in Young Wines

When you’re opening a younger wine, it can initially pour with an astringent and bitter taste, or no significant taste at all. Decanting the wine and allowing it to sit for 10-15 minutes before serving will allow the aromas to open up and the sharpness to soften. You can also enhance the taste of a cheaper wine by decanting a bit longer before serving (about 30 minutes). Cheaper wines sometimes have a high level of sulfur dioxide, making it smell rotten. Decanting can curb this smell and bring the flavor forward. Plus, your guests won’t know the price when serving in a decanter!

Separating Sediment

If you’re choosing to serve that old vintage wine you’ve saved, you might see the beautiful sediment that has gathered in the bottle. This is not a bad thing. Most sediment in wines is left there on purpose by the winemaker. Unfortunately, these tiny crystals don’t look very nice when served in a glass. By decanting the wine, the sediments remain in the bottle while the wine transfers to the decanter.

Soften Bitter Reds

While decanting can be used to oxygenate white wines or even champagne, it’s mostly used for bold red wines. Some may enjoy the tight bitterness with a freshly opened bottle, but many don’t. Decanting a more intense wine, like a Syrah or Barolo, will soften the tannins and allow the tasting notes to blossom. Next time you’re in the best wine store in Gainesville GA, keep this in mind when purchasing these types of reds.


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