There is still a lot of debate over when decanting wine is necessary. This section provides you with some information on when you should decant it. It also includes tips for pouring and serving.
There are really only two times when it is essential to decant. The first is to remove sediment from it. The second is to tame it a little if it is too tannic to drink.
Decanting wine with sedimentation gives you the opportunity to remove the sediment from the bottle before pouring it into your glass. If they are not decanted, the sediment will end up in your glass making it a little more difficult to drink it.
Since the sedimentation can be bitter tasting, decanting wine will increase your enjoyment too. Wines that might include sediments are aged red wines that are around or over 10 years old. You might also find it in one that has had little or no filtration done during the production process.
The second time it's necessary to decant your wines is if it is too tannic to drink. Wines with more tannins, such as a heavy Cabernet Sauvignon, are a little too tannic to drink. Decanting it, allows it to open up a little more and soften out the tannins before drinking it.
Today, it is also common to decant, or aerate, all wines before consuming. You should open wines at least two or three hours before you drink them.
However, if you don't have the time, you can also aerate or 'decant' these wines in order to consume them earlier. As with heavier tannins wines, aerating or decanting wines allows them to mix with oxygen and open up a little before drinking them.
To find out if your bottle has sediment, hold it up to a light and see if there are objects floating around. If so, decanting wine is necessary to remove the sediment. If you don't see anything floating, then decanting it is not necessary.
Here are the five steps to follow to decant your reds:
As I mentioned above, other reasons you may want to decant is if it's too tannic to drink or you want to consume your bottle right away. If this is the reason for decanting, you can simply pour it into the decanter, swirl it around a few times and wait 15 to 20 minutes. After that, it is ready for tasting. Find a great decanter for your wines.
If you don't need to decant, you are then ready to begin pouring and serving your wine. Here are tips for this part of the wine tasting process:
Want to learn more about storing your bottles before openeing? Check out the section 8 Tips for Storing. You will learn about the different things you need to do in order to preserve your bottles in storage. If you want to store yours after it has been opened, then check out the section Storing Opened Wine for a few easy tips and tricks.
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