Decanting is a process of slowly pouring liquids (Usually wines) to another container or vessel (decanter); it is done slowly so that the sediments from the bottom will not be disturbed. A wine decanter is a container used to hold the decantation of wine. It comes from different shapes and designs and is usually made of glass. Its volume is generally equivalent to a single standard wine bottle.
Continue reading below for more valuable information about wine decanter and wine decantation.
History of Wine Decantation
Ancient Romans pioneer the idea of using a decanter that is made of glass. But when the time of the fall of the Romans, glass decanter was scarcely made, resulting in the production of decanters made of metal such as gold, silver, and bronze. Venetians later introduced the use of glass decanter during the Renaissance period.
Wine decantation became a widely accepted way of serving wine in the 17th century. Using wine decanters became a tradition that started in England and later spread across Europe.
Steps in Wine Decantation
Here are the steps of the general process of wine decantation:
- The process of wine decantation starts 24 hours or more prior to the drinking of the wine. If you positioned your wine horizontally, you need to place the bottle of your wine upright. Doing this will allow the sediments to move at the bottom side of the bottle, which will make the filtering process easier.
- Choose a clean container (usually wine decanter) in which you plan to serve the wine; it can be a decanter or a carafe. Just make sure it is easy to pour from.
- After you remove the cork of the wine, clean the bottle. Especially the neck.
- You need a light (it could be a flashlight), hold and place it under the neck of the wine bottle so that you could easily see through the glass.
- While you are lighting the neck part of the bottle, slowly pour the wine into a decanter.
- During the process of pouring the wine into a decanter, you need to focus on the illuminated bottleneck. When you see sediments reaching the neck of the bottle, you need to stop pouring. Always take note the sediments will not be always obvious to see, sometimes it might look like specks of dust, chunks, grains, flakes, or a cloudy appearance in wines.
- Finally, serve the wine that is placed on a wine decanter.
Common Shapes of a Wine Decanter
Here are the common shape types of a Wine Decanter:
A carafe is a wide-mouthed bottle made of glass or metal. It is usually used in holding and serving beverages. It is recommended to handle fragile older wines during the decantation process because of its long neck that prevents the wine from splashing irregularly. Another advantage of this shape is that it is easy to handle.
The basic idea of a cone-shaped container or decanter is the exposure of a broad surface of wine into the air, hindering the escape of too much aroma. Also, this shape is ideal for giving extra oxygen exposure by swirling. The outcome needed is either to achieve a soft tannin texture and release more aroma or blow off borderline faults.
Cornet is named based on its trumpet-like instrument. It is described as a long and slender neck container. It is relatively narrow, and the bottom part is a modest-sized bulb. Using this shape of the container will be a lot useful because spotting sediments would be easier with this.
Another advantage of this shape is that it won’t overly-expose your wine to oxygen, making this a great option when filtering old wines. Lastly, it is ideal for reaching across a large table to serve your guest with wine.
Lyre decanter is a U-shaped decanter that enables you to pour the wine in and pour it out the other end. It is a useful invention because it permits the spout to be narrower. This shape is an appropriate choice for an older wine because the surface area of the wine to its volume ratio within the wine decanter is low.
Despite being ideal, using this shape may challenge you on how you will clean it after use, and it can be confusing at first to what angle or side to look while you are spotting the sediments in the wine.
Novelty decanter can be found in various shapes and sizes. There are endless options on what shape or size would your novelty decanter be (If you have to choose your own design). The most popular novelty shapes are the skull decanter and grenade decanter.
Benefits of Decanting Wine
Here are the benefits of a wine decanter:
- Decanting separates wine sediments from the liquid.
The sediments that settled at the bottom of the wine bottle are separated from the liquid through a wine decanter. Most sediments are found in red wines, usually older wines. The removal of sediments does not mean that it is harmful; some people remove it because it tastes unpleasant.
- Aeration enhances the flavor of the wine by decantation.
Have you heard someone say that the wine needs to breathe? The explanation behind this is that wine needs Aeration.
Aeration is the process of introducing air into a material. This process enhances the flavor of the wine by releasing gases that developed in the wine because of the absence of oxygen while sealed. Exposing the wine to air will make the tannins more relaxed, which will result in an apparent aroma and flavor of the wine.
However, the amount of time needed for wine exposure to the air is controversial. Some experts in the wine industry recommend 1-2 minutes of aeration, while others say the process should take 20-30 minutes, especially over 15 years old wine.
- Decanting saves wine when the cork is broken.
There are instances that a cork may break, dispersing its pieces on your wine glass. When decanting a wine that has a broken cork in it, the broken pieces will gather near the neck of the bottle. If the pieces of cork disintegrate, a strainer will be useful in filtering broken pieces.
If you are a fan of wines, you will surely appreciate the purpose of a wine decanter. It helps in enhancing the taste of wine, plus its super easy to use.