crystal decanter 

When Not To Decant Wine - And How To Aerate Wine

Decanting wine is a way of helping wine show its best to the consumers. Also using a wine decanter it is a great way to serve the wine and particulars when served in a noble, crystal decanter, a great way to impress the customers. However there are times when I wine is better left alone. There are times when it's best not to decant wine as some people are of the meaning that decanting might actually harm the wine more than help it.

Here are some ideas that can get you started with aerating wine in different ways. Give some of these a try and see which goes better with which type of wine. For some wines decanting is the best way to go about it. For others, something else might work better.

For example there are some Bordeaux wines that will not enjoy getting too much air. Also it seems people to agree on not to decant older and more mature wines because leaving them 5-6 hours beforehand with the cork pulled out will allow the wine to develop slowly and really bring out the bouquet in a way that no decanting can help.

With younger wine this is not the case, and they do need decanting simply because the process of leaving it alone over time might take too much time. 5-6 hours will not be enough by far. Also the issue with older wines is that the older a wine gets the more it loses its ripe fruit taste. If you decant the wine, that little taste that it still had of the ripe fruit it will be gone during the decanting process and you won't even understand that it ever had it.

One way to truly experiment with this is by pulling the cork early on and tasting a bit of the wine right away to feel its taste. You can taste the wine every couple of hours and feel the change in taste on your taste buds. Basically if you feel that after a few hours not much has really changed in taste, this is when you can use wine decanting to introduce the oxygen better and push the process alone.

And here is another procedure some folks like to do with their wines. Pull out the cork and leave the wine to air for a few hours. Then pour out about half glass of the wine and then gently pour it back in. This will allow the wine to get more oxygen introduced to it. The difference between this and using a decanter is that decanters will introduce more oxygen more fast than the pouring back procedure.

red wine decanterIf you haven't planned in advance, try this: decanter about a quarter of the wine 1-2 hours ahead of the dinner and then focus your attention on the undecanted wine later on.

Since the wine is already less in the bottle, it seems to aerate much better and faster. Then taste the decanted wine against the remaining aerated wine in the bottle and you can write down those findings in your journal as well. Because with all this experimentation I do hope you are keeping a wine decanting and aerating journal that mentions the name of the wine, the year, the process of aeration, the duration and the result. (image from

When all is said and done, what is the best aeration procedure is something that not two people will really agree on. Aeration can be a tricky business as each wine is different in age and type, style and you really need to experiment with aeration in order to really get a feel for what works best and when. Also over time you will develop a kind of intuition on how to go about it.