Decanting wine is a traditional past time of the wine connoisseurs all over the world. However it seems that not many outside of the wine lovers ‘club’ really knows about the process of dencating and the benefits your favorite drink gets when decanted. So here is a quick decanter primer for those who are curious about this interesting method of letting the wine breathe.
Decanting is mostly done to wines that are older which have sediments deposited at the bottom of the bottle. When you are drinking your wine, you don’t want to feel all those sediments in your mouth as it is not only gross, but it also spoils your enjoyment for the drink.
So when the wine is decanted, it is basically gently poured into another vessel, called decanter, so that the sediments remain at the bottom of the original glass. The decanter is then further used to pour the wine into the glasses of the guests.
However decanting has also another interesting property. Through the process it also aerates the liquid, lets it breathe so that a mixture of wine with air occurs. This freshens the taste of the wine and removes the tannins (bitters) during the oxidation process. Many times it can be saved simply due to decanting. Even when the initial taste of a newly opened bottle of wine is not that great, you can easily change that by either simply leaving the cork off the bottle for the air to get in contact with the liquid, or by decanting it if you have a nice glass decanter handy at home.
Professional winemakers who taste their wine usually swirl it around a bit and then sniff it prior to drinking it. This is because our tongue can only understand a number of tastes, such as bitter, salty, sour and sweet so by moving around the wine, you are effectively moving the wine molecules around. This is also what happens when you decant the wine. The molecules move around and the real flavor and taste emerges then.