How To Decant Wine With A Wine Decanter

Wine Decanter WBSEos 1.5L U Shape Classic Wine Carafe

Decanting wine is basically the process of pouring, which is also known as decanting, the contents from one bottle (or another vessel that holds wine) into a second vessel. Usually the wine will then be served from the second vessel, but sometimes a restaurant is able to place it back into the original bottle in order to provide service to their customers.

As a beginner, you may not be certain how to go about the process of decanting wine. Here we are going to look at some of the simple steps that you can follow to decant your wine the right way

How long to decant a wine?

It is recommended that you decant wine for five minutes to up to two hours. The action of pouring wine from one bottle into the decanter is going to do most of the work and as long as you are careful with this, it will be done instantly. Some of the wines that are higher in tannins, such as Chianti and Barolo, and may need a bit longer time to decant. Some of the things that you can do to speed up the process include:

  • Pour the wine once or twice between the two decanters. It can also be between the wine bottle and the decanter, but consider using a funnel to keep the mess down.
  • Swirl your wine around in the decanter. This is going to help increase the ratio between the wine and the air in the decanter.
  • Get a vinturi wine aerator. These are pretty simple and fast to use.
  • Buy a white wine or champagne bottle that you can drink while you wait for the other to finish up because it can quicken the process.

Which Wines Should Be Decanted?

The next question that you may ask is which wines you should choose to decant. There are a few that do well with this process, but not all wines need to be decanted.

The first wine that you can decant are the cheap wines. You would choose to decant a cheap wine because it will make them taste a bit better. You will notice that when you first open up a bottle of cheap wine, there is a bad smell to it and since our noses are so sensitive to this smell, it could affect how the wine tastes. The good news is that by decanting these cheap wines, you are able to get rid of that smell and get the wine to taste better.

Next on the list is expensive wines. You would think that after hearing how this process can help with the cheap wines that this wouldn’t be a process that you need to do with expensive wines, but it can make a difference. You should go with decanting some of the options like Syriah, Malbec, Petite Sirah, and most Italian Wines.

Another option to decant would be the Pinot Noir and the white wines. You don’t really need to do this, but it is an option if you choose. If you have a Pinot Noir that seems really acidic, it can benefit from the decanting process so that it won’t seem as tart. The decanting process will help to smooth the flavoring out a bit so that you can enjoy it more.

What are the special decanters for each wine?

If you choose to decant your wine, you can pick out a specialty container. These are easy to use and will ensure that you are only using it for the wines, rather than risking contamination with other items in your home. If you are picking out a specialty decanter, the one thing that you need to think of is that it is easy to clean out, otherwise you will never use it.

There are a few different sizes that you can pick from as well when it comes to using decanters. The regular sized ones are going to do well for a wine bottle that is about 75 cl, but there are also some other options if you want to use a bigger wine bottle. I tend to only use a magnum decanter. Riedel make these very well.

How To Clean A Wine Decanter

When it comes to cleaning out your own decanter, do not use soap. It is often hard to get all the way inside and clean out the detergent that you choose, which will greatly affect the taste of the wine over time. It can also affect the aromas that come with the wine and who wants to deal with that soapy taste and smell when they are trying to enjoy some wine. Remember you can always use rice to clean a decanter. 

It is fine to go through and do a deep clean on your decanter on occasion, and it can actually ensure that your decanter won’t get yucky and affect the wine. If you do complete this deep clean, you should pick a soap that is fragrance free and safe so you don’t have to worry. Make sure that you wash the outside with some hot water first and then rinse out the inside with some cold water. This is going to ensure that the glass won’t become foggy in the process. And remember if you don’t want to use rice – use these 2 products for an amazing finish:

  1. Decanter Cleaning Brush 
  2. Decanter Cleaning Balls

Going through the process of decanting can make such a big difference on the quality and even the taste of the wines that you are consume. Cheap wines can lose some of their acidity and taste better when they go through this process, helping them to taste and smell better than just drinking them out of the bottle. Most decanting processes will only take a few minutes to complete so it is definitely worth your time to give it a try! If you’re unsure as to which is the best decanter for you, check out our articles on the Best Decanters here.