Decanting wine is all about pouring wine carefully from its original bottle into another container without upsetting the sediments at the bottom of the bottle. It is advisable that you decant the wine into a container made of glass and with a neck that will allow easy pouring of the wine. Decanters such as duck, swan, cornett, and standard are the best containers to use in decanting. They are available in all sizes: small, medium and large. As such, you can pick a decanter depending on the amount of wine you need to decant.
How to decant wine successfully
To decant wine without encountering problems, you need to have a stable and light hand so that you do not disturb the bottom of the bottle while decanting. Patience is also an important aspect to have in any decanting process.
The steps to follow include:
- Check the state of the bottle of wine. If the bottle of wine was stored horizontally for a long time, remove it carefully from its storage and place it in a vertical position. Let the bottle rest vertically for a full day, before you start the decanting process. All the sediments, which had settled on the side of the bottle, will now sink and settle at the bottom of the bottle.
- Take a corkscrew and use it to open the bottle of wine carefully.
- Take your decanter of choice (duck, standard, swan, or cornett) and tilt the neck of the open bottle toward it. Make certain that the bottom of the bottle remains at an angle of less than 45 degrees as you pour the wine into the decanter. The angle will work to control the sediments by keeping them in position at the bottom as the wine flows from the bottle.
- Keep your hand firm as you pour the wine into the decanter at a steady rate. Observe the bottle for any sediments that may be approaching the opening of the bottle. If you are decanting red wine with a dark shade, you can shine some light against the bottle in order to see the sediments clearly.
- Once you spot several sediments making their way to the opening of the bottle, stop decanting immediately. Place the bottle in an upright position again and let it sit for a while before repeating the procedure. The sediments will have settled back at the bottom of the bottle.
- Continue pouring the rest of the wine steadily into the decanter. To eliminate the sediments, leave about half an ounce of wine in the bottle since it will be impossible to separate it with the sediments.
Why is patience necessary in decanting? Patience is important because the entire procedure can take about four hours. After all, there is no risk involved in over-decanting wine.