An often debated topic is the process of aerating or decanting wine. When should I, with Whites or Reds, Young or old what are the rules or guidelines?
When I started serving wine we decanted most wines based on the price. Anything sub $100 was poured into the glass. Anything over $100 was presented, tasted then decanted at the table over a flame so as to see the sediment and ensure none left the bottle. This theatrical process was completed long and slow in one smooth movement allowing the wine to aerate gently down the inside of the decanter.
Today there are many gadgets and devices that have been devised to hopefully achieve the same result without the hazard of flame or spillage. Some may appear a little primitive and perhaps even violent in their approach but the proof is in the resulting improvement in the wine.
So, when to decant? Most wines benefit from being splashed around and resuscitated a little. I’ve decanted everything from aged Chardonnays to young Coonawarra Cabernets and all in my opinion have shown an improvement. Decanters are a valuable wine accessory that will ensure your most precious of wines are presented and consumed at their best.
Written by Adrian Marchioro
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