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Decanting wine: instructions

Written by EFW Staff

Decanting: what does it means

Decanting wine means pouring a bottle of wine, usually red wine, in a jar or in a suitable tool called decanter and it is a process that allows acids and hydrocarbon molecules to tie together quickly with the oxygen so the wine can give its best, releasing characteristic aromas and perfumes. In fact, in the bottle the tannins can inhibit this process, whereas once poured it comes into contact with the oxygen releasing its best characteristics.
Let’s discover, thus, all the characteristics and the details for a correct decanting.

Decanting technique

Before decanting a wine, it is suggested to leave the bottle vertically for 24 hours in order to collect the sediments on the bottom of the bottle. Then, to decant wine in the best way and to find the sediments quickly, the experts suggest to place the bottle and the decanter in front of a light, like a candle, and to stop immediately pouring once you see the sediments to not let them enter the wine.


Decanting wines

1. Red wines: red wines are perfect to be decanted, unlike white, Spumante and sweet wines that are less common.

2. Young red wines: tannins that characterise red wines mature slowly and they need more time to create great aromas. Thus, they are more suitable to be aged and it is almost compulsory to release their typical characteristics.

3. Matured wines: when a wine, despite the fact that it has been subjected to an ageing of 5-10 years, hasn’t still developed its characteristic bouquet but it still has weak aromas, it is a good custom to decant it.

4. Aged wines: a wine aged from 20 till 40 years has been “still” for such a long time that it needs to “stretch” thanks to the decanting, so that it can find again all its original perfumes and aromas.

Decanting tools


To decant wine in the best way, for first you should have a decanter, the characteristic glass or crystal cruet with different shapes. Other useful tools to decant are the decanting basket used to divide the sediments that remain in the bottom of the bottle and the decanting funnel, perfect to pour the wine in a decanter, without switching the candle on, to keep the sediments in the filter.

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EFW Staff