Wine decanting. Why it is important and how is it done correctly?
Decanting the wine is absolutely necessary for the bahic liqueur to show its true value. The process is simple, but we must keep in mind a few principles to discover all the flavours of wine.
About decanting wine
Wine, a living drink in continuous transformation, requires contact with the air and a time of clarification to reveal all its nuances and aromas.
The colour, taste and subtle notes of some red wine varieties are shown only after the wine has come into contact with oxygen and has been left to "calm down" for a while. Before tasting or serving guests certain types of red wine, it is imperative to take into account this process so important in enjoying wine.
What is wine decantation?..
Wine decantation is the clarification process required for certain types of red wine. It is done with the help of the decanter, a special glass container, with a narrow neck and a wide base.
Winemakers use various specific treatments to clear the wine - bentonite treatment in general - but these are not enough to separate all the small fragments from the wine. Regardless of whether the wine has been barricaded or has been aged in bottles, decantation is absolutely necessary for tannic or old varieties, also used for aerating the wine and discovering all its subtleties.
Why certain wines are decanted?..
It is a necessary process for filtering natural sediments - fine residues from grapes, which, in fact, help preserve the wine, but also give it a particular aroma.
Decantation is done not only so that the sediments are left at the base of the decanter and do not reach the glass, but also because some wines need to stay in contact with the air, to "breathe", to reveal their bouquet.
What kind of wines are decanted?..
The settling process applies only to red wine. Although it is considered necessary only in the case of old red wines, collection wines, decantation is also recommended for wines with strong, but younger tannins.
Among the wines that need to be decanted beforehand, we could mention Bordeaux, Porto or Cabernet Sauvignon.
How to decant the wine?..
The settling is, in general, as simple as possible. The contents of the bottle are poured into the decanter and wait 30-60 minutes for all the sediments to settle at the base of the vessel.
A 750 millilitre bottle of wine will be poured completely into the decanter, and the wine will fill it up to the area where the vessel is widest.
What to decant the wine with
The vessel in which the wine is decanted is called the decanter. It is a transparent glass vessel with a wide base and a narrow neck. In recent years, the classic shape of the decanter has undergone several transformations - in some cases the glass has curls to facilitate the oxygenation of the wine when it is poured into the decanter. The principle remained the same - the basis must be broad. There are also decanters equipped with a sieve, useful for filtering wine when poured into glasses.
Attention, the decantation of the wine cannot be done in the carafe or in other kitchen utensils. The glass of the decanter is thin and its shape is designed so that the sediments settle at its base as quickly as possible. Moreover, because the wine fills the decanter to its largest diameter, the liquid comes into better contact with the air and shows all its aromas. If you do not have a decanter at hand (although, we advise you to invest in such a utensil absolutely necessary for those who really appreciate wine) you can use any vessel that has the shape of a decanter and thin glass.
The correct stages of decanting the wine..
For old wines, those for which decantation is mainly recommended, the process must be carried out as smoothly as possible, so that the sediments already left by the wine in the glass are not agitated and mixed with the liquid.
Then pour the contents of the bottle into the decanter. Sommeliers and oenologists recommend placing the bottle in the light of a candle to observe when the sediments move. The glass tilts so that they are not agitated, and when it is observed - with the help of the candle - that the sediments move with the liquid (this usually happens when there is little liquid left in the glass) the pouring of the wine into the decanter is stopped. The wine is lightly poured into the decanter while it is tilted, so that the wine first reaches the neck of the decanter and then its base.
In the case of young wines, decanting should not be done according to equally rigid rules. The wine can be poured into the decanter even at a fast pace in order to oxygenate as well as possible. After all the contents of the bottle have been poured into the decanter, wait 30-60 minutes before tasting. Decanting is done in a room where there is no strong light, the decanter is never placed in direct sunlight. Also, the temperature in the room should not exceed 20 degrees Celsius. As long as it is left to decant, the wine must not be shaken or moved.
Serving the wine after decanting..
After the time necessary for decanting and aerating the wine, it can be served. The decanter is grabbed at the top - the narrow neck - and the wine is poured into glasses taking care that the sediments do not reach the glasses.
Once the wine has been decanted, it should never be put back in the bottle or stored for future service, as it loses its flavour.
Decanting the wine is, therefore, a necessary procedure to be able to see the special shade of a red wine, but also to feel all its aromas. If you want to enjoy a tannin red wine or aged at its true value, decantation is absolutely necessary.