Wine decanting is a common practice that allows the wine to breathe and it also improves the flavour and aroma of the wine. There are several types of decanters available and decanting can be done on just about every type of wine (apart from champagne or sparkling wine of course).
If you have a cheap bottle of wine, you should most definitely decant the bottle! Cheaper wines are known to have an odd smell due to the presence of sulphur dioxide. This smell can disturb the flavour of the wine. The good news is that wine decanting encourages the smell to go away and even a discounted bottle of wine can develop a far better taste.
More expensive wines
When decanting a more expensive bottle of wine, you may want to hold back and decant just half the bottle at first. You may not consume the entire bottle and it would be a waste to expose its full contents to air. Wine decanting also helps smooth out the flavours so, even if you believe that a particular type of wine does not need be decanted, it could just benefit from this simple process.
Choose a decanter
Decanters come in a wide variety of sizes and shapes. When choosing a decanter for your home, you will notice that many of the hold 750ml. You also get magnum decanters if you plan on serving up a larger bottle. The most important wine decanting point to consider is the interior shape of the decanter itself. The more intricate the design, the more difficult it is to clean.
As for cleaning, it is best to avoid using soap to clean the inner part of the wine decanter. Of course, you can soap up the exterior if you like but it’s tough to remove all the soap residue from the interior and remaining residue will affect the flavour of your next bottle of wine you decant. If you do wish to use soap from time to time, you should look for a soap which is fragrance free and hypoallergenic. By washing the exterior with hot water and the inside with cold water, you will prevent the glass from becoming foggy. Turn it upside down and place a paper towel below the decanter to allow the water to drip down as it dries. Do not place the decanter flat on the paper towel. Instead, you should place it in a larger bowl that holds the decanter in a suspended position. This allows for better drying and air circulation.
Wine decanting offers many benefits which is why you should always have at least one decanter in your home. You may want to set one aside for white and other for red wine. Note that the age of the bottle can also impact the amount of time it needs to breathe.