What is wine decantation?

Decantation is the process of decanting wine into a special decanter to separate the wine from its solid deposit. Decanting is reserved for red wines (fine and aged wines).

Why decant a wine?

Decanting separates the wine from the solid deposits that have accumulated during cellar aging. The wine is freed of impurities, thus improving the tasting experience. Mostly present in red wines, deposits are produced by sedimentation. They consist of tannic residues, pigments and sometimes tartaric acid crystals. Decanting also has the effect of aerating the wine and releasing its bouquet of aromas.

Which wines to decant?

We prefer to carafe a young wine and decant an old one.

Decanting should be reserved for red wines that have aged in the cellar and show deposits, for old wines and for grands crus. Because of their fragility and great age, old wines do not tolerate decanting. They must be served with the utmost care.

Please note: not all old wines can be decanted. Some will give off their aromas straight from the glass. Sparkling wines such as champagne do not decant.

How to decant wine with a carafe?

To prevent the wine from oxidizing, decanting is a delicate and precise process.

  • Stand the bottle upright and leave it in position for a few hours or even a full day.
  • Open the wine bottle before serving.
  • Gently transfer the wine to a decanter, letting it run down the sides.
  • Close the decanter with its stopper, depending on the wine and its sensitivity to oxygenation.
  • Place à la dégustation. Be sure to respect the serving temperature of your red.
For decanting, you may also use a candle to see through the bottle and check the deposit. The most important thing is to choose a suitable glass or crystal decanter. The decanter is generally long and topped with a glass stopper. Decanters designed for aeration have a wider base to facilitate air contact.

Are you familiar with double decanting of wine?

Double decanting is a popular technique in the Bordeaux region. First, the wine is poured into a decanter. The bottle is then cleaned with water. The wine is then decanted into its original bottle. This allows the bottle to be served at the last minute. For some wines, however, this method remains violent!

When should a wine be decanted?

In contrast to aeration, decanting is generally carried out as late as possible to reduce the risk of oxidation in older wines.

wine picto

Aveine's precision

Carafing" and "decanting" should not be confused. They are two different processes. The main aim of one is to oxygenate (or aerate) the wine, while the other is to separate the deposits.

More questions to explore about wine aeration and decantation...