How do I decant a bottle of wine?26/08/2020
Decanting a bottle of wine may seem daunting at first but, with a little confidence and practice, it is a great addition to your service repertoire and an instant way to add a sense of occasion to any gathering!
First things first, make sure you have a good quality decanter and that it is clean! If you haven't decanted in a while it is best to rinse out your decanter with clean water (only use odourless, hypoallergenic soaps if you need to use a product as any scented products will affect the wine!).
If you're buying a decanter then make sure you choose a model that is easy to pour into, that's easy to pour from and also one that is easy to clean! Some models may look spectacular but their impracticality may add unnecessary stress to your day and even make you avoid decanting altogether...
Decanting like a pro
1. Stand your bottle of wine upright at least a few hours (ideally 24 hours plus but the longer the better) prior to decanting. This will allow the naturally formed sediment to settle at the bottom of the bottle which makes separating it from the wine easier.
2. Remove the capsule or cork from the wine (if your bottle has a foil covering the cork then this should be removed entirely) and gently clean the neck of the bottle to ensure no residue, cork fragments or trapped sediments enter your wine as you decant.
3. Make sure your decanter is clean and dry before using!
4. Put a light source between the bottle and your decanter. As you pour this light source must be directly under the neck of the bottle - this will make it much easier to identify when sediment becomes present in the wine as you pour. *If you are using a candle, make sure the flame is not in direct contact with the bottle as you may burn the labels and / or heat up your wine!
5. Pour slowly and steadily, looking down at the neck of the bottle as you do - pouring slowly is crucial as it will minimise disturbances to the wine in the bottle (preventing the sediment from remixing into the wine). It also makes spotting sediment far easier to spot as you should have a thin stream of wine running through the neck of the bottle at all times.
6. As you get to the bottom half of the wine, pour even more slowly - depending on how well your sediment has separated from the wine you may begin to see traces entering the neck soon...
7. As soon as you see sediment in the neck of the bottle, STOP pouring. This may appear as visible particles in the otherwise clear wine, or it may be that the wine in the neck of the bottle becomes cloudy.
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