"Everything you really need to know about decanting wine and making one of life’s pleasures even more enjoyable."
A glass of wine after a long day at the office can be the perfect antidote for stress. Wine with dinner can also deepen our appreciation of food and is a classic drink to share with friends. Wine tastes good and, despite the mystery around wine, is a very approachable drink.
Plus, anyone can make wine taste better with one simple move: decanting. You’ve probably heard the term before, but what is it, exactly? Let’s start with the basics.
Decanting is simply the process of transferring the contents of a wine bottle into another receptacle – in this case, a wine decanter. It does some very interesting things to your wine.
What are the benefits of decanting?
Decanting your wine can improve its taste and deepen your appreciation of the nuanced flavors, even if you are a wine amateur. Without going into the science, decanting does 2 things:
- It allows the wine to separate from its sediment, which can be bitter
- Decanting mixes the wine with oxygen, which ‘opens it up’ via oxidation
By pouring wine into a decanter, you also speed up the process that naturally occurs when you pour wine from the bottle directly into the glass. This extra step, and a little extra waiting (the anticipation is the best part, right…), can do wonders.
How to Decant Wine Properly
If you’re a first-time decanter, follow this step-by-step guide. Your friends will be impressed, and the wine really will taste better.
- Grab a wine (red, white, or rose – more on this below)
- Chill your wine to the appropriate temperature
- Pour your wine into your decanter
- Wait 5 minutes to 2 full hours (we recommend 20 minutes)
- Pour from decanter into glasses and enjoy
Now that we’ve demystified the process, let’s look at wine decanters.
Choose the Right Decanter for You
Picking a decanter follows the same principles as choosing stemware. You want something made of crystal that allows you to see the wine from every angle. Avoid any kind of decorated decanter that might obscure the wine.
Most importantly, you want something that is easy to clean. Use mineral water and a mix of crushed ice and coarse salt instead of soap. This ensures that your decanter will bring out a great flavor in a wine every time.
If you’re just getting into decanting wine, we recommend that the Miko Imperial Decanter set. It covers all your decanting needs and comes with matching glasses. Plus, it looks great no matter where you choose to display it.
Which Wines are Best to Decant?
The short answer is most wines. We’re talking inexpensive wines, expensive wines, reds, whites, and roses (though white wine and pinot noir really don’t need it). Each wine has its own flavor profile, but all can benefit from decanting to some extent. One word of caution: do not decant champagne – it reduces the bubbles, which is why you’re drinking it in the first place!
Not only is decanting a simple and fun process, but it really will improve the taste and enjoyment of your wine. After reading this article and picking up a Miko wine decanter, you’ll be on your way to becoming a decanting pro. Now, when’s your next dinner party?
Don’t forget to tell us about your first decanting experience in the comments!