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What is Aeration and Decanting & Why is it Important?

What is Aeration and Decanting & Why is it Important?

What is Aeration and Decanting & Why is it Important?

Many people don’t know this, but you can significantly improve the smell and taste of your wine with a simple tool: A decanter.  A decanter is a highly underestimated tool that will change your wine experience forever. But what exactly does it do?

Why Use a Decanter?

Essentially, a decanter is a specially made wine jug, which you pour your bottle of wine into. The point of pouring your wine into this vessel serves three primary purposes:

  1.       Allowing the Wine to Breathe

Letting the wine breathe, means that you allow oxygen to mix into the wine, which opens up the aromas and flavours. The oxygen lets the aromas escape that has been trapped in that bottle for all that time.

  1.       Removing the Sediment

With old or unfiltered wines, often there are pieces of sediment that can float around in the wine. Although this is harmless, it isn’t pleasant to drink. So pouring the wine into the decanter allows the sediment pieces to remain behind in the bottle.

  1.       Improving Cheap Wine

Decanting is very common with premium wines, to truly get all the aromas and flavours from the wine. Interestingly, you can also make cheaper wines taste better by decanting it – as it often softens young, harsh tannins and allows high amounts of unpleasant sulphite-aromas to evaporate.

How to Use a Decanter

Decanters come in several different styles and sizes, but all serve the same purpose. To decant a wine, simply open the bottle and pour into the vessel. Many vessels are designed in a way to allow the oxygen to seep into the wine while you pour it, while others are designed more practically.

Once the wine is poured into the decanter, leaving the decanter for a while to allow for more oxygen exposure. Depending on the type and age of the wine, you should leave the wine out from anything between fifteen minutes to a couple of hours.

It is important to remember that older wines, which are at least a few decades old, should not be left for too long. Having it exposed to oxygen for hours will see the downfall of the wine.

What is an Aerator?

A great, modern alternative to a decanter, is an aerator. Essentially, this little tool serves the same purpose: it allows oxygen into the wine.

Most modern aerators fit onto the top of a bottle and suck air directly into the wine as it is poured. This is often considered a simpler and faster way of allowing oxygen in.

When it comes down using a decanter vs an aerator, the difference simply lies with the preference. The only downside with an aerator is that it doesn’t hold back the sediment – so it is best to use with wines that don’t have any sediment.

So, for anyone looking to improve their wine experience, investing in a decanter and aerator is the best thing you can do for yourself. These are investments that will last a long time and bring out the very best that your wine has to offer. 



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