Celebrate your wine - buy exclusive decanters online
Well-aged red wines are often decanted to separate the wine from sediments that may have formed inside the bottle. For many, however, celebrating the opening of a great bottle of wine by decanting it is simply a crucial part of wine appreciation. Take part in this fascinating ceremony and find the centrepiece of your next wine tasting in our selection of handcrafted decanters.
What is the difference between decanting and aerating?
Strictly speaking, decanting wine simply means to separate the liquid from any solids that might be inside it. In a broader sense, decanting a bottle of wine also includes aerating it. Aeration means exposing the liquid to air for an extended period of time in an effort to improve its smell, taste and mouthfeel. A decanter is generally designed to do both tasks.
How do I decant wine?
Some red wine bottles might contain sediments, in particular a veil-like sediment composed of tannins and colorants that may form after a few years of cellaring. This is especially common in red wines that are highly tannic and that have been aged in oak barrels. The veil-like sediment is seen as an indicator of quality and that the wine is ready to drink - but its mouth feel is not favourable by any means.
The decantation begins by leaving the wine bottle upright for a few days. Then, the wine is slowly and carefully poured into a decanter; any sediments should remain at the bottom of the bottle during the process. A light underneath the bottle can help to see when to stop pouring. And with that, the decantation is complete. The next step is aerating the freshly decanted wine.
How do I aerate wine?
In general, the more bulbous the decanter and the more open the neck, the more the wine will oxidize inside it. This is advantageous for young, strong red wines with a dark colour as they can absorb a particularly large amount of oxygen. They are said to taste more harmonious and complex after aeration; they may even lose some astringency, which can make them more pleasing to drink.
Rosé wines and white wines need to be aerated much more carefully. A decanter with a relatively narrow neck will allow the wine enough room to develop without letting all of the volatile aromas escape. Very old red wine must also be aired with care in a narrow decanter to keep it from spoiling in the last minute.
If you don't want to use a different decanter for each type of wine, choose a medium-bellied decanter and wait for varying periods of time – two to three hours is a good starting point. Just test different aeration times with one or two bottles of your favourite wine, because the best results can only be achieved with experience.
Form meets function - handcrafted decanters from Europe
Crystal glass is ideal for decanters because it is absolutely colourless. This means that the colour of the wine can shine through in all its brilliance – a veritable feast for the eyes. By the way, most of our decanters are part of luxurious glassware collections – so don't miss out on the matching wine glasses to the decanter of your choice!