Why should a wine be decanted?

Decanting a bottle of wine involves gently transferring the wine from a bottle to a wider vessel called a decanter. Here are some of the main advantages of decanting wine:

  1. Aeration: by pouring the wine into a decanter, you allow the wine to aerate, meaning it gets exposed to oxygen from the air. Aeration helps to release the wine's aromas and flavors, especially in young red wines that may be tight or closed upon opening the bottle. This can enhance the complexity of the wine and soften its tannins.

  2. Sediment separation: Some wines, particularly older red wines, may develop natural deposits or sediments over time. Decanting helps to separate these sediments from the clear liquid, providing a more enjoyable tasting experience by avoiding drinking these undesirable particles.

  3. Uniform temperature: By decanting the wine into a decanter, you can also regulate its temperature. If the bottle has been stored at a cooler temperature than the one you wish to serve the wine at, the decanter can help slightly warm it up to reach the optimal serving temperature.

  4. Aesthetic presentation: Decanting the wine can also add a touch of elegance to the wine tasting experience, especially during special occasions or formal meals. A well-chosen decanter can showcase the wine's color and add a visual dimension to the tasting experience.

In summary, decanting wine can enhance its aromatic and flavor profile, separate undesirable sediments, regulate its temperature, and add an aesthetic touch to the tasting experience. 


Here is a wonderful piece from Joe Fattorini on decanting. It’s particularly applicable to right bank Bordeaux, and Canon Chaigneau. Merlot, and good, complex merlot, in particular, benefits massively from aeration, it’s secondary aromas, red fruits, and truffle becoming more and more apparent.

I would add that many of our wines however, have excellent longevity, and in the interests of moderation, if you are not intending to drink a bottle in one sitting, don’t decant. 
Our recent vintages, 18/19/20 can be extremely successfully recorked, put into the fridge & enjoyed over the few days or even week, post opening. The benefits described below, are also achieved by the wine being oxygenated in the bottle, and it’s fascinating to taste the wine 24/ 48 hours post opening to see how it has evolved. Remember that if you are not decanting, the larger the glass, the better, pour half an hour or so pre tasting and swirl swirl swirl. 
If however you are intending on drinking the bottle in one siting, decant away, and you'll enhance aromas and flavours considerably! 
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