Old wines that have been cellared properly will contain sediment
due to the aging process. By properly decanting the wine,
the sediment will remain in the bottle.
Young full-bodied red wines can benefit from decanting.
When the wine comes in contact with oxygen, the aromas
present in the wine are released. The decanter in this case should
be a wide bottomed decanter.
Wide body decanters provide more surface area for oxygen
to allow aromas from the wine to be released.
The presentation of wine in a beautiful crystal decanter
adds to the ambience of a beautifully set table and prepared
How to Decant Aged Wine
For old wines with sediment one needs to be very diligent
about pouring the wine into a decanter. First, stand the
bottle up for several hours to allow the sediment to settle at
the bottom. Fine sediment will take longer to settle to the bottom
of the bottle.
Use a lit candle or lamp. Hold the bottle of wine so that
the area just below the neck of the wine bottle can be seen
through the light while pouring. Ever so slowly
begin pouring the aged wine into the decanter. Be patient.
Hold the bottle as much as possible perpendicular to the candle.
As the last one-third of the wine is poured, carefully watch
for sediment. Stop pouring when any sediment appears in the neck
of the bottle.
For young red wines, splash the wine into the decanter. The
more it splashes into the decanter, the more it comes in contact
with oxygen. Let the wine settle and rest for a short time.
An aerator that just might do
This little cool gadget is a wine aerator plus strainer to
remove sediment from older wines. It is called the Nuance Wine
Finer and is made by a Danish company. There are two things to
like about this device. First and foremost, it does the job of
aerating and improving the flavor of the wine. Just don’t
take my word for it, Cooks Illustrated tested aerators and it
was their favorite of five products they tested, including the
popular Vinturi aerator. Secondly, it looks fabulous on a wine
bottle. Some of the other aerators available that sit on top
of the wine bottle make it look like you are running a science
experiment. Amazon sells this device for around $30.