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nogohawk

Wine decanting?

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For all those fellow vino-experts ...

 

I have a fairly nice collection of fine wines and usually when I open up a bottle, I let it breathe for a least one hour.

 

I have a decantor, but rarely use it.

 

Is is best to decant fine wines or only if there is a sediment problem?

 

If it is best to decant, how long for the wine to truly open up?

 

TIA - I'm hoping on popping open something with steaks this weekend.

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Decanting times really depend on the wine. I let an 89 Chapoutier Ermitage Le Pavillon decant for 4 hours and it was still tight. You also have to take into consideration the temperature of the room where you're decanting if it's going to be for any long period of time.

 

Typically, I think and hour or 2 is sufficient.

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Decanting times really depend on the wine. I let an 89 Chapoutier Ermitage Le Pavillon decant for 4 hours and it was still tight. You also have to take into consideration the temperature of the room where you're decanting if it's going to be for any long period of time.

 

Typically, I think and hour or 2 is sufficient.

 

Twiley's absolutely right and I've done quite a few tests on this. There are some wines, especially high quality younger wines that drink best after 36 hours in the decanter. It all depends on the wine but when we do tastings we'll usually start decanting (at least in the bottle) earlier in the day.

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In general, I think it is always a good idea to decant young wines that are big. Do so to maximize agitation by literally turning the bottle upside down and dumping it into the decanter. It is the equivalent to aging the wine a few years in an hour.

 

As for older wines, that's a little touchy. Of course if there is sediment, you want to decant the wine off of it, but you pretty much want to do it right before you drink it because they can really fall apart quickly.

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In general, I think it is always a good idea to decant young wines that are big. Do so to maximize agitation by literally turning the bottle upside down and dumping it into the decanter. It is the equivalent to aging the wine a few years in an hour.

 

As for older wines, that's a little touchy. Of course if there is sediment, you want to decant the wine off of it, but you pretty much want to do it right before you drink it because they can really fall apart quickly.

 

+1 It's great to taste a wine throughout the decanting process and tastet the changes that a wien makes while decanting, I have decanted some wines for over 24 hours; usually not necessary with most wines...

 

 

On a side note with screw cap wines: A lot of those wines are injected with liquid nitrogen to prevent oxidation, which temporarily retards the flavor and aroma... A neat trick that Sarah and Sparky Phillips taught me is to open the bottle and pour a little out; close the bottle, turn it upside down and shake it. Open the bottle back up and let the bubbly froth dissipate (these are nitrogen bubbles). Close the bottle and repeat, then drink! This is something that IO would advise with all nitrogen injected wines...

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