If the wine is left sitting for a longer period of time, some sediment can build up that’s going to have a negative impact on its taste. Decanting can make the wine taste better. Depending on the type of wine and how old it is, this process can last anywhere from 30 minutes to 3 hours. The thing is, you need to be careful about not overdoing it, since this can easily make it smell and arguably even taste worse.
To make sure your premium wine does not go to waste, here are a couple of decanting tips you should follow at all times:
Keep trying if the wine is ready
For the reasons stated above, the proper way to decant wine is to keep checking it every once in a while in order to keep things under control. The flavor should become noticeably more fruity, and you should also be able to smell the improvement. Typically, checking it every 30 minutes is more than enough. If it still shows no improvements after a couple of tries, try swirling it or perhaps even aerating it, which should speed up the process.
When you’ve gone overboard
If you leave the wine decanting for too long, it may start to smell like vinegar. Obviously, you don’t want this to happen, so to stay on the safe side, you should never decant it for longer than a couple of hours. You see, when the wine is sitting for a lot of time, the oxygen levels may drop significantly. Decanting introduces oxygen to the wine, but it also causes it to degrade a bit. During the process, acetic acid can reach high levels, and it’s the same type of acid the vinegar contains. Going overboard can give the wine an unpleasant taste and smell.
General decanting tips
If you search around for a bit, you’re going to find a decanting table for each type of wine. But generally speaking, the younger the wine, the more decanting it’s going to need. You can use an aerator to speed up the process, but certain wine experts advise against using it with aged wines. Since all types of wines are very sensitive to temperature, it’s not recommended to heat them. Finally, do keep in mind you need to drink the decanted wine in the same day, otherwise it might go bad. Once you decant it, the process cannot be undone.
White wines versus red wines
Typically, white wines don’t need to be decanted, and trying to do it might even have a negative effect. Only attempt to do this on white wine if it smells funky, otherwise it’s best to avoid it. Red wines, on the other hand, are a completely different story, and decanting is usually recommended. It’s a good idea to decant really old red wines just before serving.
Of course, there’s much more to decanting than what the scope of this article can cover, but we’ve made sure to list the most important things you need to know. Bear in mind that certain wine experts disagree with one another regarding certain details, so a little bit of experimenting and experience will net you all the knowledge you’re going to need.