Decanting: Not just for old wines anymore!
Decanting wine has long been reserved for the mature reds, a fancy process to separate the liquid from sediment and give it a breath of fresh air after years in the bottle. Typically, wines aged for 10 years or more are considered “matured.” But guess what? Younger red wines can also benefit from this delightful treatment, and it’s not just for show!
Why decant a young wine, you ask? Well, it turns out that a little aeration goes a long way in making them smoother and rounder, effectively speeding up their aging process. So, don’t be shy about giving those youthful bottles some airtime.
Decanting younger wines (we’re talking about those younger than 10 years) has some surprising advantages. The magic lies in the aeration, which opens up the aromas and flavours, revealing a whole new level of complexity. You see, wine contains carbon dioxide, which acts as its main preservative and gets integrated during the initial fermentation stage. But when you expose the wine to oxygen, that carbon dioxide slowly disappears, bringing about maturation and allowing the beautiful bouquet to develop faster. It’s like unlocking a treasure trove of sensory delights!
Now, you might think that only red wines deserve the decanting spotlight, but the rules aren’t solely based on colour. It’s more about the wine’s age and structure. In simple terms, any wine that benefits from aging can benefit from decanting. Yes, that includes reds, whites, and even champagne. When you pour decanted wine into your glass, it dances with more expression on your palate. And for red wines, it works wonders in integrating and smoothing out those tannins, making every sip a pleasure.
But hold on a second—decanting mature wines requires a bit of caution. Depending on the wine’s age and how it has been stored, too much oxygen can strip away its remaining character. So, when it comes to decanting a mature wine, you need to handle it with gentle care. Slowly pour the wine into the decanter, ensuring that no sediment sneaks out of the bottle. Let it flow smoothly down the decanter’s walls, giving it just the right amount of aeration.
Younger wines, on the other hand, call for the complete opposite approach. Remember, we want to bid farewell to as much carbon dioxide as possible. So, grab that bottle and flip it upside down, letting the wine splash vigorously into the decanter. Ideally, you’ll witness a frothy head forming—a delightful sight indeed!
When it comes to choosing a top-notch decanter, look no further than Riedel. They offer a stunning collection of crystal wine decanters that take things to a whole new level. These decanters feature a double aeration function, actively aerating the wine as you pour it—not just during the initial decanting process. This makes them a perfect companion for young wines. Their air pockets create a vacuum effect, infusing the wine with oxygen and bringing out its true potential.
Not only are Riedel decanters functional, but they’re also a sight to behold. Their designs are simply spectacular, adding an extra touch of elegance to your wine experience. So, go ahead and embrace the joys of decanting with Riedel—making every pour an enjoyable part of your wine journey! Cheers!
Pictures courtesy of Riedel