There are two reasons why people should decant, depending on the age of the wine. You decant older wines to remove sediment, and because the wine has been trapped in a tight container for a long period of time. Exposure to air is beneficial because it allows the wine to breathe and give a full expression of fruit.

The lesser-known reason is to aerate young wines. Movement and flow speed up the ageing process, and the only way to do this is to get them out of the bottle. Get the wine into a decanter and get some air and some bubbles in it.

How long should you decant for?

Broadly speaking, the younger the wine, the more time it needs, and the older the wine, the less time it needs. Allow anywhere between one and two hours in a decanter and your wine will improve dramatically.

Depending on your budget, choose a decanter that fits in your home, and that you feel is easy to use, wash, and take care of. Most importantly, use it regularly so it doesn’t get dusty and dirty. Nothing worse than having to clean your decanter because it has dust in it.

You need to prepare your decanter before you use it.

The best way to rinse your decanter is by what is called “seasoning”. You rinse it out with some water then a little bit of wine – though perhaps don’t do this if you’re drinking a very expensive wine! This gets rid of any impurities in the decanter and gets it ready to use.