Why use a decanter? We’re excited to answer this question for you. But first of all, welcome to the decanting life. After you’ve read further and tired it yourself, you’ll never want to turn back. We guarantee it. This is the only way to drink, people!
Yes. We can assure you that we don’t shift liquid from one container to another just for kicks. There’s a good reason. Here’s the basic rundown. “Decanting” is indeed about “transferring.” It’s a simple action but pouring your wine, in particular, from bottle to decanter truly makes a difference in your drinking experience.
Wine experts and aficionados alike swear by decanting. You’ve probably even joked with your friends about letting your wine “breathe,” right? Well, that’s actually a thing, a very good thing. We’re not kidding!
But there are more to it than just that. Read on to get the scoop on both wine and liquor decanting.
Let’s cover our bases here. A couple of things occur when you decant wine.
One, with older wines, slow decanting will separate the wine from the sediment. This will prevent you from getting that unpleasant, bitter taste that comes from pouring straight from the bottle into a glass.
But what about younger wines. Why use a decanter for them? This brings us to our second reason. When you pour a younger wine from the bottle into the decanter, you enhance it. The wine mingles with oxygen, allowing it to develop as it should. If you want your young wine to be as delicious and satisfyingly complex as its aged counterparts, you’ve got to let it evolve. Decant it at least 20 minutes before serving. But if you really want to taste the difference, give it a few hours.
You should note that for the fine, older wines, you’ll want to decant them immediately before you fill your guests’ glasses. These wines have had time to become fabulous on their own meaning that aeration isn’t a factor here. However, it can be tricky dealing with that sediment, if you’re short on time.
If you have a few days before your dinner or party, stand the bottle upright and let the sediment collect on the bottom. Then decant, still watching for sediment, of course. But what if you’re breaking into a bottle on the fly? In that case, you’ll need a candle to ensure optimal taste. Why? Learn the brilliant “candlestick trick” in this short video.
In the end, you’ll have about a glass worth of wine left in the bottle when you start noticing sediment. Don’t fret about “wasting” it. It won’t be very tasty and will probably be too bitter to drink anyway.
Tip: Sometimes, you’ll stumble upon a well-made young wine with sediment. If so, follow the old wine decanting process. But be sure to let it breathe for proper development.
We have to be honest on this. Really, when you decant liquor, you’re doing it for appearance’s sake. And that’s just fine. In fact, we encourage it. Historically, hosts preferred serving liquor in decanters because they wanted to avoid the crassness of whiskey, scotch, and other bottles. Why not continue the tradition?
Liquors don’t really need to breathe the way wines do and they don’t contain sediment either. So, why use a decanter for liquor then? Well, it’s all for beauty, nostalgia, glitz, and glam. And we just happen to think it’s awesome. It literally brings a taste of epic luxury to the table!
Tip: You might like to separate clear spirits from amber ones as Peter Callahan does. If you fancy the idea of labeling your liquors, then you’ll love Prestige’s selection of decanter tags.
But now, in summary, we’re back to our original question.
As you know, there are three main reasons for decanting your wine and liquor. In the case of wine, it removes bitter sediment and can greatly enhance the flavor. On the other hand, decanting liquor is just a 'schnazzy' thing to do for aesthetic purposes.
We’re curious...how has your drinking experience changed since you’ve been decanting?