A fine wine is like a prime cut of meat. Sure, it’s beautiful on its own but with the right amount of love and care, it can be extraordinary!
There are some wines that can be consumed straight out of the bottle and they are always welcome at our tables but there are others that must be handled delicately. You may have heard the term “let it breathe” when a sommelier is opening a bottle for you, or as a recommendation from your local shop owner.
This refers to aerating the wine, or letting it hit oxygen before you drink it. An effective way of aerating wine is with a decanter, or a lovely vessel (usually made of glass) that is much wider than a wine bottle. It effectively lets the wine spread out so more surface area is touching the air than it would in its own bottle.
By decanting your wine, you let any flavors that may have been lying dormant to come out and play, which can improve the taste. This is especially true for the older vintages or wines that are meant to sit for a few years after bottling before being opened. Sediment can occur at the bottom of the bottle if it’s been sitting for a while in which case decanting helps to separate it from the liquid itself. Not to mention, a decanter can be helpful in those cases where your cork presented a stubborn case and decided to break while opening the bottle.
So, how does one choose a decanter? This is determined by the type of wine you’re drinking as different varietals will have specific needs in terms of how much oxygen it should be exposed to which determines the size of the vessel. For the most part, it just comes down to the shape you like best within a certain size range and how easy it is to use.
Here are 5 decanters we love:
What’s better than great wine and artisanal pizza?
The New York Times described Ridge Monte Bello as “America’s greatest Cabernet Sauvignon.”
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