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January 19, 2021 4 min read

Do you love wine? Do you prefer a glass of this palatable drink on a regular basis? If the answer to the above questions were positive then it is a great idea for you to invest in a decanter. Decanting might seem like an unnecessary aspect of having a drink every once in a while but that is not the case. In simple words, decanting is allowing the wine to ‘breathe-in’ or absorb oxygen before the same can be served. Why do this? Well, decanting unlocks the true taste, aroma and texture of the drink – that’s why. On that note, in case you are on the hunt for a decanter then be sure to keep the following aspects in mind –

Steps to choose the right decanter

Some variations of wine will take longer to decant. For instance, in the case of full-bodied red wines that come packed with high tannin content such as –
  • Cabernet Sauvignon
  • Petite Sirah
  • Tannat
  • Monastrell
  • Tempranillo – should be decanted in a wide base decanter. A wide base will allow the wine to spread across a larger area thus allowing more of the liquid to soak in more oxygen.
In the case of medium-bodied red wines such as –
  • Merlot
  • Sangiovese
  • Barbera
  • Dolcetto - a medium-sized decanter is ideal
In the case of light-bodied red wines such as –
  • Pinot Noir
  • Beaujolais - a small to medium-sized decanter should be used. For the best results, one should always chill the decanter before pouring the wine into it.

How do you use a decanter?

Using a decanter is simple. All you would need to do is pour the wine from its bottle into the decanter in an angular fashion so that it covers a wide surface before reaching the end or base of the decanter. In this way, you are allowing the drink to have more time to absorb more oxygen. This ensures that the true flavor and aroma of the wine is unlocked before the same can be served.

So how long you should decant wine?

Well, you should decant the wine for not more than fifteen minutes to three hours. On average, the decanting time for most new wines lies in the range of forty minutes to three hours. In the case of full-bodied wines, you would need to decant the same for about two hours. In the case of cheap wines, you would need to decant the same for about twenty minutes. In the case of old red wines, you would need to decant the same for about two to three hours.

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You need to clean a decanter as well

Time and again, it is best to clean a decanter thoroughly as a simple flush now and then with plain water will not remove the sediment deposits from the same. On that note, refrain from putting vinegar in a decanter especially if the same is made using crystal. The best step forward is to use a non-metallic scrub, dipped in a fragrance-free dishwashing liquid and pushing the same down the decanter using a wooden spatula or spoon. Other ways to clean a decanter is to use decanter-cleaning products manufactured by renowned brands. After cleaning the decanter, you would need to dry the same by placing the same upside down over a dry towel. This is the only way to ensure that the decanter will not have water stains all over it afterwards.

Crystal or standard glass decanter – which type is the best?

Time and again, people are faced with the dilemma where they have to choose between decanters that are made using plain glass and crystal. Plain glass decanters are not at all inferior when compared to their counterpart - crystal decanters. The difference between the two lies in the fact that crystal decanters are more durable compared to plain glass decanters. Furthermore, crystal decanters come with enhanced artistic or aesthetic appeal. Glass decanters come with thick walls and often boast simple designs and shapes whereas crystal decanters come with thinner walls that allow the beholder to enjoy the beauty of the wine in all of its glory more easily. At the end, when it comes to choosing between the two types of decanters, it all boils down to the fact - what you want. In case you want durable, unique shaped decanters that will add finesse to your home all the while enhancing the beauty of the wine within it then you should go for crystal decanters. On the flip side, in case you want decanters that are cheaper, and simple but come with functional shapes then go for glass decanters.


In the end, decanting wine doesn’t always have to be a lengthy process. One can always pour the wine to a wine glass in an angular fashion in a bid to keep the sediment into the bottle and the clear liquid into the glass. Using a decanter is all about treading the extra mile in order to have a fulfilling drinking experience.

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