Wine Decanting 101

Learn Wine Decanting with The Paso Robles Wine Club
Pop into any restaurant along California’s Central Coast and throughout Paso Robles Wine Country and you’ll likely see a waiter pouring a bottle of Paso Robles wine into a wine decanter. For anyone not familiar with wine decanting, the process can seem mystical and foreign, but decanting a wine has a clear purpose and anyone can—and should—learn about wine decanting. In fact, many of the wines our PasoRobles Wine Club members receive can benefit from decanting.

One of the most important reasons for decanting a wine it to keep the sediment out of the glass. This helps to ensure a clearer wine and makes for a more enjoyable drinking experience. Sediment is not an issue with younger wines, but older wines often contain more sediment. In decanting an older wine, the bottle should be set upright for 24 hours to allow the sediment to settle in the bottom of the bottle. Then the wine is carefully and slowly poured into a decanter.

Another reason that wine is decanted it to incorporate oxygen. If you’ve ever wondered what the phrase, “let it breathe,” meant, this is it. When wine is exposed to the more air, the wine is aerated; this allows for the wine to “open up” or “loosen up.” This can be very beneficial for a young or tight wine, but decanting a wine can also elevate a lower priced wine, making it taste more expensive. How? Simply by adding oxygen, which works magic on allowing the nuances of the fruit to open up.

Wine decanters come in a variety of styles and shapes and some even have etchings, or other details. Since observing the visual details of wine is as much a part of the tasting experience as anything else, in selecting a decanter, one should opt for clear glass, over the more elaborate designs. And, if you’d like to experiment with wine decanting, but you don’t have a decanter, a simple glass pitcher will do—just make sure that it’s clean and free from any odors or soap residue.

Give wine decanting a try and see how aerating wine can add to a more enjoyable wine tasting experience—and with a membership to The Paso Robles Wine Club, you’ll have a steady selection of wines to decant.