In these days of screw top bottles and stainless steel tanks, many of us wonder if decanting is the province of wine-pomps only. Serving wine should be simple: just open and pour!

Decanting Montalcino

Here I’m using a French-designed Peugeot Grand Bouquet decanter. It’s a great shape for wines needing much air; and for prepping a Gianni Brunelli Brunello di Montalcino 2005.

While there is a difference of opinion among wine experts, most agree it can be beneficial to decant your wine.  Rumour has it that decanting can make a tough red reasonable and a great wine outstanding.  In fact top reds need to be treated with the respect they deserve and routinely decanted. Not a difficult process either! Decanting lets the wines breathe, improving their aroma and taste. Young wine that hasn’t been aerated can taste bitter and have a strong taste of alcohol. Allowing air to get across the surface area breaks up tannins and frees up the flavour of the wine.  Fresh young things respond well as it is their flavour vibrancy which imparts the obvious difference (poured from bottle or from decanter).

So which wines need it? When to do it? And how? Read more →