Monday, March 21, 2005

Decanting - Day 6
OK, let’s serious about finding some really well documented, peer reviewed, evidence on the virtues of decanting. What does a Google search of “decanting, wine” reveal? Here is a sampling.

From The
“Young wines also benefit from decanting, although the aim is not to take the wine off its sediment (there is rarely any such sediment in young wines), but rather to aerate the wine. The action of decanting itself, and the large surface area in contact with the air in the decanter, alters the wine, softening its youthful bite and encouraging the development of more complex aromas that normally develop with years in bottle. For this reason even inexpensive wines plucked from the shelves of the local supermarket can benefit from decanting, if a first taste reveals a tannic, grippy, youthful structure.”

Decanting is great for young red wines
Young red wines with strong tannins that almost chewy, woody, astringent taste greatly benefit from decanting. As the wine is poured into the decanter and left to sit for thirty minutes or so, oxygen soften tannins and pushes the fruit forward to intensify the bouquet and delight the palate.”

“So, to sum it up – you can decant whenever you want and whatever you want. People will say that only older red wines with sediment need to be decanted, but decanting a younger red will open it up too and you may decide to decant a white wine just because you like the way it looks on the table. There are really no rules here. For us – we decant red wines, pouring the younger ones with vigor into the decanter, and pouring the older ones with a gentle touch to separate the sediment from the rest of the wine. We let it breath for 10 minutes or so (if I can handle waiting that long on that particular day) and then fill up the glasses. We don’t ever put it back into the bottle though – we drink it!”

From Wine on The
“As a rule of thumb most red wines will benefit from breathing, but it only applies to white wines that have had 12 or more months aging. If you don't have a proper decanter just use a large water jug. The aim is to expose the maximum possible surface to the air, in order to help open up the fruit flavors and develop the wine's true character.

If a wine has spent up to 12 months in small oak barrels allow one hour; if it has spent 24 months allow 2 hours and for 36 months, allow 3 hours. If there is sediment use a port filter to decant. If you don't have a port filter then use a coffee filter instead.”

From Steamer Trunk
“White wines can be consumed almost instantly. There are exceptions—full bodied white Burgundies, and Bordeaux, as well as the best Alsatian whites do nicely with a little breathing spell. Ports are in a class by themselves and can benefit by several hours of decanting. Decanting is particularly good for young and tannic red wines. Cabernet Sauvignon, most Zinfandels, Bordeaux, Rhone Valley wines and many Italian wines fall into this category. Tannin is a substance found in wine skins and as red wines are fermented in their skins, a slight bitterness can cling to the palate upon tasting. Aeration softens the tannins and improves the overall taste considerably. The rule of thumb is usually an hour.”

No comments: