Decanting wine is the best way to allow the wine to breathe and oxygenate, while also giving it time for the little pieces of skin, seeds, and sediment to settle on the bottom. This can be done in a variety of ways, but it is important that you don’t over-decant your wine. This will result in missing the peak of flavor of your wine and drinking it after it has started to decline.

Some other things to know about decanting wine include the following:

Best way to decant a bottle of wine.

Decant your favorite bottle of wine by opening it and slowly pouring the contents of the bottle into a container, or decanter, that has a narrow neck and mouth attached to a larger vessel. This allows you some control over how much air your wine receives. Allow the wine to sit for a few moments while the tannin and any sediment or debris settle before pouring the wine into glasses.

Benefits of decanting your wine.

Decanting wine allows for a smooth taste and satisfaction when drinking it, without the off-putting debris that could interfere with the experience. Using a narrow-mouth bottle allows for some control over how much air your wine is exposed to and permits the wine to change and become more enjoyable and flavorful on your palate. Exposing the wine to oxygen allows it to reach its flavor peak, which will vary in the amount of time that this takes. Typically, older wines take longer to oxygenate.

Wines that are best decanted.

Wines that are ten years old or older should be decanted to get rid of the sediment that settles in the bottom of the bottle. Young wines, like those sold in a grocery store, don’t usually need to be decanted. Go ahead and decant your wine regardless of its age; this gives you the opportunity to transfer and serve your wine in a cool, nifty decanter and impress your friends!

It can be a bit off-putting to take a sip of a special bottle of wine only to get a mouthful of sediment and tannin. Look for cool, vintage-style decanters in local wine shops and antique stores, and talk with wine store personnel about the preferred methods of decanting wine. You may be surprised by the difference that decanting an older varietal or a rare vintage can make in the taste and texture when you enjoy a glass!