Decanter or Aerator? What is Better for My Wine?
The reason we decant our wines:
When Decanting, it is not the pouring of the liquid from one container to the other. Rather, when decanting a bottle of wine, two things happen. First, slow and careful decanting allows wine (especially older wine) to separate from its sediment, which, if left mixed in with the wine, will impart a very noticeable bitter, astringent flavor. Second, when you pour wine into a decanter, the resulting agitation causes the wine to mix with oxygen, enabling it to develop and come to life at an accelerated pace (this is particularly important for younger wine).
How to decant
It’s easy to decant a younger wine, just pour it into the decanter and let it sit for about 20minutes before serving. You will notice a dramatic increase in subtlety and complexity. If you can afford more time, let it sit longer and taste it as the times goes by, you will notice how the taste and the aromas of the wine will keep evolving and improving. It is always recommended to decant most red wines. You may also decant a white wine if you want to.
Decanting older wines can get tricky. Older and more mature wines require more finesse. Remember, older wine had plenty of time to age on their own therefore over exposing them to oxygen, may actually ruin the wine rather than making it better. It is recommended to decant older wines, right before serving.
For those who are pressured with time, you can also use a wine aerator to speed up the decanting process. When using a wine aerator, you eliminate the 20minutes waiting time you have when using a decanter. Just pour and it is ready to serve. This is how a wine aerator works: The wine aerator’s design has 2 holes on each side which are called “air tubes” and it has a filter on the top of it (the mouth) in case there is any corkage residue in the wine. When pouring the wine, the gravity it creates, it bring in the air through the “air tubes” right into the wine while it pours. You can actually hear the sounds of the air being sucked into the wine. Wine aerators are not an expensive tool to own, they range anywhere between $24.99 – $100.00
Definitely a great tool to own!
Choosing a decanter
The principles of choosing stemware also apply to decanters. A clear, crystal decanter allows you to see the wine at its best; overly decorated or colored decanters obscure the wine. Moreover, just as with your stemware, be sure that your decanter is spotless and free from any musty cupboard aromas. Rinse it with mineral water to remove any residual chlorine odor. And never clean your decanter with detergent, because the shape of a decanter makes it very difficult to get the soapy residue out. Instead, use a mixture of crushed ice and coarse salt — they’ll remove any residual wine without leaving behind any aroma of their own.