Some Friends of K-Cellars have recently asked about the benefits/necessity of decanting the wines.
Firstly, the word Decanting in Chinese is translated as Arousing the Wines. This translation actually describes the process very well.
Let us look at some basic facts about this.
Main Reasons for Decanting
- To filter the sediments of a wine, which are resulted from the oak elements and aging
- To allow the wine sufficient contact with the air, so as to let the aroma and bouquet spread out quickly
- To rectify too high (for red wines) room temperature situation, or when a white wine is over-chilled
Which Wines to Decant
- Both red and white wines can be decanted
- Some very old wines, however, may not be suitable for decanting since its aroma disappears too quickly
How Long After Decanting Should We Drink
- Generally speaking, allow 30 minutes at least for the white wines
- For Pinot Noir, we can use 1 hour as a rule of thumb
- For more powerful grapes e.g. Cabernet Sauvignon, 1.5 to 2 hours are mostly applicable
- Some strong and full bodied wines may need around 3 hours, but we believe this is already the highest limit
Which Decanters To Use
- For younger wines, you can use one with a wider diameter in the “mouth” of the decanter
- For older wines, the “mouth” with a shorter diameter is preferred