28 May 2018 | Raidis Estate, Raidis Estate Wine Club | Raidis Estate
To decant, or not to decant, that is the question
We often have people ask us why do we decant a wine? And, when should we decant, or not decant?
We thought the best way to answer this is by explaining what decanting does to a wine.
In winemaking, air contact with the wine is both a friend and a foe for a winemaker. Various stages of the process require air contact (for some very technical reasons) as without it they wouldn’t happen.
Once the grape juice is fermented into wine, we try to keep air away from the finished wine as much as possible. The reason is that air causes the release of the beautiful flavours and aromas that we all love in our wines, which is great at the right time. However, once they are released they are lost forever, so we try to retain them in the wine until you open it.
After the wine has been in the bottle for a while, those beautiful flavours and aromas can become hidden until air is once again exposed to the wine, which is why we decant; to release those hidden gems! In general, the longer the wine has been in the bottle, the more hidden that deliciousness becomes and the greater the need to add the air before it is consumed.
We suggest as a rule of thumb; less than a year or two in the bottle, no need to decant. Longer than that in the bottle then it should be decanted.
And this goes for whites as well as reds. Most people think only reds should be decanted. This is mainly because we tend to drink our whites as young wines, whereas reds we’re happy to age a bit more.
So, next time you’re thinking should I decant the wine, remember the above, and if you’re still in doubt, give the wine a sniff. If you can smell the beautiful aromatics then no need to decant, and if they’re hiding, give it a decant first and enjoy!