You Should Be
Decanting Your Wine

Wine decanter Wine decanter

You Should Be
Decanting Your Wine

You’ve heard of it, sure,
but are you actually doing it?

Even if you're just a casual wine drinker, you've likely seen or heard about wine being decanted in a tall glass carafe. But then you might be thinking that it's all just for show, like something they only do in the movies or at fancy parties for pure presentation. But if you've ever heard that a wine needs to “breathe,” then you know that wine reacts to air. Aeration has been shown to enhance a wine's flavor by softening the tannins and releasing gases that have developed in the absence of oxygen while being bottled. Decanting, which is the process of slowly pour a wine from its bottle into another vessel, not only introduces this air but removes bitter sediment. The result? A more robust and flavorful wine.

Marissa Ross, Bon Appétit's wine editor, says decanting is like stretching out your legs after a long flight—the extra space and fresh air takes the edge off the juice and allows it to mellow out a bit. “They've been literally bottled up for months—maybe years—making their flavors tight, edgy and not at all enjoyable.” And this works for all wine. Even the sub-$10 bottles you score at the grocery store. In fact, that's the easiest, no-cost way to improve the taste (and make them a whole lot more presentable at the table). And contrary to popular wine lore, Ross says “decanting isn't just for reds—whites and rosés can also benefit from being decanted, especially natural wines that are more susceptible to volatile acidity and reduction.” Ready to drink? Here are a few of our favorite decanters to get you started.

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Our Favorite Decanters

Menu Winebreather Carafe

This decanter lets you flip it back over and pour the aerated wine back into the bottle

Winebreather carafe,
$69.93 / $49.95 by Menu

This decanter lets you flip it back over and pour the aerated wine back into the bottle

Winebreather carafe,
$69.93 / $49.95 by Menu

Nude Balance Decanter with Wooden Base

Balance decanter with wooden base,
$125 by Nude

How to Decant

If it's a young wine (anything less than five years old) or a bottle you just received, simply open and pour into your decanter. If your bottle has been stored horizontally for some time, sit it upright for a full day prior to decanting (allowing any sediment to settle at the bottom of the bottle). Pour the wine into the decanter at a steady pace and stop decanting if you see any sediment approaching the neck of the bottle. Tilt the bottle back to upright, then start again. Then let it sit for 15 to 30 minutes before serving.

Aerating funnel and built-in strainer to remove sediment

Brass-trimmed aerating decanter,
$99.95 by Rabbit

Schott Zwiesel Classic Decanter

Classic decanter,
$74.99 by Schott Zwiesel

Dionari Carafe Decanter

Carafe decanter,
$32.99 by Dionari

Great for light reds, rosés and white wine

Borough carafe,
$40 by LSA

“Do you hyper-decant?”

Did you catch Connor Roy, the eldest sibling on Succession, pour “hyper-decanted” wine straight from the blender? Turns out this is a real (if a tad controversial) practice. And while it no doubt introduces plenty of oxygen, this is no way to treat a wine of any caliber.

NOTE: Items featured in this story are independently selected by the editorial team. Purchasing via our links may earn Valet. a portion of the sale, which helps fund our editorial mission.

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