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Ask a Somm: Can You Decant a Wine for Too Lengthy?


For a lot of drinkers, decanting wine could look like a cumbersome process ending with little reward. Nevertheless, there are a number of advantages to the method, and when achieved accurately, the additional step can enhance how the wine will style.

There are lots of myths about how and when you need to decant wine, a few of which we’ve debunked earlier than. However what about time? In case you’re going to decant a bottle, what’s the applicable period of time to take action previous to ingesting, and might a wine be decanted for too lengthy? To achieve a greater understanding, VinePair spoke with Nial Rhys Harris García, sommelier and beverage director on the Conrad Lodge DC.

The foremost cause for decanting wine is to extend its contact with oxygen, permitting the wine to breathe. This helps amplify aromatics and in addition impacts the wine’s texture.

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Although the kind of wine doesn’t decide whether or not it may be decanted, it performs an enormous position in how lengthy earlier than ingesting the method ought to ideally happen.

“White wines, basically, ought to be decanted for shorter durations of time particularly due to the lack of excellent ingesting temperature,” García says.

Nevertheless, it’s a distinct story with regards to decanting youthful crimson wines. “These wines will profit from longer durations of oxygen contact as that can allow the wine to succeed in a extra harmonious state,” García says.

The everyday vary for decanting is commonly recommended to be 15 to twenty minutes earlier than ingesting, and although that period may be prolonged there’s a level the place the method is not useful. In actual fact, leaving a wine in a decanter for too lengthy can result in an inferior ingesting expertise.

The age of the wine — significantly within the case of reds — is an effective indicator of how lengthy it may be decanted. “Youthful wines may be decanted for a very long time however older wines have a smaller window,” García notes.

Transferring from age to texture, extremely tannic wines have an extended window and may be poured from bottle to decanter greater than an hour earlier than ingesting. For Bordeaux blends, Barolo, and Tannat, decanting is without doubt one of the finest strategies to melt the feel with a view to make the wine extra pleasurable.

Lastly, figuring out the best period of time turns into tough because the wines age. “With older wines, the classic, physique, and state of the precise bottle have an effect on the quantity of minimal and most time for decanting,” García says.

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