Glass Wine Decanter

It has become common knowledge that you should open a bottle of red wine at least an hour before serving in order to let it breathe.  However letting the wine breathe in it's own bottle isn't doing any good at all.  The wine needs contact with oxygen to improve the flavour and aroma.  Very little surface of the wine is exposed to the air while in the bottle.

 

That's why true wine connoisseurs will always use a wine decanter, especially for younger red wines.  A decanter is a container for wine or other spirits and is often quite decorative.  The key to a good decanter is the amount of wine surface that gets exposed to the air.  Therefore, a red wine decanter needs to have a wide base.  White wine does not need to breathe as much as red so decanters for white wine do not have to be as wide.

 

In decanting wine, you should maximise the aeration effect by pouring it slowly against the side of the decanter.  This and the traditional swirling in the wineglass will help the oxygen really permeate the wine.  In some cases, an hour is not enough time to allow red wine to breathe, especially young wines that tend to be harsh and these can benefit greatly from being decanted several hours before serving.

 

A secondary benefit of decanting wines is that it separates any sediments from the wine before they end up in your wineglass.  Sediment develops naturally over time as wines age.  Although aged wines do not need to breathe very long, decanting will help ensure that the wines clarity and brilliance remain unmarred by any deposits.  You will need to pour slowly and don't decant the last ounce.  You can strain that last bit later and use in cooking for wonderful flavour.

 

When choosing a wine decanter as a gift, you will find yourself confronted with a lot of choices.  They are available in designs to fit every decor style as well as in a wide range of prices.  Therefore you will need to consider your budget as well as the tastes of the person you are giving the decanter to.

 

For a very tasteful and elegant gift, a crystal decanter is ideal for those that truly love their wines, but is equally suitable in the home of those that do not.  It makes a fine addition to the table filled with quality wine, but an excellent gift to display.  Whether the decanter is lead crystal, panelled (allows engraving in the panel) or plain, there is a wide choice.  Decanters have adorned the table for centuries.

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