Decanting Wine Demystified

Use a wine decanter to enrich your overall wine drinking experience. Certified sommelier Joey Campanale explains the benefits of decanting wine and shares special tips for each step.

Video Transcript

Hi, I'm Joe Campanale. You're watching Today, we're going to be talking about decanting. So, decanting is the process of taking wine from a bottle and putting it into another vessel called a decanter. For decanting, you need just three tools: Bottle of wine, a candle, and your decanter. But, before we get into that, I want to talk a little bit about why we would decant in the first place. So, there are a few reasons. The first reason, is if you have a wine that is really, really young, and you need to let it open and aerate. So, you'd also decant an older wine, and older wines tend to throw sediment. Sediment is particles that precipitate out of the wine as the wines age. These particles are harmless, but you don't want them in your glass, they don't taste too good. And, the third reason you might decant a wine is because it looks really nice, it's a beautiful presentation. And, I really like the whole process of it, it adds to the experience. There is one fourth reason, and that's to change the temperature of the wine. If you have a wine and it's too cold, removing it from the bottle, and putting it in the decanter is going to bring that up to temperature a little bit too quickly. At the restaurants, we serve the wines from the cellar. All of the red wines are served at 55 degrees. For some people, that's a little bit too cold, so we always offer to decant it, and that makes it a little bit warmer. Okay, so, now I'm going to show you how to decant. You take your bottle and your candle, and what you want to do is, especially when you're moving your bottle around, you don't want to shake it up too much, especially if you're going to be decanting for sediment. You're shaking up that bottle. Then, it's going to dissolve all the sediment in the wine. So, you put your candle between the decanter and the bottle, and you're going to start pouring. And, the purpose of the candle is so that you can see any sediment in the bottle. So, at first, you probably don't need to bring it too close, but as you get towards the end, you might want to bring that candle up a little bit closer, just so you can be sure. Now, as you're pouring, make sure you're not stopping and starting to pour. That's just going to shake everything up inside. Now, how do you know if a wine needs to be decanted? One good way is to ask your retailer, the person that you bought the wine from. They'll let you know if the wine is too young, if it's going to have any sediment, and anything you might need to know about the wine. So, that's decanting. Now, you have your wine in your decanter. I love these thumb decanters, because they're super easy to pour. And, it's all ready to be enjoyed. I'm Joe Campanale, thanks for watching. Check me out again at

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