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Frequently Asked Questions

What is a decanter?

A decanter is a vessel made of glass or crystal that is used for liquids like wine which may contain sediment. When wine is poured into the decanter, the sediment gets filtered out, and your wine is ready to serve. Decanters typically hold the equivalent to one bottle of wine.

How do you pour wine into a decanter?

Before you begin decanting, have your wine bottle sit upright for 15 minutes to 24 hours, depending on the age of the bottle and the amount of sediment within. This is especially important for aged wines. The fresher the bottle, the less time it requires to sit.

  1. Open the bottle.
  2. Carefully tilt the bottle toward the decanter, aiming for the curves of its neck. Keep the bottom of the bottle low to keep potential sediment from reaching the neck .If the sediment starts reaching the top, stop pouring and tilt the bottle upright to let it settle down again.
  3. Slowly pour the wine into the decanter.

Does a wine decanter improve taste, or is it purely for show?

Decanting softens the taste of tannins through incorporating air into the wine and increasing the oxygen it’s exposed to. In aged wines, sediments will sink to the bottom of your wine bottle and can then be discarded once the decanting process is complete.

What is a wine decanter and aerator?

A wine decanter and aerator increases the amount of oxygen exposed to your wine. This process can be timely, however, it is especially beneficial for aged wines. Decanters enhance the taste and aromas of wine and help to separate sediments found within your wine bottle for an enjoyable experience.

When I decant wine, should I shake the decanter?

When pouring wine from the bottle, allow for it to follow the curves of the decanter by aiming the stream against the opposite side of the decanter neck from where the wine bottle sits. After it sits, it is ok to swirl the wine in the decanter. This will further incorporate air into the wine.

How can you decant a wine through a muslin cloth?

A muslin cloth is made of cotton and is a great tool for removing sediment from decanting. It does not alter the taste of your wine, catches the sediment from the wine bottle, and extracts every last drop. After you pour the majority of the wine into the decanter, you can place a muslin cloth in a funnel onto the mouth of the decanter.  Pour the rest of the wine through the cloth.

What is the best red wine decanter?

The decanter you use all depends on the type of red wine you have!

  • Full-bodied Red Wines (Cabernet Sauvignon, Monastrell, Tempranillo, etc): A wide based decanter is best. Due to the high tannin in full-bodied red wines, a wide base will increase the oxygen exposure and speed up the decanting process. 
  • Medium-bodied Red Wines (Merlot, Barbera, Dolcetto, etc): A medium-sized decanter will do just the trick. 
  • Light-bodied Red Wines (Pinot Noir, Beaujolais): A small to medium-sized decanter that’s been chilled is a great choice.
  • White and Rosé Wines: These wines do not need to be decanted, although you can use a small, chilled decanter if they smell like a burnt match or eggs. Decant for 15 minutes.

What decanter should I buy as a wine tasting beginner?

The decanter you use should depend on the type of wine you are wanting to enjoy. See “What is the best red wine decanter” in this FAQ section for more information.

 What is the purpose of a liquor decanter?

Liquor decanters are made of glass or crystal and also allow for oxygen to interact. The interaction is not as important for this type of beverage, however the decanter can be used for a slight taste enhancement and beautiful presentation. It is more commonly used for the storage and presentation of expensive liquors.

What happens when you store whiskey in a decanter?

Whiskey decanters were seen as a status symbol and like wine and liquor decanters, made of glass or crystal. Unlike wine however, whiskey does not change much when decanted as it does not contain many tannins. Decanting whiskey can help reduce the aroma of strong alcohol and is simply used for aesthetics. This is also why the decanters have a cap as whiskey can sit in the decanter.