To Decant or Not to Decant… That is the Question.

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Fully experiencing all the wonders that wine has to offer, two key components can either make or break your wine experience. The purpose of a decanter and a proper wine glass in your tasting experience should never be underestimated; and here’s why.

The Purpose of a Decanter

Decanting is essentially pouring wine into a separate vessel, which serves three main purposes:

Allowing the Wine to Breathe

One of the first reasons wine is decanted is to allow the wine to breathe. Essentially, this means that oxygen is mixed into the wine, which allows all the aromas to be released. This improves the experience that the consumer has with the wine. This is especially prominent with fine wine and bold red wines.

Removing the Sediment

The second reason wine is decanted, is to prevent any sediment from floating around in your glass. With older wines or unfiltered wines, it isn’t uncommon for sediment to still be present in the bottle. This sediment (which is essentially bits and pieces floating in the wine) can be removed by slowing pouring the wine into the decanter and leaving the pieces in the bottle.

Improving Cheaper Wines

While the purpose of decanting is to release the aromas of premium and robust wines, it can also be used to improve cheaper wines.

Many times, inexpensive wines will have unripe tannins or higher amounts of sulphite. By decanting the wine, you allow these tannins to soften slightly and the sulphur to disappear. This makes cheaper wines slightly more approachable.

Should you Decant white wines?

Generally, white wines don’t require decanting. Fresh, light and easy white wines like Sauvignon Blanc, Pinot Gris, Torrontés and Chenin Blanc don’t require decanting.

Full-bodied and oaked white wines, however, would do well after being decanted. These white wines include oaked Chardonnay, wooded Semillon and wooded white blends.

The only wines that will never benefit from decanting would be sparkling wine. Any Champagne, Prosecco, Cava, MCC or Sekt would lose all their vibrant bubbles if decanted.

How Do You Decant a Wine Correctly?

Modern Decanters come in a range of different shapes and sizes. Many of them act more like centre-pieces than practical decanters – but they still do an excellent job.

The method is simple: Open the bottle of wine, tilt the decanter and slowly pour the wine into the decanter. By allowing it to run down the sides of the decanter, it opens up the wine and forces oxygen through it. Leave the wine in the decanter for an hour or two for more oxygen exposure. Just before serving, place the wine in the fridge for about 15 minutes to allow for the perfect temperature.

An alternative to a decanter is an aerator. This is considered a faster way to allow the oxygen to enter the wine and has come in several modern styles. The use of an aerator, however, is as simple as a decanter – whereas an aerator usually means the wine rests in the glass for an hour or two, while the decanter is able to aerate the entire bottle all at once. This device, along with decanters, can be purchased at most quality wine retailers and selected stores that sell alcohol online in Kenya.

The Purpose of Good Wine Glasses

The size and shape of a wine glass are all about allowing all the aromas and flavours to be released. The size and shape of the glass have a significant impact on the exact aromas that you smell.

Larger wine glasses allow for a greater surface area, resulting in more aromas. These glasses also generally have bigger bowls with a narrow top. This is ideal for swirling the fine wine gently around the bowl to release the aromas, without it spilling over the top.

Smaller glasses, which are more common with white wines, are used to maintain the cooler temperatures, while still allowing some aromatic release.

The size and shape of the glass will significantly impact how you perceive and experience a wine. To confirm this, many tasting rooms around the world offer a unique tasting experience that compares different glass types and shapes. This comparative tasting allows visitors to try the same wine in a range of different glasses, to truly showcase how significant the shape is.

While there are several glass types of each budget, the main consensus remains the same: Red wines should be enjoyed in a glass that has a big bowl and narrow top; while white wine is better in a slightly smaller bowl.

Sparkling wine is a controversial topic, with many experts voicing different opinions on the type of glass that should be used.

While bigger glasses allow for the aromas to be released, many agree that a wine flute does not allow the sparkling wine to express all its aromas. So, the argument suggests that sparkling wine should be consumed in a glass that has a big bowl.

Others, however, argue that sparkling wine should remain in a flute, as it preserves the natural bubbles and prevents the wine from losing its effervescence.

So essentially, it depends on the occasion and whether the sparkling wine is being poured to be full analyzed, or simply sipped on slowly.

Where Can you Buy Quality glasses?

While many alcohol retailers have a selection of wine glasses, they are rarely the ones that offer the best experience. TWB Cellar Limited is an online wine retailer that offers a selection of exceptional glassware for all occasions. They also offer the opportunity to order alcohol in Kenya. Their selection includes fine wine, and spirits in Kenya that are rarely found anywhere else. Although they are based in Nairobi, they don’t just deliver wine in Nairobi but deliver nationwide.

This trusted online retailer has a selection of red, white, sparkling, rosé wines, as well as spirits and beers from a huge selection of countries. So, order your selection of beautiful wine glasses, decanters and your range of wine and spirits to be delivered by a quality wine retailer that you can trust for some of the best wines from across the globe!