Decanting is more than just pouring wine into a fancy vessel. It’s a powerful serving tool that can elevate your entire wine drinking experience. Careful decanting leaves behind the wine’s natural sediment, releases aromas and flavors and helps bring your wine to its proper temperatures for serving. But for a fairly simple item, the options in terms of size, shape, and overall aesthetic are vast. You may have noticed that some wines take longer to decant than others. For example, a full-bodied red wine, such as our Patriarch, with high tannin, needs more time to decant. Thus, a decanter with a wide base will increase the amount of oxygen and decant the wine faster.
Full-bodied Red Wines (Cabernet Sauvignon, Petite Sirah, Zinfandel): Use a decanter with a wide base.
Medium-bodied Red Wines (Merlot, Sangiovese): Use a medium sized decanter.
Light-bodied Red Wines (Pinot Noir): Serve in a small to medium – sized decanter that’s been chilled.
White Wines (Chardonnay): Decanting is not necessary, although you can use a small chilled decanter if desired.
When it comes down to choosing – get a decanter you love. You can buy a wine decanter that’s purely functional, or you can seek out one that serves as a work of art as well. With that said, find one that’s easy to fill, pour, and clean. As obvious as this seems, you’d be surprised by how many stunning decanters are not easy to use! A few decanters we recommend for your home are:
• Riedel Amadeo Wine Decanter, 1560 ml – high art style decanter, often called the swan decanter because of its shape Menu Wine breather Carafe, 1000 ml – we love this decanter, because it has a nozzle that attaches directly to the bottle, meaning no spills! You can also decant the wine, then with the fitted nozzle return the wine directly into the bottle.
• Le Chateau Wine Decanter, 1800 ML – super wide bottom exposes the maximum surface area of the wine to air, so the wine opens up more rapidly.
The shape and thickness of your wine glass can help highlight the wine’s flavors and aromas.
Burgundy Glasses – Full-bodied white wines like oak-aged Chardonnay are better with a larger bowl which emphasizes its creamy texture because of the wider mouth. A large, round bowl also helps collect aromas which makes it a great choice for lighter, more delicate red wines such as Pinot Noir. We recommend Riedel Vinum Burgundy.
Bordeaux Glasses – This glass shape is best for bolder red wines such as Cabernet Sauvignon and Bordeaux Blends like Winston Hill. The wider opening makes the wine taste smoother and delivers more aroma compounds. We recommend Riedel Vinum Bordeaux.
Standard Red Wine Glasses – A Standard red wine glass has a smaller opening than the Bordeaux. It allows the spice from red wine to soften due to the flavors hitting your tongue more progressively. This is a great glass for medium to full bodied red wines with spicy notes and/or high alcohol such as Zinfandel, Petite Sirah, and Sangiovese. We recommend Riedel Ouverture Red Wine glasses.