Decanting your wine is a necessary step to take if the wine is more than ten years old. It brings back the rich flavor, aroma, and taste of the wine, thereby making it smoother and tastier. However, many people require simple, effective ways of decanting their wines, so, they would like to know how to decant wine without a decanter.
If you are one of those asking this question, then we have all the answers you need. So, come along with us as we delve deep and discover how to decant wine without having to use a decanter.
Why Do You Need to Decant Wines?
There are two major reasons why wines are decanted. One of the reasons is to aerate the wine (especially if it’s a young wine) and the second is to remove sediment from old wines:
To Remove Sediments from Wine
A red wine that has stayed for a long time in its bottle will drop sediments. This sediment is a mixture of different particles in the wine which comes together to settle at the bottom of the bottle. These sediments are an eyesore, they float around a wine glass, giving it an unpleasant look while also giving it an unpleasant taste. Also, they can create bits, thereby causing staining to be worse than it was.
To Aerate Wine
Aeration is the process of bringing wine and air in contact with each other and then oxidizing the wine. This is done to fully develop the wine’s flavors thereby enabling it taste better. However, wines should not be left to aerate for too long as doing so will convert the wine into vinegar and once this is done, it’s impossible to reverse.
Young wines that are less than ten years can be aerated if it tastes too tart or strong. Aerating a young wine for about thirty minutes will make it taste smoother and better.
How to Identify a Wine that Needs to be Decanted?
A rule of thumb with wine decanting is that if it tastes fantastic, then you don’t need to decant it, just go ahead and enjoy your drink. Decanting a good wine for too long will only deteriorate the wine. A good wine should taste smooth and complex, with the aroma, flavors, and taste distinct and identifiable.
However, if you cannot taste any of the fruits in the wine, it tastes tannic or you are struggling to identify the aroma, then the wine is said to be ‘closed’ and so will require decanting.
Materials Needed for Decanting
To decant your wine, you will need the following:
- A wine carafe of high quality
- A bottle of wine
How to Decant Wine without a Decanter?
To decant your wine, following the outlined process below:
1. Eliminating Sediment
- Uncork the wine
- Pour a little portion of the wine into a wine glass and then taste the wine. This is done to ascertain how long the decanting should be (the decanting depends on the taste, smoothness, and complexity of the wine in its present state)
- The bottle should be set at an angle of 46o. While pouring the wine, guide the flow to pour against the opposite side of the carafe neck such that the wine gently follows the shape of the carafe. Avoid froths on the surface.
- With the aid of torchlight, locate the sediment and then carefully avoid pouring it into the carafe. While decanting, do not heat the wine as wines are sensitive to high temperatures.
- While pouring the wine, look out for the sediment to ensure it doesn’t exceed the shoulder of the bottle. You can allow the bottle to sit for some time so the sediment settles before proceeding (preferably allow it to sit for a few hours). However, it is most unlikely that the sediment won’t find its way into the wine. To avoid this, a coffee filter can be used, however, this can upset the flavor of the wine.
- At the end of the decanting process, you should have a carafe filled with clear wine, while the bottle should contain the sediments. This sediment can serve as a great cooking ingredient, so do not be in a haste to discard it.
2. Aerating Wine
Once the wine has been decanted, the next step is to aerate the wine. To do this, take the following steps:
- Twirl the wine in the carafe, then let it settle for a while (up to 30 minutes). Check the taste of the wine within intervals, this will enable you to ascertain the development stage of the wine.
- When the wine tastes fine, serve and drink up.
Note: do not let the wine decant for too long as this produces an irreversible tart vinegar taste. Also, note that the length of decantation of wine differs from one wine to another, so, it is important to taste after every step.
Other Ways to Decant Wine Without a Decanter
If don’t have a decanter you need not worry as there are other ways to decant a wine without using a decanter. They include:
1. Double Decanting
To do this, take the following steps:
- Pour the wine into a carafe, ensuring the sediments do not go in
- Wash up the bottle with water to remove sediments and wine residues
- Repour the wine into the bottle, using the same decanting technique
- Recork the bottle
With double decanting, more air is added to the wine as it is exposed to air twice. This enables the wine to develop faster.
2. Blending Decanting
This is also known as hyper-decanting. It involves the following process:
- Uncork a wine bottle and pour the content into a blender, with the bottle tilted to reduce the sediments.
- When it’s time to serve the wine, blend the wine using the highest power. Do this for about 30 to 60 seconds.
- Allow the froth formed to settle before serving
The wine can be poured in a wine decanter and placed on the table, (this is mostly for beautification). Hyper-decanting has proven to increase the flavor and aroma of red wines.
3. Use of Aerator
An aerator can also be used to decant the wine. It is a compact glass tool fitted to the top of a wine glass or wine bottle and is used to filter air. To use an aerator on wine, take the following steps:
- Insert an aerator into the neck of the wine bottle. Ensure its securely fitted to prevent it from falling when its being poured.
- Pour the wine into a wine glass, allowing it to pass through the aerator. The aerator filters out the sediments, allowing only clear wine to pass through.
- Allow the wine settle for as long as possible
Wine aerators are more suitable for young wines than old wines and are faster than decanters
Read more: The Best Thermoelectric Wine Coolers
Decanting wines don’t have to be a long, complex process. It also doesn’t have to be done with a decanter. With the methods and techniques shared in this article, we are confident that you are now more knowledgeable and can decant your wine all by yourself. Ensure you take note of the highlights mentioned to get the best of your wine. So, go ahead and enjoy a rich, flavored wine, free of sediments and residues.