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decantare (I)
to decant (GB)
décanter (F)
decantação (PO)
decantación (ES)

In this one before Weingenuss Optionally to practice the ghosts are also divorced by professionals diametrically. In principle, there are three different directions: 1. You have to decant wine, because it "breathe", that is with oxygen must come into contact to develop the flavors optimally. 2. Decanting has no effect according to scientific findings and is therefore of no importance. 3. Decanting a wine is even harmful and harms its quality. So what is objectively correct? The only thing that is clear is that even acknowledged experts have divergent opinions. The famous French enologist Émile Peynaud (1912-2004), one of the foremost wine tasters and scientists in the field, is a clear decanter opponent, adding that if it's even necessary to decant, then you should do it as soon as possible, just before you enjoy the wine.

Decanting - pouring from bottle into carafe

Divergent opinion of professionals

Peynaud even says that the influence of oxygen is fundamentally negative, causing a diffuse aroma of the wine and evaporating the flavors. With the large number of wines bring a decantation not at all. After countless personal experiments with different wines Peynaud summarizes as follows: For old wines, the bouquet is broken down more or less quickly and the wines "die in the carafe". High-quality wines with a long barrel storage and varietal wines lose their bouquet, body and personality when they are decanted several hours before consumption. In contrast, decanting may be beneficial for odor or alien taste wines.

Also the oenologist Michael Broadbent (* 1927) thinks that air supply is only meaningful for young wines (red wines), less for older wines and no good for older people. Especially old wines of high quality with less character are endangered, because they can decompose and react by oxygen contact within a short time (hours to minutes) vinegar become. He does not see it as extreme as Peynaud, but does not have much effect on decanting. The wines are at best something soft (which may be a disadvantage). The well-known wine author Hugh Johnson means that decanting definitely changes a wine. Whether to the advantage or disadvantage depends in his opinion on the wine and personal taste.

In the US, scientific research has shown that decanting has no detectable effect on the wine, because an enrichment with oxygen takes place - if at all - only on the surface. It is often cited as "proof" that a wine that has been "oxygenated" for a prolonged period of time differs from that enjoyed immediately after opening. For example, by "fruity and milder taste". But even this brings no clarity, because it may be related to the fact that the palate z. B. after the first sip of a tannin-flavored wine is now in the astringency has gotten used to and the wine only seems to taste different. Also now enjoyed food or another wine temperature have influence and can cause other sensory impressions.

Aerating instead of decanting

A special decanting method of "slow ventilation" (slow oxygenation method), especially for old red wines, but also other propagated by the famous French wine collector François Audouze, The bottle is first left closed two days before the planned enjoyment. Then it is uncorked and left without decanting again, with the cork for protection against dust or insects, place only on the opening. Audouze recommends four to five hours for very old wines (30 to 40 years and older) and five to ten hours and longer for younger wines. He is also against removing the depots because he means that it changes the taste and even destroys the structure of the wine. He accepts that "the first poured glass of wine tastes different than the last one".

But also supporters of his method mean that removal of the depot should definitely be done well. The effect of the "Audouze Method" is that oxygen is slowly added to the wine (after perhaps it has been completed for decades) and it therefore develops much more harmoniously. The not so rare "decanter shock" can allegedly be avoided, which can lead to prominent wines or hard tannins in older wines. According to Audouze, his many years of positive experience are based on "more than a thousand open bottles with vintage years before 1945". Absolutely top rarities were there back to the beginning of the 19th century.

In summary, one can only give the advice to try it out for yourself. At best, one enjoys the same wine once decanted and once not decanted - optimally would even parallel - to form their own judgment. Of course you need two bottles for this, but this results in a "new problem". Because wines can develop very differently and the same wine in two different bottles taste different; the phenomenon is called bottles variance, So again this is not a clear "scientific proof". A compromise would be to decant half a bottle and leave the other half in the immediately resealable bottle. But that would not be 100% in the sense of the matter, because even a short oxygen contact could already cause changes.

Remove the depot

The most objective (and undisputed) reason for decanting is to extract the wine from the bottle bottom settled and especially with red wines occurring depot (polymerized tannins and dyes) and possibly Weinstein to separate. Apart from the negative appearance, they would inevitably get into the glass and possibly negatively affect the taste.


The second reason for the decantation, which is not uncontroversial as mentioned above, is the wine oxygen to be in touch and be Aroma to unfold. Most of the wine lovers consider the method very important and useful. This transfer to another vessel for the sole purpose of airing is also called Decant (French carafe). As a result, according to the proponents, a wine can change decisively positively. The ceremony requires a lot of tact, patience and time. The bottle is set up two to three days before consumption, so that the depot can collect at the bottom. You can put the bottle in a decanter basket or a wine cradle Place the bottle with the neck at an angle upwards. How long the wine should be decanted before consumption, depends on the grape variety and the age of the wine and also on personal experience. It is usually at least one to three hours.

The cork must be removed carefully without disturbing the depot. Then you start slowly and quietly on the inner wall of a carafe pour. A decanting funnel can be a good tool to allow the wine to flow directly to the wall. This is the first time the wine comes into direct contact with oxygen and begins to be Aroma to unfold. A Decanter Machine allows a smooth and smooth pouring. The bottle is clamped with the opening obliquely upwards in the machine and slowly moved by a hand crank the bottleneck down. This is for certain types of port wine or similar wines, because they develop an extremely fine depot, When pouring a light source must be located just behind the bottle shoulder to detect the emergence of the depot, which presents itself as a black line. When the first traces become visible, pouring is stopped.

Double decantation

One variant is Double Decanting. The wine is first emptied into a decanter or into an empty bottle. Then the bottle is cleaned to remove any depot residues and then the wine is filled back into the bottle by means of a funnel. If this is to be transported, it is closed again. This results in the followers of this method several advantages. Due to the double oxygen contact, the wine is even better "aerated". In this way, pre-decanted bottles can be taken anywhere and are immediately enjoyable. In addition, the bottles with the original labels can not be confused with other wines (bottles), which can be prevented with several decanters with different wines only by marking the decanters.

Unextended, undecantated bottles can be stored again without additional effort ( Wine Cabinet or fridge). Another advantage could be that bottles are often elaborately designed labels at the table look more attractive than decanters. Furthermore, the information on the label can be easily read by anyone. There are also some brand name systems or technical devices (so-called Minidekanter ), which are placed on the bottle. When pouring daduech the wine comes with a lot of air or oxygen in touch. That's among other things Decantus. Venturi and Versovino, There are a variety of other accessories such as a "silver ball" that can be hung in the neck of decanters and drain the wine gently. See also under aging. bottle aging. maturity. Weingenuss. wine glasses. wine cellar. wine temperature and Wine to food,

Picture above: From Didriks - Decanting on flickr, CC BY 2.0 , Link
Decanter Duck: © Silver & Decor

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