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In Good Taste

Decanting and Aerating Wine

Decanting and Aerating Wine

Breathe Flavor Into Your Wine

One of the best parts of drinking wine is experiencing the complex layers of flavors in each sip. To appreciate your wine and take in its full potential, you may consider decanting your next bottle of wine. Don’t worry. Although decanting sounds complicated, it’s a very simple process! Learn more about decanting wine, how to do it properly, and which wines benefit most from being properly decanted. 

What is Decanting Wine?

Decanting wine is the act of pouring wine slowly from its original bottle into a large glass decanter. Aside from letting you serve wine from a stylish vessel, the two primary reasons for decanting wine: removing sediment and allowing the wine to aerate. 

Sediment buildup is common in older red wines, and it is a natural process. While sediment is harmless and expected in some bottles of wine, it has an unpleasant, bitter taste that can take away from the flavors that you would rather experience in a glass of wine. 

Decanting and Aerating Wine

Aerating wine, also known as allowing a wine to breathe, is the magic that brings out all of the delicious notes and aromas from a bottle. It also lets volatile sulfites and ethanol escape the wine, leaving you with pleasant flavors and aromas and nothing to interfere with them. Although you may hear the terms “decanting” and “aerating” used interchangeably, aeration is a separate process that occurs after decanting.

Decanting is best done up to four hours before drinking wine; however, many wines only need 15 to 20 minutes to benefit from decanting. Even a short decanting period can make a good wine drink like a great wine. 

How to Decant Wine

While it sounds quite fancy, decanting wine is simple and straightforward. Plus, it’s an easy way to impress any guests you might have over! Here are a few steps to decant your wine:

  1. Make sure your bottle of wine is standing upright. If you’ve been storing the wine horizontally, let it stand for 24-48 hours to allow the sediment to settle to the bottom. 

  2. Uncork your bottle of wine. 

  3. Slowly pour the wine into the decanter, not tipping the bottle at more than a 45-degree angle. Be careful to keep sediment away from the neck of the bottle. Leave a small amount of wine (approximately half an ounce) in the bottle to ensure you pour as little sediment as possible. 

  4. Allow the wine to sit in the decanter for at least 20 minutes.

  5. Pour the wine from the decanter into a glass and enjoy!

How to Decant Wine

Which Wines Should You Decant?

Wines that benefit most from decanting include young, tannic reds, aged reds with visible sediment, full-bodied whites, and vintage ports. If you’re looking to get the fullest flavor experience from a bottle of Malbec, Shiraz, Cabernet Sauvignon, Bordeaux, or Burgundy, decanting is a must! 

Which Wines Should You Decant?

Decanter vs. Carafe

Before we wrap up this discussion, we want to make one thing abundantly clear: decanters and carafes are not the same. Decanters are designed specifically to maximize aeration in wine, while carafes are just pretty containers that offer a better presentation. If you have an aged Sauvignon Blanc that needs to look good on the table, a carafe will do just fine. But if you have a bold Cab that needs to breathe, go with the decanter. Your tastebuds will thank you! 

Decanting is an easy way to enhance the flavor of your wine and bring it to its full, aromatic potential. Plus, it will add a little style to your presentation and make you look wine-smart in front of your friends, so it’s a win-win!

Decanter vs Carafe

Faster Aeration

If you’re in the middle of a dinner party and decide to open another bottle for the group, waiting for a bottle to decant may not be ideal. Aerate the wine while you pour by using a wine aerator!

There are various versions of wine aerator tools on the market, from those that fit directly into the neck of the bottle (also referred to as “wine pourers”), to handheld aerators held over each glass to pour wine through, and even electric wine aerators that plunge deep into the bottle to pull wine up through the aerator and dispense into your waiting glass.

Most wine aerators are fairly simple to use, and can instantly transform your Monday evening glass of wine into something even more extraordinary.

Rosé of Sangiovese

Andiamo

Sangiovese can be found in both the Chianti and Montalcino regions of Tuscany (it all sounds so romantic, right?) and is known for producing classic medium-bodied wines. Rosé wine is actually made from red grapes, and this is where the Rosé of Sangiovese comes to play. Crisp, fruit-forward, and easy-to-drink, it's everything you want in your bottle of Rosé and more.

$19.99

Montepulciano

Andiamo

Big, bold, and full of flavor—exactly what you’d expect an Italian wine to be! This classic Italian grape produces some of Italy’s most straightforward red wines and is often used as a blending grape. Not here, though. We let Montepulciano do the heavy lifting as a heavy red wine and shine on its own. If you enjoy the smell of leather bound books, nibbling on dried fruit, and complementary notes of bitter, dark chocolate and sweet plums, you will love this Italian wine. No need to pair it with any certain dish—Montepulciano tastes great with all the Italian classics.

Cabernet Sauvignon

Unprecedented

If Pinot Noir is the light and juicy queen of reds, Cabernet Sauvignon is her bolder, heavier, meatier sister. Often referred to as just “cab,” it’s the wine of France’s Bordeaux and California’s Napa Valley. There’s nothing subtle about Cabernet Sauvignon—high in alcohol, full-bodied and robust, you can usually find this red served with a ribeye, New York Strip, or filet mignon (re: carnivores love cab). Classic cabs usually offer tasting notes of chocolate, coffee, and darker fruits like prunes and plums. The Unprecedented Cabernet Sauvignon is as classic as they come, and we highly recommend letting the bottle sit and mellow until your next red meat and potatoes dinner!

Pinot Grigio

La Pluma

If you’re looking for more zest in your life, a bottle of Pinot Grigio can provide that. We included a classic Pinot Grigio in the La Pluma collection because we’re all about light and easy here, which is exactly what this grape from Italy is. It has that dry sense of humor that seems so effortless with a punchy acidity to keep you on your toes, all while offering notes of lemon, limes, green apples, and honeysuckle. Long story short; when it’s been a heavy day and your soul is seeking light things only, you’ll be happy to have this bottle on hand.

Pinot Noir

Unprecedented

We couldn’t create the In Good Taste Unprecedented collection without the Golden Retriever of wines: Pinot Noir. Pinot is likable, it’s easy, and its natural state of being is simply charming. It’s an incredibly easy red wine to love, which is why so many people do. The grape itself is from the Burgundy region of France, but has made its way to California, Oregon, Australia, Italy, Argentina, and Germany since. Our Pinot Noir has no surprise twists—it’s a classic light red with just the right amount of sweetness to keep you coming back for another glass (or two).

Coteaux Bourguignons

Passport

The Burgundy region of France is home to their best Pinot Noirs, but we took the grapes into our own hands to create something extra special with our Coteaux Bourguignons. It’s a blend of Pinot Noir and Gamay, which results in a French red that’s light in body but full in flavor. The ripest blueberries and freshest herbs can be easily detected in this French burgundy blend. May we suggest pairing it with some creamy brie and freshly baked bread? It’s a oui-ning combo.

$25.99

Verdicchio

Andiamo

A little sweet. A little tart. A little salty? You truly get it all with this white Italian wine. If you're into that biting acidity, Verdicchio will probably be high on your list of most-loved wines from our Andiamo collection. Citrus fruits like mandarin, lemon, and grapefruit are at the forefront, but what really sets this Italian wine apart is its distinct notes of almond. While our Verdicchio can start out tasting a bit tart, the more you sip, the smoother it becomes. In fact, we suggest approaching it as an aperitif (Italian for an alcoholic drink sipped before a meal to stimulate the appetite) to experience its full effect.

$23.99

Côtes du Rhône White

Passport

This was one of our first French wines to join the Passport collection and one sip will explain why. Some background on the Rhône Valley in France: While this region is known for its dark, juicy reds, a very small amount of special white wines are made in the Rhône Valley. Our Côtes du Rhône is packed with French-perfected, floral flavor and Old-World charm. Its natural tang paired with the weighty Marsanne grape and aromatic Roussanne grape results in a crisp, savory sip that’ll transport you to a sunbathing chair by the Rhône itself.

$23.99

Bordeaux Rouge

Passport

When you picture medieval folk sitting around a feast with goblets of wine, chances are they were drinking Bordeaux. This wine has been made in France since forever and is arguably the most classic French wine out there. Bordeaux is known for its full body, smoky notes, and rich, oaky taste. If you love cabs, chances are you will adore Bordeaux. For our Passport wines, we had to include this classic French red for you to sip and enjoy to your heart’s content. Best savored over a rich meal like lamb ragu, ratatouille, or BBQ.

$21.99

Ventoux Rosé

Passport

You probably know that the Tour de France is held on Ventoux Mountain in France, but did you know that the same area is known for its high-altitude rosé? This is the kind of quintessential French rosé that you don’t need to spin your wheels over—it’s simply delicious, crisp, and perfect for warm weather. Despite its delicate, pale pink color, each sip is lush with flavor, from tropical passionfruit and zesty citrus to refreshing melon. This has the potential to be your new summer go-to, so we’d suggest stocking up.

$21.99

Tempranillo

Wild Child

Say “¡Hola!” to Spain’s main grape: Tempranillo. This red grape put Rioja wine on the map and is un vino tinto classico. It’s best compared to a classic cab, but with a bit more unique magic that’s hard to put your finger on, which is why it’s a part of our Wild Child line. This medium- to full-bodied wine with its relatively higher tannins usually offers complex notes of cherry, fig, cedar, tobacco, and dill. This is the type of red wine you want to buy and pour for a Latin-infused meal; think carne asada, tacos al carbon, or just perfectly cooked steak fajita meat.

Grenache

La Pluma

We knew the only red in the La Pluma collection had to be exceptionally good and exceptionally light. That’s why including a Grenache was a no-brainer. If smooth, fruit-forward, light-bodied reds appeal to your tastebuds, this could be your new favorite. The grape itself is tricky; depending on the climate of where its grown, Grenache wines could be light, dense, or somewhere in the middle. La Pluma’s version has all the airiness and flavor notes we wanted in our Grenache, which is how we know you’ll love it. Get the most of this red by pairing it with roasted meats, spice-heavy vegetables, and Mexican-inspired dishes with lots of cumin.

$27.99

Moscato

Andiamo

This grape goes by different names in most European countries, but what remains the same is its fruity floral nature. Delicate in every way and extremely quaffable, this wine is as dainty as they come.

Barbera

Andiamo

We really try not to play favorites at In Good Taste, but there is just something about an Italian Barbera that hits different in the best way. Barberas are the perfect wine for pizza night; they're low in alcohol, and medium-bodied but taste super light, and their berry and plum flavors pair incredibly well with savory tomato sauce and cheese! Another fun thing about Barberas? They actually taste great when chilled, which is not something we're in the habit of suggesting for our red wines. Our Italian Barbera lies somewhere between the body of a cab and a pinot and is the ideal choice for a "ladies who lunch" kind of afternoon.

Vermentino

Wild Child

We couldn't not have a weird white in the mix, right?! The Vermentino grape is native along the coast of Italy on the island of Sardinia (yeah, like the fish). Because of its origin, this grape offers a salty, crisp flavor that's incredibly easy to drink and enjoy. We say it's "weird" only because it's not widely known by name, but chances are you've probably had it before if you've ever ordered white wine in an Italian restaurant. If you love peaches and lemons and get a kick out of anything that reminds you of the sea, our Vermentino is the perfect Italian white to experience on a sunny day outside.

$23.99

Viognier

Unprecedented

For the Chardonnay lovers who are looking to dig a bit deeper in the world of bold whites, a Viognier (pronounced vee-own-yay) could be your next big adventure. Viogniers tend to have more range; while they can be creamy with hints of vanilla like their Chardonnay counterpart, they also offer lighter, fruitier flavors like tangerine, mango, and honeysuckle. It’s still a more full-bodied white wine, but unlike Chardonnay, it’s softer on acidity and more perfumed. Spend an afternoon with a glass of Viognier amongst the flowers and it’ll all make sense.

$24.99

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