Est-ce utile de carafer son vin ?

Is it useful to decant your wine?

To improve the qualities of a wine, it is sometimes necessary to decant it. However, decanting is not obligatory, and it may even be discouraged for certain bottles of wine. So, how do you know which wine to decant , and what will it be used for? Zoom on the carafe.

Decanting and decanting: what are the differences?

Before defining whether decanting a wine is really useful, you must first know how to precisely define what this oenology technique consists of, and differentiate it from decanting. In fact, decanting a wine only aims to remove all possible solid deposits from a wine. The bottle of wine is then poured into a decanter whose shape allows the residue to settle at the bottom. Contact with air is kept to a minimum, because the aim is not to aerate the wine, but to carry out a sort of filtration.

Decanting a wine has a completely different interest, that of aerating the wine . Passing through a carafe then facilitates contact between the air and the wine, in order to provide better oxygenation and develop the aromas of the wine.

Decanting a wine: the advantages

Many wine lovers decant wine for the design side of the service. But this oenologist and sommelier technique has a specific objective, which is to aerate the wine .

Let us remember that wine is a living product of great sensitivity, and each gesture can contribute to the development of its qualities, or, on the contrary, alter it. This is why not all wines are made to be decanted.

The objective of decanting is then to bring suppleness to the wine . This is particularly useful for young wines, which have not yet benefited from the benefits of aging. So, decanting the wine is a technique that helps speed up the oxygenation process a little. The decanting time is therefore crucial for developing the aromatic palette of a wine.

What wines should be decanted?

Since the purpose of passing through a wine carafe is to soften wines that have not aged enough, we understand that this technique is particularly reserved for young wines . It is also not recommended to decant a wine for aging, at the risk of spoiling all the work of the many years of aging.

Furthermore, a wine lover will know that only red wines are affected by decanting. Indeed, these are the only wines that improve greatly with age. White wines and rosé wines therefore do not gain much from being decanted.

Finally, you should definitely not decan sparkling wines . It is easy to understand that a carafe of a few tens of minutes would be enough to make all the bubbles disappear.

How do you know if a wine should be decanted?

We now know that wines to be decanted are rather young. However, it is not necessary to decant all young wines. So how do you know if you need to decant your good bottle? The simplest thing is to taste the wine when it is opened. If you feel an unpleasant acidity and the aromas are poorly developed, or even absent, a good resting time in a carafe is recommended.

Conversely, if your red wine is soft and pleasant from the first sip, then there is no need to decant it.

How to decant a wine, and for how long?

To be able to decant your best wines, it is advisable to equip yourself with a wine carafe . This is distinguished from a water carafe by its long and narrow neck, as well as its more flared base.

Make sure the carafe is clean, then start by opening your bottle of wine. Smell and taste it to determine if decanting is really necessary. If this is the case, then carefully pour the wine into the carafe. All you have to do is let the wine rest after decanting, until tasting.

The decanting time depends on the type of wine. Strong wines can thus be decanted 2 to 4 hours before tasting, while light wines can be decanted a few tens of minutes to an hour before serving.

Good to know: if you want to decant an old wine , limit the resting time to 10 or 15 minutes , to avoid too long exposure to the air.

However, it is important to note that the contact of the wine with air must be controlled. Excessive exposure can lead to premature oxidation, thereby affecting wine quality. So, for younger wines, half an hour in the decanter may be enough, while older wines may benefit from long hours of decanting.

In conclusion, the use of decanters can be useful for certain wines, but it must be done with caution and according to the specific characteristics of the wine in question. It is important to find the right balance between oxygenation and preservation of aromas to guarantee an optimal tasting experience.

There is something very elegant about serving wine in a carafe. However, decanting is not suitable for all wines. You now know which wines to decant , why and how.


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