How we decant an old bottle

Decanting a wine is a process that always impacts on the tasting. We don't recommend to decant a very old wine because we could loose some flavours created during the long time spent in bottle. 

Sometimes a wine needs to be decanted if we want to remove the sediment from the bottle.

The sediment is naturally produced if the wine was produced without many chemical treatments.

Anyway you can enjoy decanting when you want to shorten the time needed to let the wine express all his potential.

Here we describe the few steps needed to decant a wine.

We stored for long time this beautiful 2007 bottle from Sicily (Passito di Pantelleria) now 14 years old. This Passito have some sediment so is perfet to explain the decanting method.

1 - the first step is to keep the bottle vertical for 24-48 hours in order to let the sediment fall to the bottom.

2 - completed step 1, gently open the bottle without shaking it

3 - slowly pour the wine in a decanter using a light under the bottle. Traditionally the light used is a candle but you can use a led light or anything you have. The aim is to better see when the sediment starts coming.

Traditional candle decanting
4 - stop pouring when the sediment is seen throug the neck of the bottle. Usually you will still have some wine in the bottle 4-5cm (2in.)


 5 - let the bottle rest for a while (15-30min or more) then gently pour the wine in a glass (or a small vessel) using the light (candle..) leaving in the bottle the heavy sediment. 

 Only a small quantity of wine will be lost.

6 -  let the wine rest in the glass for 1 hour in order to have all the sediment down

7 - wash the bottle and put upside down to drain all water  

8 - now you can pour the decanted wine in the bottle

9 - let's finish slowly pouring the wine from the glass in a different vessel (glass)  leaving the last sediment in the first glass, then adding the clear wine to the bottle.

Finally we are ready to serve the wine.



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December 2021