When to Use a Wine Decanter

A wine decanter isn't a must-have in every situation. When enjoying older wines that have built up sediment or young wines that have yet to open up, however, decanting can be highly beneficial for the drinker because it can make the flavour of the wine much better.

A decanter for red wine

A Decanter for Red Wine

When most wine drinkers think of using a decanter, they imagine it being used on red wine. This is because decanting is normally used on red varieties, since these wines are full-bodied and highly tannic, which means that they often need this technique to aerate the wine. This is particularly true when the wine is young, as the decanter helps the wine to take on oxygen and this opens up the flavours, making the wine taste better. In other situations, a decanter is used to remove sediment from older bottles of wine. While this isn't essential, it does make the wine easier to drink and improves its presentation.
Using a Decanter on White Wine

Using a Decanter on White Wine

Although it is seen far less than with red varieties, there are reasons to use a decanter on white wine as well. This is particularly common with higher-end white wines that have been aged because they can sometimes taste a little off when the bottle is first opened. decanting the wine can help it to get over this awkward stage quickly, ensuring that the drinker can sample it right away. Even sparking white wine can be decanted. This process softens the bubbles, making the wine easier to drink for those who don’t like the liveliness of less expensive champagnes. Experts agree, however, that decanting isn't necessary for most varieties of white wine, as it all comes down to personal preference.