Home > decanting, wine quiz > Weekly Wine Quiz #39 – Let’s Decant Some Wines

Weekly Wine Quiz #39 – Let’s Decant Some Wines

December 1, 2012 Leave a comment Go to comments

DSC_0784Decanting is an interesting subject in the wine world. The question is often asked – do we need to decant the wines? Why? When? How can we decide what wines to decant? Then there is a group which says that you never need to decant the wines – but we will leave this discussion for some later time.

During the process of decanting, the wine is poured out from the bottle into a large glass vessel, which can have various shapes (duck, sphere, a toll vase, a short vase and so on).

There are two main reasons to decant the wines. First, the decanting is done with the older wines, to avoid the sediment from going into the glass. Second, the decanting is done for the younger wines and the wines of the certain types, such as Barolo, to let them breathe, to aerate, soften up and then show the fruit. For instance, it is generally recommended to decant Barolo for at least 3 hours before it will be served, just to let the wine “open up”. It is not enough just open a bottle in advance, as very little amount of wine goes in direct contact with air – in decanter, the wine gets in the contact with air over much larger surface compare to the bottle or even the glass, thus the process of breathing becomes a lot more effective.

There are lots of articles about decanting available all over the place (here is one link in case you want to read more) , so let’s get to our question (this is the quiz, remember?).

To decant the bottle of wine you need to have a bottle of wine and a decanter, of course. Then, in the “classic” decanting, often performed in the higher end restaurants, there is one more element, one more piece used in the process of decanting, when the bottle is poured into the decanter. Can you name that element and explain why is it used?

Have fun and good luck! Have a great weekend! Cheers!

  1. December 1, 2012 at 11:42 am

    Not sure if the answer is a decanting cradle but often in restaurants they have one. With a decanting cradle one can decant older bottles of wine without pouring the sediments into the decanter. The cradle is a metal construction which allows the wine to be kept on its side when moving it.
    Might be wrong though.

    • talkavino
      December 1, 2012 at 1:52 pm

      Thanks for playing ! The answer is coming on Wednesday.

  2. December 1, 2012 at 1:11 pm

    This is fun! Great post, BTW.
    According to the “protocol” of the Italian Sommelier Association, proper decanting involves first off placing the unopened bottle in a cradle (as suggested by vinoinlove) – the reason being that that way the bottle stays at a very low angle for the entire process and sediment does not get disturbed. Then you open the bottle in its own cradle (i.e., without putting it in a vertical position) and smell the cork. Then (and this is the element I think you were after) you light up a candle and get the bottle gently out of the cradle and directly over the candle and from there you start gently pouring into the decanter. The candle lets you see when the sediment is about to kick in so you can stop at the right time.
    This was fun!

    • talkavino
      December 1, 2012 at 1:54 pm

      Glad you like the quiz and thanks for playing! The answer is coming on Wednesday.

  3. December 1, 2012 at 6:45 pm

    Great post! Coming a bit late to the party, here, with the Italians beating me to the punch! I will say a ‘light source’ since it does not have to be a candle….

    • talkavino
      December 2, 2012 at 2:47 am

      thank you for playing! the answer is coming on Wednesday.

  4. December 1, 2012 at 7:53 pm

    Dang, I am too late, too. I would have said the candle, for just the same reason that Stefano explained…

    • talkavino
      December 2, 2012 at 2:59 am

      Thanks for playing! Can it be that this is not the right answer? Wait until Wednesday : )

  5. December 3, 2012 at 9:20 pm

    I agree with Vinoinlove.

    • talkavino
      December 4, 2012 at 12:10 am

      Thanks for playing! Answer is coming on Wednesday

  1. December 5, 2012 at 12:01 pm

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