By Mark Jacklich
When it comes to decanting a bottle of wine there a few factors that come into play. Old bottles of wine benefit from decanting because the sediments that have accumulated over time can be left in the bottle and off your tongue. Young bottles can have nuances and depth added from the oxygen exposure as the wine is aloud to “breathe”.
When working with an old bottle or one you know has a fair amount of sediment, it is crucial to try to keep that sediment undisturbed while removing the cork. This can be done with a steady hand or with the help of a decanting basket. After removing the cork it is key to wipe out any sediment that has accumulated in the neck of the bottle where the cork was.
Before you get to pouring, a light source should be placed behind the bottle so you can eye the neck of the bottle for sediment. A flashlight or a candle would be sufficient. Stop as soon as you see any small particles or the wine becoming cloudy in the neck. It is common for there to be an ounce or two left in the bottle. Around thirty minutes is plenty of time for a mature bottle to open up and any longer might compromise its integrity.
Young bottles can benefit from a bit longer in the decanter (an hour or two). Here at Bentley’s any young Pinot Noir’s can really open up nicely with a little bit of time and decanting. You can also decant on a smaller level with our Riedel Oregon Pinot Noir glasses that have plenty of room and capacity to accommodate a good swirl.