When, And Why, Should You Decant Wines?

I’m also telling people to do something 100% safe rather than something with even a minute chance of being harmful. You can’t get hurt if you store whisky in glass and people can verify that on their own. You may be fine with a lead crystal decanter, but I’m saying go with glass to be safe.

Their volume is usually equivalent to one standard bottle of wine (0.75 litre). The clean lines not only look good but also make this decanter a great choice for almost any red wine. You could also use it for decanting any white wine if you fancy, although this type of wine does not typically call for aeration. The classic design of this decanter allows the maximum surface area of wine to come into contact with oxygen. This shortcuts the process of aerating your wine and improves both the taste and aroma of red wines.

In fact, many wine connoisseurs don’t use soap to clean their decanters for just that reason and instead just rinse the glass thoroughly with water. Apart from separating wine from sediment, the point of decanting your wine is to expose it to the oxygen in the air. A decanter with a very narrow neck and modest base is going to limit the amount of oxygen that touches your wine. On the other hand, a large wine decanter with a wide base and fanned opening will allow more oxygen to mingle with those tannins.

When you get toward the end of the bottle, you’ll start to see sediment creep up toward the neck. The wine you’ve just decanted will be clean and clear, with a bright and beautiful bouquet, and the sediment will be left behind. Each decanter is handcrafted and hand-blown, formed into designs limited only by imagination.

A particularly fragile or old wine should only be decanted 30 minutes or so before drinking. A younger, more vigorous, full-bodied red wine—and yes, even whites—can be decanted an hour or more before serving. At some tastings, wines are decanted for hours beforehand and may show beautifully, but these experiments can be risky and are best done by people very familiar with how those wines age and evolve. As already discussed, aged red wines often require a somewhat more complicated decanting process than younger wines.

So, if you have an antique lead crystal decanter, what will you do? The alcohol will cause the lead to leach but it will take at least 24 hours to do so. If you must use your antique lead crystal decanter, it is best to keep it to a minimum, say, 6 hours at a time.

Any glassware that’s routinely used by the hospitality industry is well worth a look when you’re shopping for wine supplies at home. Decanting isn’t just for sommeliers and connoisseurs, it can improve the flavor of wines at all price points, while also making you look like a more sophisticated host. They can double whisky decanter crystal as a piece of art for your home, or simply be a functional tool for when you’re getting ready to pour a glass. Whichever route you choose to go, a wine decanter is a useful item to own for anyone who appreciates a good glass of wine. Many wine decanters are made of extremely delicate glass and break or chip easily.

To speed this process up, choose a decanter with a wide base to increase the amount of oxygen exposure to the wine. As long as you’re not planning on keeping that whiskey for a long time (in which case, you’d simply leave it in the bottle), decant or don’t, it’s up to you. Yes, they’re sparklier, but the cost of that sparkle could be lead leaching into your whiskey (it’ll take a while, but it happens), and that, most definitely, will change things. If you look at the different types of decanters side by side, you’ll notice some obvious differences.