There are three main reasons to decant a wine. Knowing these will help you to decide whether the wine you are drinking, or serving, should be decanted or not.
The first reason is to pour off from sediment. Sediment is the particulate matter that has dropped out of the wine and sunk to the bottom of the bottle. It is made up mostly of tannin. Tannins are found in red wine, and come mainly from grape skins. White wines do not have much tannin, because they are not macerated with the skins. Tannins help to preserve wine and allow it to age. As this process occurs, some of the tannin will begin to clump together and drop out of the wine. These bits of sediment are bitter and generally unpleasant to chew on, so pouring the wine off from the sediment is important.
The second reason is to oxygenate the wine. Mixing some air into the wine will open up the flavors and aromas. For maximum enjoyment of bold, tannic wines, oxygenation is particularly
important, but most red wine will benefit from some oxygenation prior to pouring. The exceptions to this are extremely light, low tannin wines, or well aged wines that have already dropped much of their tannin as sediment. These should still be decanted, but slower and with less churning, and with minimal time between decanting and serving, tasting, or drinking.
The third reason is for the visual appeal. Pouring from a long stemmed hand-blown crystal decanter provides a show and a conversation piece to the service.
The process of decanting is an extension of wine service. If you are in the business of serving wine, in a restaurant, wine bar, tasting room, etc., then you should know when to recommend that a wine is decanted, how to handle the bottle, the decanter and the glasses, with poise and grace, and the protocols and etiquette that is socially expected. To expand on this knowledge read: Wine-service in the bookshop
If you are interested in acquiring a crystal decanter for your home, or for a restaurant or wine bar, see the selection below.
Even a small decanter can bring out big flavors. The Sweet Petite Traditional Decanter accommodates a full standard bottle of wine& features a broad hand-blown glass base to coax every subtlety and nuance from delicate and robust reds alike.
Experience the advantages of aeration through the angular form of this lead-free crystal rolling decanter. The delicate rounded body rotates in an arc around its convex base, triggering oxidation and allowing for the complex undertones of your chosen beverage to burgeon. A carefully designed modern statement piece, it sparks conversation anywhere you keep it.
Coiled and ready to pour. Both sizes of The Snake crystal wine decanter are marvels to behold and enchanting to witness in action. They make a great centerpiece, a bold wine service maneuver and a stunning decoration in any room.
Gorgeously artistic hand-blown crystal decanter. This piece will aerate and open a big red wine, and look amazing while it does. It is a decorative art piece when not in use and a show-stopping centerpiece when it is.
With an elegant design, this lead-free crystal decanter makes a perfect centerpiece and display piece, but is also highly functional as a wine vessel.
The Wine Eye decanter is made from fine crystal and makes a gorgeous centerpiece or bar display. It is also easy to maneuver and pour, with the 'eye' that acts as a handle. It holds a standard sized bottle of wine with lots of room to spare.
This beautifully designed crystal wine decanter adds a show-stopping display to wine service, at a home dinner party or in a restaurant. Aerate your red wine, put on a show, and have a gorgeous centerpiece or bar display.