How To Decant Old Wine:

How to Decant Old Wine

Today I would like to talk about how to decant an old bottle of wine. Today I’m going to be practicing what I preach with one of my favorite wines, A Bordeaux 1985.

Normally I decant it myself but because I’ve got a bit of a shaky hand, I’ve asked the wine trade’s Hamish Young to give us a demonstration on how to open a fantastic bottle of wine. In my house it’s just house wine, to most people it’s once a year.

If someone asks me how to decant a bottle of wine the first thing I would say is, to leave it standing up for approximately 24 hours. The reason for this is to take all the heavy sediment down to the bottom, which is what you try to get rid of.

Keep it still 

You should try not to shake it around at all if possible. Just do it very gently; take the foil off the top but go around the bottle rather than moving the bottle around. So, if you get yourself a knife, that’ll probably work a little bit better.

So you’re drawing out the cork out of your vintage wine nice and slowly. It’s a very long cork in these sorts of bottles so you might need to start and then screw it in again.  Then just very gently pull the cork out, and then if you’ve got any sort of sediment around the top there which sometimes settles on the cork then get rid of that.

If you’ve got some big Australian wine you can just throw it into a decanter just to * it out a bit but that’s not the point it. Today I have an an older wine, we’re trying not to, not to shake it about too much. Just to take off the sediment. So what is the sediment anyways? Sediment is um, it’s old, it’s essentially the some of the color and so forth falling out of the wine.

Solid matter:

The solid matter gradually comes together and slips down to the bottom which is why with older wines, they’re a lot lighter generally. If you think of something like a Tannin Port, that at one time was just the same as any other Port. But as we come towards the end here, light source is strong enough, you’re starting to see the sediment coming up. A little bit of the light sediment going in doesn’t matter too much, just trying to take off the heavy sediment. Not very much left in there at all, which you can drink, it’d just be a bit chunky. 

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