Taste of the week: Decant or not decant?

© Jeff Kauck

With the festive season pretty much upon us, it seems an especially good time to talk about the benefits of decanting red wine, as I am sure many a bottle will be shared in the coming weeks.

In class during our wine-tasting sessions, we often do a blind taste test to understand the benefits of decanting - and the results are always surprising to my students. We test the same wine, one which has been decanted several hours before, and one that has been just opened. The decanted wine wins every time for flavor and satisfaction, no matter what the price or wine (with the exception of very old wines that might be fragile). This is because the aeration and oxygenation actually ages the wine and opens it up, So don't just get out your decanter for your special occasion reds, have it on hand to get the most out of any bottle that you are drinking.

A handy tip for getting rid of stubborn wine stains on your carafe: after washing the carafe fill it with water for a few days or even until the next time you use it. And residual stains should just disappear.

Happy Thanksgiving everyone!