Decanting Wine 101


Want to know the key to the perfect glass of wine? The utmost enjoyment lies in decanting your vino of choice into functional carafes, thoughtfully crafted for form and function. We’ve partnered with Wine Access, the leading online wine platform with a team of industry experts, to demystify the art of decanting wine so you savor your next glass more than ever.

Tom Brennan, Master Craftsman for Waterford, and Vanessa Conlin, Master of Wine for Wine Access, are sharing their expertise on everything you need to know about decanting and the crystal vessels that elevate the experience.

What is Decanting Wine?

Decanting wine is the process of slowly pouring your wine from its original bottle into a glass vessel. Not just for aesthetics, the art of decanting has a valuable and tasty purpose. Careful decanting allows the wine to separate from its sediment that may otherwise linger and provide a bitter flavor. Plus, the introduction of oxygen allows the aromas to breathe and develop for even more indulgence.

Wines of all kinds benefit from decanting, not only Reds, but also Whites and Champagnes. And just like your wine choices, there are a variety of decanter selections, each shaped to enhance the varietal in a specific way.

Decanting Youthful Red Wine

A Youthful Red wine with assertive tannins benefits from a rough decant to express the full flavors of the wine. A wider base design allows for maximum air exposure, resulting in a softer taste. Allot about an hour between decanting and enjoying to give the wine time to fully aerate and settle.

Tom recommends the Elegance Carafe for decanting your favorite Youthful Red.

Vanessa suggests you try a 2015 Azienda Celestino Pecci Brunello di Montalcino Tuscany

Decanting Vintage Red Wine

The older the bottle of Red the more sediment is present, so Vintage Reds are best decanted to separate them prior to serving. Opt for a long neck decanter with a smaller surface area, decanting gently 30 minutes before your first sip. This will introduce only a moderate amount of oxygen, helping the tertiary aromatics of mature Reds to shine.

Tom recommends the Elegance Accent Decanter for decanting your favorite Vintage Red.

Vanessa suggests you try a 2011 Bodegas Riojanas Monte Real Gran Reserva Rioja

Decanting White Wine

For White wine lovers, a smaller crystal decanter is preferable to avoid losing more delicate aromatics. You’ll notice a subtle increase in complexity of the flavor, the decanting process allowing the wine to fully open up. Decant your wine 15 minutes prior to your first pour.

Tom recommends the Elegance Optic Carafe for decanting your favorite White

Vanessa suggests you try a 2016 Philippe Foreau Domaine du Clos Naudin Vouvray Sec Loire Valley

Decanting Champagne

A sparkling wine like Champagne is enhanced by decanting - so don’t fear it will go flat. For most styles of Champagne the exposure to oxygen during decanting is very beneficial. Oxygen wakes up the complex aromatics and expresses their full potential. A smaller decanter works best for Champagne, preserving the vibrancy of the flavor. Decant your bottle 15 minutes before enjoying, careful to pour slowly to retain the bubbles.

Tom recommends the Lismore Nouveau Decanting Carafe for decanting your favorite White.

Vanessa suggests you try a NV Barons de Rothschild Brut Champagne

Savor Every Moment

Waterford decanters and drinkware are specially designed to enhance the drinking experience - from the moment you decant to sipping the very last drop. And when paired with wines from around the world, every moment  is made even more special.

Discover more from Waterford and Wine Access

About Wine Access

Founded in 1996, Wine Access curates high quality wines from every wine region around the globe, creating more accessible ways to enjoy wine that extend beyond the bottle. Wine Access’ Master of Wine, Master Sommelier, and team of industry experts taste over 20,000 wines a year, offering only those that exceed the expectations defined by their prices. To build a deeper understanding and connection to each bottle, every shipment includes original tasting notes, flavor profiles, pairing recommendations, and compelling original stories that capture the authentic personality, passion, and philosophy of the producer. @wineaccess