Dear Wine Ladies,
We have been invited to my mother in laws for Thanksgiving dinner and I would like to surprise her with a decanter as a gift. She is just getting into wine and I thought she might enjoy this surprise instead of flowers or chocolates. Would I be able to find one that would fall into my limited budget of around $35-00-$50.00? I’d like to share a few of words of wisdom with my gift as well, if you wouldn’t mind offering a few tips it would be greatly appreciated. Should all red wines be decanted and what are the main reasons for decanting? Thanks for your advice Wine Ladies.
John, Boston, Massachusetts,
What a wonderful sentiment, your mother in law is indeed a very lucky woman! As for your budget, not to worry, there are a great variety of decanters available on the market today that fall well into your price range. The main reason for decanting a wine is to separate it from any sediment that may have formed in the bottle. Although the sediment is harmless, it is unappetizing to look at in the glass, has a bitter taste and a gritty unpleasant texture, similar to fine sand. This sediment is actually the result of the precipitation of some of the solids that occurs during the maturation process so is only a factor with older wines that have had some time to age in the bottle. If you do have a wine that you feel might leave a deposit, stand the bottle upright for a full day to give the sediment time to collect at the bottom of the bottle. When it’s time to decant, slowly pour the wine into the decanter until you see the sediment approach the shoulder of the bottle at which time the process is complete.
A second reason for decanting is to aerate the wine, allowing the bouquet to become a little more open and available, while a third is to soften harsh tannins that may be present in very young wines. There is also the visual component with many people simply enjoying the sight of a beautiful decanter displaying the brilliance of their favorites wine, either red or white. Happy Thanksgiving!