Giving a decanter as a gift

Dear Wine Ladies,

We have been invited to my mother-in-law’s for a special 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 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 wisdom of words 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?

John

Dear John,

What a wonderful sentiment, your mother-in-law is indeed a very lucky woman! As far as 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 is to separate the wine from any sediment that may have formed and settled 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.

If you do have a wine that you feel might leave a deposit, (aged wines) 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, being careful not to agitate the wine, into the decanter until you see the sediment approach the shoulder of the bottle at which time the process is complete. If you’d like to add a little drama to the ceremony, take a lit candle, or a small flashlight and hold it closely (not too closely) to the shoulder of the bottle as you decant. Apart from the issue of sediment, decanting a wine can also soften the tannins, aerate the wine, and be visually pleasing on a beautifully set table.

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