October 1, 2012

Decanting by candlelight

Tyler demonstrates how to decant a bottle of wine containing sediment without the use of a filter. 

With time, the colour and tannin structure of a fine wine will begin to precipitate out of the solution in the form a powder-like sediment that collects in the bottle.  This sediment becomes increasingly more pronounced and finer-grained with each year of additional age.  Standard wine funnels and filter-screen combinations will prevent most forms of sedimentation from passing through to the decanter or glass, but finer grains, in some cases may cloud the wine if poured through these filters.  

Other examples of sedimentation are tartaric crystals (Wine Diamonds) and wine which has undergone minimal filtration prior to bottling.  

The formal method of decanting shown in this video will prevent any sediment from escaping from the bottle - plus, it's a great parlor trick when performed in the right crowd! 

Note that not all wine styles require decanting. For additional information related to decanting wine, see Decanting 101 

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Tyler is a member of the Wine Writers' Circle of Canada and the Guild of Sommeliers. He writes about and reviews wine both online and via a variety of circulating publications. In 2009 Tyler founded North of 9 Fine Wine, a free public wine education resource where he publishes his Thoughts, Theory, and Recommendations. For additional vinous related information and learning, follow on Twitter @TylerOnWine