Decanting wine is an age-old practice that transcends mere ritual; it’s an art and a science that elevates the tasting experience to new heights. Whether you’re dealing with a youthful red, a mature vintage, or an expressive white, the act of decanting is a transformative process that unlocks a spectrum of flavours and aromas, turning an ordinary sip into an extraordinary journey.

1. Young Wines: Unleashing Potential

plumm decanter

Young wines, especially robust reds, often benefit immensely from the aeration process that decanting provides. Here’s why you should consider decanting your youthful reds:

A. Oxygenation and Evolution:

Decanting exposes the wine to oxygen, which helps in softening harsh tannins and integrating flavours. Young wines, particularly those high in tannins, can be tight and closed upon opening. By allowing them to breathe, you encourage the wine to evolve, revealing layers of complexity that might otherwise remain dormant.

B. Expressive Aromas:

The aromatic bouquet of a young wine can be somewhat restrained initially. Decanting opens up the aromas, allowing the full spectrum of scents to waft through the air. The fruity and floral notes become more pronounced, providing a sensory experience that goes beyond the palate.

2. Older Wines: A Delicate Balance

Older wines is a nuanced process, primarily driven by the need to separate the wine from sediment that may have developed over time. Here’s why it’s crucial for ageing vintages:

A. Sediment Removal:

As wines age, sediment naturally forms at the bottom of the bottle. Decanting allows you to carefully separate the clear wine from this sediment, preventing unwanted bitterness and enhancing the overall texture of the wine.

B. Rejuvenating Aromas:

Older wines, especially reds, can sometimes show signs of oxidation. Decanting helps rejuvenate the wine by introducing a controlled amount of oxygen, bringing back vibrancy to the aromas and ensuring a more lively tasting experience. But be warned, as the wine has already matured the amount of time in the decanter should be limited.

C. Decanter Shape Matters:

When aerating young wines, the shape of the decanter becomes crucial. Opt for a vessel with a wide base to maximise surface area exposure. The older the wine the narrower the decanter should be to facilitate a gentle aeration process while allowing sediment to settle at the bottom.

3. White Wines: A Surprising Twist

bottle of Decanting Wine: Unveiling the Art and Science of Enhancing Your Wine Experience

While red wines typically steal the spotlight, white wines can also benefit from this transformative process. Here’s why you should consider decanting your whites:

A. Oxidation and Complexity:

Certain full-bodied white wines, like oaked Chardonnays, can benefit from up to an hour of aeration. Decanting allows these wines to open up, revealing a richer texture and a more complex flavour profile.

B. Temperature Stabilisation:

Decanting white wines also provides an opportunity to bring them to the ideal serving temperature. This is especially useful for whites that have been stored at cooler temperatures, as it ensures that the wine expresses its full range of flavours. A classic example being an oaked Chardonnay, which is often served too cold. You want it served close to 12c for it to be at it’s best.


Whether you’re savouring the exuberance of a young red, delicately handling an older vintage, or unlocking the potential of a surprising white, the art of decanting is a journey that every wine enthusiast should embark upon. It’s not just about pouring wine into a vessel; it’s about a personal science and seeing a wine change over time and finding the right balance.

Free Tip: Once you are happy with how the wine tastes, take a funnel and pour it back into the bottle. This will limit the oxygen to surface area ratio and stop the wine from decanting further. Again, it’s about experimenting, you can continue to drink straight from the decanter and see how it changes over time. The science is in your hands wine lovers!

You can see our range off Glassware HERE