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Why you need to taste wine served in a decanter

Updated: Oct 24, 2021

Pfff... nah it'll be fine, lets just drink it!


  1. No Martin, lets not 'just drink it'. We weren't raised by wolves.

  2. Listen Martin, you've bought a great bottle well done! And we're all eager to taste it's luxurious flavours and well, get a bit squiffy... so lets not deprive our poor poor taste buds that right, for the kids sake.

  3. You're already on thin ice Martin I know what you did at the staff party.

So. Lets not be Martin eh? And lets get Decanting!!!


Decanting wine is not just about showing off your fancy glassware (even if it is VERY fancy and impressive) the main purpose is...

  • it makes the wine taste better! Yes you heard it guys, by not decanting those bottles that are screaming out 'DECANTER ME MARTIN' you are missing out on so many flavours and aromas that are laying dormant in the bottle waiting for the opportunity to expand and breathe! It softens those astringent tannins and lets the fruit and floral aromas come out to play.

  • it separates that unpleasant sediment that collects in the bottles from good stuff (most prevalent in older reds and vintage ports)

  • and... sometimes... we all break a few corks... (47 to be exact but whose counting). Decanting is a tactical way to get rid of these broken pieces of cork floating around in your overpriced Bordeaux, by pouring the wine through a sieve! Simple as.

Now, yes, you may be thinking 'oh my goodness I never decant what a total mollusc I've made of myself all these years' - Not necessarily.

Not ALL wines need to be decanted! I tend to, say stick to these 5 reds as a rule as they always benefit from a little extra time to breathe ;

  1. Syrah (Shiraz)

  2. Malbec

  3. Bordeaux reds/blends

  4. Cabernet Sauvignon

  5. Burgundian reds

Of course, if you really want to, decanter whatever you like (Except sparkles... they'll go flat and sad and no one likes sad sparkles).

And I'd say that to be safe, ALWAYS decanter the reds listed above and especially young, strong reds as their tannins can be very intense and you want this to soften as much as possible before hand.

  • Full-bodied Red Wines : Use a decanter with a wide base.

  • Medium-bodied Red Wines : medium-sized decanter

  • Light-bodied Red Wines : serve in a small to medium-sized decanter that’s been chilled.

  • White and Rosé Wines: decanting isn’t necessary, although you can use a small chilled decanter.

Happy weekend all, especially you Martin.

Stay Tipsy x


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