There is an elite class of oenophiles that sees decanting as a noble art. They come armed with egg timers, odd glassware, gurgling machines, bubbling funnels and enough odds and ends to give Rube Goldberg a panic attack.
Before we propose an alternative to this ridiculousness, it’s important to answer a few important questions. Namely, what the hell is decanting and why should I do it?
Decanting refers to any method of aerating a wine: literally exposing as much of your vino as possible to oxygen. While hardcore decanters and their preposterously priced gadgets go too far, they are correct in asserting that decanting will generally make a red wine taste noticeably better.
Red wine is filled with tannins. Tannins are friendly little molecules that come from grape skins and stems. They bring with them tart, bitter and puckering flavors that leave a dry, astringent feeling in your mouth. Any wine lover will tell you that these flavors are super important to the balance of a wine.
However, in younger wines tannins can overpower some of the more subtle and seductive flavors. By exposing wine to oxygen, some of these tannins will actually break down, which gives these more laid back flavors a chance to blossom. Decanting allows one to “open the bouquet” of your juice.
Long story short: decanting is great, but spending a king’s ransom on ridiculous gadgets designed to gurgle, juggle and jumble your wine sucks. Follow these DIY methods below to decant your wine quickly, for free and fun-ly. You’re welcome.
The Wine Waterfall Method
It is typically regarded as uncouth, declassé or “not cool bro” to pour wine in a manner that is ungentle, noisy and that creates splashes. But that’s exactly what we’re about to tell you to do. Open up your bottle of wine and set out the desired number of glasses. Hold the bottle 10-12 inches (or as high as you can go without missing!) above the glass.
Pour. Let that gurgling red wine waterfall crash into your vessel of choice. By forming a long stream and a bubbly broth of vino, you’re exposing almost all of that wine to oxygen and breaking down those overpowering tannins. You are effectively decanting your wine by pouring like an a$$%@!e.
The Blend that Sh!!!!t Up Maneuver
This one is genius in both its simplicity and its rudeness. Take your bottle of wine and pour it out into a blender. Next, blend it. Yes. Blend your wine.
Keep blending for about 30 seconds and you will have oxygenated every drop of that vino. It’s incredibly effective, faster than any other decanting method in the world and looks like something out of a horror movie. There’s never been a better way to make wine snobs shake with terror and vastly improve the quality of your wine all at once. Just make sure your blender is clean, if not, things could get awkward.
I was of the understanding that pouring your wine to hard would bruise it. Saw it on some snobby show if I recall. Have you ever heard of bruising? I’m going to try this. I’m curious if beating the hell out of it will make it taste better, thanks.
Seems like blending (blendering?) the wine refutes the existence of bottle shock. One or the other is wrong. Which is it?
Hey John! So the difference is that with blending (or just aerating) the wine, the goal is to get as much air onto the wine as possible. This helps open up the wine so you can better taste its many flavors. With bottle shock, however, the problem is that there is not much air in the bottle, so instead you end up with wine that’s totally freaked out and insecure about the fact that it’s all bottled up. Luckily, though, provided the wine isn’t corked or cooked, bottle shock should wear off after a few days of resting.