What is the difference between decanting and oxygenating a wine?

2022 / 24 / 01
decantar el vino

The world of wine is so wide and interesting that, on many occasions, we can confuse concepts. This is the case of decanting and oxygenation. Both techniques are developed with the same instrument: the decanter. For this reason, many times we do not use the correct term to define the action.

What is the difference between decantation and oxygenation of a wine?

Decanting and oxygenation of a wine have some similarities, but they have different purposes and we must know which wines need to be decanted or oxygenated.

Let’s see the differences between decantation and oxygenation with a very clear and brief definition. We decant to separate the liquid from the grounds that the wine may have. We oxygenate to enhance some characteristics of the wine and improve quality, helping to bring out distinctive aromas and flavors.

When should we oxygenate and when should we decant a wine?

The age of the wine is decisive to know if we should oxygenate or decant. Old wines are decanted, as their aging is longer and it is more common for sediment to form.

On the contrary, a young wine is oxygenated to awaken the nuances after its stay in the bottle. For this process, it is not always necessary to use a decanter. We can oxygenate it by opening the bottle between 1 and 3 hours before serving it.

How to decant a wine?

Before starting the process, smell and taste the wine to find out if decanting is necessary. If so, gently pour the wine into the decanter, making sure that the liquid slides down the walls of the container.

The time spent in the decanter will be different depending on the age of the wine, but we recommend that it not exceed 10 minutes. The decantation must be done at the last moment before serving.

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