QUESTION: I saw a restaurant server decanting a bottle of 2006 Cabernet Sauvignon the other night. I thought decanting was just for older wines. What was going on?
ANSWER: Decanting is used for older bottles in order to separate any sediment that may have developed in the bottle from the wine.
With younger wines, decanting is used more for aeration, to help the wine “open up” in aroma and flavor. The “bigger” the wine – as a young California Cabernet or Zinfandel may be – the more it can benefit from decanting.
In the market for a decanting device? A popular tool is the Vinturi Wine Aerator, available for $39.95 at vinturi.com.