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After opening a bottle when should I drink the wine?

I find the issue of how long i should decant a wine before drinking difficult to decide.On Saturday i opened a bottle of Château Thivin, Côte de Brouilly Les Sept Vignes 2018 and decanted it for 2 hours . When we drank half the bottle i found it had an unpleasant acidic aftertaste. I put the halfbottle remaining in the fridge and had it with lunch the next day . It had improved markedly and the aftertaste had all but dissapeared. I have another bottle and when decide to drink it i shall open it the day before and put it in the fridge overnight.
Earlier in the week i had a bottle of Percheron Shiraz-Mourvèdre, Swartland 2018. Which was very nice after two hours decanting . I drank the other half bottle the next day after a night in the fridge . It was about the same as the day before. There does not seem to any way of knowing in advance how long to decant.
I am going to have to keep notes on my experience with every wine i drink.

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I think that’s pretty much the trick!


I only decant wines that need decanting because of sediment.
If a wine is young and I want to give it some “air”, which I think is what you were doing, then I do a double decant.
I decant into a jug and then put it back in the bottle.
Otherwise perhaps the wines you are drinking are not quite ready to drink and should be kept for a few more years??

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The wines I buy are all from the WINE Society I am advised are all ready to drink now.
Some bottles of wine that i buy from the Wine society state on the bottle label that they should be decanted for several hours before drinking. An example of this is the Blaufränkisch which states on the label that it should be decanted 2hrs before drinking.
At the end of the day we each of us have to live according to our experience. That goes for wine as for anything else in life.


My own experience is that the majority of red wines benefit from 30-60 minutes of air prior to drinking, doesn’t matter if the bottle is £5 or £50 or if it’s last year’s vintage or last decade. That’s best done either decanting or by pouring a glass when you open the bottle then letting it (both glass and bottle) sit and ‘breathe’ (just opening the bottle doesn’t do all that much, small neck). Or you can just pop and go, enjoying how the wine develops in the glass.

Sure personal preferences and types of wines play a part (old pinot noir can change rapidly with air), but as a general rule I give the wine some freedom before going down the hatch.


In my experience, it’s considerably more than an hour. Most reds with some weight need at least two or three. Plenty of whites too (though not the cheapies).

But yeah, no substitute for knowing the wine.

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