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Decanting advice



Being fairly new to the world of understanding and appreciating great wine, I recently attended a WSET level1 course in wines and found it very fascinating.

I’ve seen a lot of discussion about decanting and its benefits.

Is there a set way that wines should be decanted to get the best from them?

Any advice or sources of information greatly appreciated.




Hi Rich,

There is quite a lot of good community knowledge on the subject here:


Many thanks.

I’ve ordered a decanter from Reidel (due to arrive tomorrow) and will give it a run out later this week with a nice Cabernet Sauvignon .



Hi Rich, and welcome! :smiley:
Agree that the topic above gives some good tips about decanting times, but the joy of having this Community at your fingertips is that you can always post individual queries when you’re planning on opening a specific bottle and there’ll be lots of people happy to recommend the best way to decant it. :smiley:


Whenever you ask the question “should I decant” the answer is always “yes”.


@Richcastle, even a white wine, like Culee du Serrant benefits from decanting.


Just don’t forget that you can’t undecant a wine!


I have a question on decanting and drinking temperature.

For reds, if decanting for longer periods, how do you ensure the wine is served at the right temperature (not room temperature)?

And for whites it would seem even trickier to manage?


I am sure someone will come along and add their experience on this but for me I put a red wine in the fridge 30 minutes before serving and for a white I take it out the fridge 30 minutes before serving.


It’s a flippant answer of course, but very few reds will not benefit from a decant. Especially if you’re drinking within TWS dates which are conservative. Mature reds may need careful consideration, as they can fall about a little, but I’ve had more disappointment from not decanting early enough than the other way round.


That sounds great (4x), but some information is missing for this to be helpful temperature advice.

  • we do not know at what temperature you keep your wine at
  • what temperature your fridge is set to keep
  • if we assume it is all constant you will be drinking your Spatburgunder at the same temperature as your Bordeaux blend and your white Burgundy as your Mosel Riesling, that does not sound right…

Saying that it is great if it works for you and I have no doubt you tried and tested this method.

If you are just starting out on your wine journey it is worth understanding how the wines taste at different temperatures (even a few degrees may mean a world of difference). I also guarantee that the ideal temperature for the same wine will be different for different people.

Okay, this is not helpful either… just keep experimenting. The wine will normally go from cold to warm (:stuck_out_tongue_winking_eye:) when served below room temperature, so quite an easy experiment…


I think you are right, it is tricky if you have no space in your fridge for the decanter.


Normally I pull my reds out of my wine cabinet (12oc) and give them a couple of hours or so decanting. I find the temperature is then appropriate for when it is time to be drunk - not cellar cool, not room temperature either.

My query is what do people do if they are decanting reds for much longer periods, as the wine will approach room temperature - unless the decanter can be stored in a chilled/ cellar environment?

Historically I have not decanted white wines. But having noticed a big difference (for the better) on a couple of white burgundies after a couple of hours drinking, I’m going to give it a go next time. I’m wondering how people manage the temperature though, as soon as the liquid is in the decanter, the temperature will increase - unless room can be found in the fridge for the decanter of course!

Just curious if the community has any practical tips!


I am no expert - but I do think sometimes we can end up splitting hairs over decanting, serving temperature etc. Not to say these are not important - that goes without saying, but personally, I find that if I follow a few basic general rules (e.g. aromatic whites should not be served too cold, room temperature isn’t 22 degrees with central heating on)- you are pretty much guaranteed enjoyment.

Furthermore, even if your white was a bit too cold when you started, for example- isn’t it lovely to see how it evolves its more aromatic side as it warms up in the glass? Isn’t it fascinating to see how a red can open up and evolve- even if you didn’t manage to decant it - with time in glass?

Again, I appreciate the importance of getting the best we can from our wine, but there is no need to fetishise the process by which we achieve this pleasure.


I do usually use a decanter which fits in the fridge door but if I didn’t, and didn’t have space in a cool cupboard/garage/shed, then I’d probably double decant so the bottle could go in the fridge door to bring it down a few degrees. May not be ideal, but it’s a thought.


We always double-decant, and then if anything is left over (rarely ever) we use the VacuVin, and stick it in the fridge.


If I’ve insufficient space to cool reds I just use either a sink or bucket of tap water.
Run your cold kitchen tap for 30 seconds and it’ll be at approximately 11 C (a little more in summer etc). Only fill your chosen receptacle 2/3rd of the way to the wine level. This ensures the bottle or decanter is stable.
Obviously the water warms up, but it will cool and maintain a sensible temperature for reds, you can do multiple bottles, its easy to change the water for longer periods, and reduces the chances of over chilling your red.


From Decanter…

“Also, the temperature of wine rises dramatically in the glass, so your classic 18ºC Bordeaux becomes (depending where you are) 22ºC or more in the glass very quickly. The hardest thing by far is to maintain the correct temperature throughout the time of consumption.”

So I assume they are suggesting that the glass you are drinking from should be shoved back in the fridge after every sip, it all becomes faintly ridiculous when these suggestions are muted, perhaps everyone should just use some common sense and dispense with the thermometers etc, by the time all the geeky essentials are carried out it is time to put the bottle back in the fridge again, rinse repeat etc…
And do people really decant a supermarket £5 red ! when if it shows it needs a bit of air just a swirl in the glass will suffice…


Indeed! Not to mention all the wines that don’t get decanted in tasting events! I think we still end up appreciating some, regardless.


I remember reading in a review of a wine on the TWS site, the reviewer said “all red wine needs it, but good wine deserves it”. I may have paraphrased slightly.