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Decanting White Wines

Three days ago I opened a bottle of Gaba do Xi Branco Godello 2020. On firist taste it was quite acidic and not much of the fruits I expect from the Godello how disapionting. Put it back in the fridge to try again on the following day. Surprise acid had disappeared and the fruit flavour starting to come through also felt quite soft and round in the mouth. Day three wow this was nice the wine I had two days ago offered bags of flavour even a bit oily with legs pouring down the sides of my glass. I have been buying wine and drinking wine for more years than I care to remember. I am beginning to think that white wine will taste better if put into a decanter or even left for hours of breath. Any views would be most welcome.


Wouldn’t disagree for some white wines but a word of advice. Use a coloured (preferably green) decanter or bottle as clear glass makes decanted white wine look like it has already been passed through a horse!!


Thank you Graham.

Bigger wines like Chardonnay and white Rhone especially. Sometimes I do a slower over night open in the fridge with a glass taken out rather than a sloshy decant. If it’s a white that needs to be served very chilled it’s less likely to need a decant, but if it does, remember to chill the decanter too.


Aeration from decanting works in tandem with temperature.
Decant godello, and serve it at about 12 C as you would for a top chardonnay/Burgundy. Some fridges are as low as 2C at which temperature it will be chilled to neutrality.


Thank you Toby

Vis-a-vis white wine being served too cold, I actually enjoy serving a ‘too cold’ wine occasionally and allowing it to develop in the glass as it comes off the chill. It is a great way of learning how aromas and taste change as the wine comes to temperature. I’d urge anyone who hasn’t tried this to give it a go.


I have a decanter that has a big punt in the bottom, into which a mini “decanter” fits which one can put ice into in order to keep the wine cool - perfect for white wines on a warmer day


I second this - it is one of the reasons I hardly ever decant white wine, as nobody like a urine sample in the middle of the dinner table. I have vaguely been on the lookout for a coloured one but not found a decent one yet.


For sure the best Northern Rhone and Burgundy. In my experience usually the Rhones benefit from longer.

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I’ll ask a stupid question- once you’ve decanted your white what’s your technique for keeping it at correct serving temperature? Question just as easily applies for keeping your decanted reds at correct temperature

The biggest problem is when people start talking of room temperature for red wines. Most of our houses (pre-incredible energy price rises) are kept at a temperature which does not suit red wines and the acknowledged ‘room temperature’ thing is much lower, more like 12-15 degrees than 20+. I’d always prefer letting the wine get to temperature in my hands in order to judge it right.