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Cooking Q&A: Decant Wine?

Q.

Should I decant wine?

A.

If you’re serving an old, expensive vintage, decanting (which is a fancy way of saying, “pouring wine into another container”) aerates the wine, or lets it breathe, which can smooth out any harsh aromas or flavors that developed in the long aging. It also allows you to separate the wine from sediment that settles in the bottom of older bottles. If you’re drinking everyday wine, there’s no critical advantage to decanting, but it certainly won’t hurt -- and it might help -- the wine by letting it breathe before serving. Decanting into a pretty, glass vessel is also a useful trick if you’re serving a mainstream, inexpensive wine and you don’t want the wine snobs at the table to know the brand. (If someone asks, and you really want to blow their mind, just say, “It’s a second growth Bordeaux someone gave me years ago.”)

-- Colleen Rush

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