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Why Do We Decant?

At Yalumba, we always decant our premium red wines and we encourage you to do the same.

The act of transferring your wine from the bottle into a decanter allows highly tannic, tight and closed wines to open up and breathe, so that you can enjoy each wine at its full potential.

As our wines are made using a minimal intervention approach, they are not fined or over-filtered and over time, may naturally develop slight, fine red sediment in the bottle. Decanting can benefit a wine by removing natural sediment that might affect the full expression of a wine.

Our fine wine guide to decanting

  • Let the wine rest

    Before decanting a wine, stand the bottle upright overnight, or for a few days if time allows. This separates the sediment from the wine, encouraging the sediment to settle in the base of the bottle. If this is not possible, decant the wine in a lay down orientation, so the sediment settles on the down-side of the bottle.

  • Choose the right decanter

    Choosing the ideal decanter for a wine comes down to a number of factors, including the size, the shape, and the design. Different occasions may call for beautiful extravagance and others, simple functionality. Decanters with a double decanting’ design will be most suitable for young wines, while decanters made specially for aged wines are designed to aid the separation of heavier sediment from wine. We recommend exploring the world leading Riedel collection of decanters to find your perfect match.

  • Pour slow and steady in good light

    Decant wine very slowly, pouring down one side of the decanter and over a bright light source to make any dark line of sediment more visible. If you notice the wine becoming cloudy near the end of the bottle, it’s time to stop pouring and discard what is left in the bottle

  • Taste the wine

    Pour a small amount into a glass prior to serving. If the aromas are not identifiable, or when tasted, the wine is overly tannic or does not exhibit fruit flavours, then allow more time for it to breathe. When the wine exhibits varietal aromas and richer flavours, it is ready to serve.

  • Serve for the occasion

    Depending on the occasion, you may pour directly from the decanter or from the original bottle. When serving from the bottle, we always rinse the bottle with water after decanting. After draining the bottle well, carefully pour the wine back into the original bottle using a funnel and serve.

Decanting FAQs

  • How early should you decant a wine?

    We will often decant a wine well in advance of the tasting or dining occasion. This may range from 30 minutes to 2 hours beforehand. In some cases, when a wine is very tannic or bouquet is closed’, we may decant up to 12 hours before serving. If pouring from the original bottle, you can place the cork back in the bottle and it will be fine for some hours. Older wines that have been cellared for 20 or more years are often best served immediately after decanting.

  • What do I do if my wine has plenty of sediment?

    As a wine matures in the cellar, a heavier than normal sediment can sometimes form for reasons that we can’t predict. This can be more frequent in fuller-bodied red wines that have higher concentration in colour, character and tannin. Though it can be a little unsightly when poured into a glass, the sediment is natural and in no way harmful or indicative of a poor quality wine.

  • Should I decanter white wine?

    We will often decant our aged white wines or medium bodied white wines such as The Virgilius Viognier, as decanting these styles of white wine makes them immediately expressive.

Find the right glass for your decanted wine

Explore the amazing Rare & Fine collection alongside their tailored glassware recommendations.