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By Gregory Dal Piaz
In order to maximize the amount of wine decanted, I stop short of the first sign of sediment approaching the neck and then use an unbleached (brown) coffee filter and a funnel to complete the process. The coffee filter adds nothing to the taste of the wine and a only minimal amount of wine is lost in the filter. If you are doing a last minute service and haven't had time to let the bottle stand long before decanting, you can do the entire pour through the filter without problem.
Another decanting method I learned from Harry Waugh in the 1970's is to use a length of clear flexible plastic tubing (similar to those used in an aquarium filter system) ,thoroughly cleaned. Place the decanter on the floor with one end of the tubing inserted to the bottom and insert the other end of the tubing into the wine bottle, about an inch into the wine. Blow into the wine bottle and the wine will begin to syphon into the decanter. Slowly move the tube end down the bottle ahead of the wine surface level. With a light source (flaslight) on the other side of the bottle, you can track where the tube end is relative to the sediment and you can retract the tube just before reaching the sediment. This method also provides minimal wine loss. Flush the tube with clean cold water after use and store coiled in the freezer for future use.
I agree with GDP about the benefit of double decanting and I do so with any of these methods.
Dec 12, 2011 at