Wine Talk

Snooth User: humpdog

seeking counsel on decanting

Posted by humpdog, Oct 10, 2011.

hey everyone--

i have a decanting question. i just watched an informative wine library video in which the host did a side by side tasting on a decanted vs. non-decanted 2004 amon ra shiraz. i found it very entertaining. my question though is this--if a wine has decanted for 5-6 hours, as he recommended, it is obviously no longer cellar temperature but is now certainly room temperature. what advice do you give someone on the best way to get decanted wine back to the proper cellar temperature?
 

Replies

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Reply by JonDerry, Oct 10, 2011.

Good question...obviously the best way would be to decant in a cool place, or a big cellar.  Seeing as that isn't an option, you can stick the decanted wine in a fridge to cool it down before serving.  Maybe 30-45 minutes prior to serving should get it down to about where you want it.

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Reply by dmcker, Oct 10, 2011.

So what is room temperature where you live?

And 45' in a fridge would be way too cool for me, aside from having to worry about fridge odors, moving stuff around to make space, etc....

Hump, you should play around with drinking the wine over a range of temperatures, say from 60-75 F, and figure what temp. you like best, then work from there.

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Reply by JonDerry, Oct 10, 2011.

I could be refridgerating too long...maybe lean more toward 20-30 minutes, and make sure your fridge is clean and without any strong odors.

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Reply by Richard Foxall, Oct 12, 2011.

I have a VacuVin sleeve for cooling wine that is useless for speed chilling whites, but does a terrific job of chilling reds to an acceptable coolness when they have been at room temp.  I imagine it would fit around my basic carafes that I use for tastings, but definitely a problem for a wide based decanter.  If you have a wine fridge that has space for standing bottles, that could also work.  Or you can put it in an ice bucket with cool water around it.

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Reply by dmcker, Oct 12, 2011.

Can't really see putting an Amon Ra into an ice bucket, unless drinking in places from Darwin a bit north.

If you have a cooler part of the house, just let it breath there. Then if you find it a bit too warm start inducing a different temperature via fridge or bucket until you find the one that's right for you. If you want to make an experiment/game of it, be sure to have a thermometer handy. Can consume a whole bottle at different temperatures, taking notes. You can either keep going or stop when you get to the right temperature--will keep you from chugging it too quickly, I suppose.... ;-)

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Reply by Richard Foxall, Oct 12, 2011.

Don't put it in ice, just in an ice bucket, with cool water around it.  That'll draw off a little heat.  How they do it in labs:  Surround your stuff with a water bath at the right temp, since the water can be easily monitored and replaced or cooled with just a few cubes. 

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Reply by GregT, Oct 12, 2011.

Or, if you like it at cellar temp, just put the decanter in the cellar for the few hours.

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Reply by Richard Foxall, Oct 13, 2011.

Except that my cellar is a very dusty half finished partial basement.  Good for storing wine when it's closed, not so good after it's open.  But I did suggest that privately.  And I hope to have a clean basement someday where I can bundle up in a wool sweater and flannel trousers and drink DRC or even my bargain Barolos. 

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Reply by Richard Foxall, Nov 1, 2011.

Okay, had to come back to this thread.  We were having unseasonably warm weather here this weekend (not to rub it in for you NYers), and I was roasting a prime rib for a dinner we were hosting.  The planning hadn't taken into account the weather.  The whole point of the roast was so we could drink my Scholium Project Petite Sirah, which I knew I would want to decant.  Sooo, I followed GregT's advice (which had been mine in a private message) and opened the bottle and decanted it in my basement.  To protect it from dust, Ipu the decanter inside a cooler with the lid down and loosely placed a sandwich bag over the top to further protect it from loose particle and gamma rays. Two hours later we drank it at perfect temperature, which muted the heat of the alcohol (over 15%).  Not sure how much the decanting mattered, though, since we p'n'ped the second bottle and it was fine.  I think just having it open and a little poured off would have done the trick, too.  But keeping it in the basement this way worked okay.

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Reply by StevenBabb, Nov 1, 2011.

when i've found a wine to be on the warm side, i've used a chilled glass to help bring the temp down... good especially if you may not finish the bottle in one sitting (not sure who that would apply to  here : )

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Reply by alobregon, Nov 4, 2011.

Great suggestions by all of these great posters.  I would use any of these great ideas.  I have generally read, and used, the rule of 20 in /20 out, which means for Reds, put in fridge for 20 min to cool to 60-65 then serve; for Whites, take out of fridge for 20 min prior to serving and it will warm up to 60-65;

You can also try pouring the decanted wine back into the bottle if you have the little pour cup or funnel.  You can decant for 5-6 hours, then re-bottle and chill, then serve!...OR....you can re-bottle, then chill and take out 20 mins prior to serving.  The act of re-pouring the wine back into the bottle helps to decant the wine some more.

I really like the idea of tasting the wine at both different temps, and different times.  You experience different tastes every time!....

Good luck and let us know how it works out!!

Cheers!


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