Wine Tutorial: How Long to Decant Wine?

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Aerating wine or letting the wine breathe is not applicable for all types of wine. The process will be different and depend on what type you will be drinking. To know what type of wine and the duration for decanting wine, you should be familiar with the length of time needed to have an optimal result. You should also be familiar with the types of wine to avoid over decanting.

What are the types of wine?

Red and white wines vary depending on the region and the type of grapes used to produce them. The labels will usually indicate the flavor and texture of the wine.

Shiraz is a wine that comes from France, California, and Australia. This red wine has the taste of wild black fruit and has overtones of black pepper. The wine has a high tannin content. Shiraz is stored in oak barrels and gives a note of toffee. Shiraz is known to have a deep and dark type of red. The wine is also known for its longevity.

Cabernet sauvignon is a more common and popular type of red wine. It is a combination of cabernet franc and merlot, and is stored in oak barrels for a long time. The grapes come from Germany, France, Australia, California, and Chile. The taste is a wide range and has the richness of currant, oak and bell pepper. The woody and vanilla tones come from the aging process in oak barrels.

Pinot Noir is a noble type of red wine. It is rarely blended and the grapes,which come from France, California and New Zealand,are difficult to grow,. This is a wine that tastes milder, softer, and very fruity. The tones of the wine resonate cherry, strawberry, and plum with tones of tea and wood. Pinot Noir is best paired with salmon and chicken.

There are other types of red and white wines that taste better with decanting. You should know the precise result that should be produced in order to know if the decanting was done successfully.

How long does it take to decant wine?

For these wines that were mentioned, decanting will be needed to reach the optimal taste. For Cabernet sauvignon, the wine should be left in the decanter for 2 hours. A bottle of Shiraz will take 2 to 3 hours to decant to have the sediments air out. A bottle of pinot noir will only take half an hour.

There are varying times for decanting and they should be followed to avoid overexposure and the wine ending up flat. Older wines should not be decanted as exposure will break the sensitive nature of the wine.

Not all white wines can be decanted. There is only a select variety that can be aired. White wines should also not be let out for too long because it should be served chilled. As a general rule, white wines should not be decanted for longer than 30 minutes.

How long is long enough?

To be able to know if the decanting process is successful, you should start by tasting the wine. If the wine is difficult to taste and the flavors are hard to distinguish, then the wine needs more decanting. Wines that are too bitter need to be decanted as well.

If the taste has not been achieved, wait for another 30 minutes to 1 hour. After this time, the wine should smell fruitier and less bitter. Double decanting can also be done to achieve the right odor and taste to hasten to process.

If the wine starts to taste like vinegar, then the decanting has been too long. The decanting process should allow the proper amount of oxygen to be infused, but if there is too much air, then the wine has had a chemical reaction that allowed high levels of acetic acid to come in. This acid is similar to the taste of vinegar and will cause a burning sensation to the nose and throat.


Decanting wine is a meticulous task that will entail a lot of research and should be done with utmost care. The process is timeconsuming and will require more diligence to avoid breaking the flavor of the wine.

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