The Poor Man's Decanter or "Speed Decanting" Technique

“Hey Honey, where did I put that Decanter?”  If you are like us, we have it stored at the bottom right side of the cupboard behind the blender and juicer that comes out on those rare occasions. In fact, some of you know that we “cheat” and use a popcorn bowl or old fashioned juice jug to decant our wines. And, why do you say? Well the answer is getting more common place than you think. For us it’s twofold. We can’t be bothered to get it out from where it is stored and, we don’t want to clean it after. Some decanters are very visual but have lots of crevices that are next to impossible to clean.  So what is a person to do?


Well, I will describe to you a quick and easy method that is a “no hassle” technique that would cause the most noble of wine vintners to cringe, at least at the beginning.  Truth be told, basically a decanter is any inert vessel that the wine can be poured into for service. This can be the most visually appealing glass decanter or as simple as a glass jar or jug.  


What we do is the following:


1.   Open the bottle of wine and pour about 1/6 of the bottle into any deep container.

2.   Cover the bottle with a sterile thumb and shake the bottle.

3.   Pour the rest of the bottle into the container and let it sit for 1-2 minutes.


The result?  “Night and Day” in the taste of your wine. Why? Well because we are speeding up the molecules and forcing the wine to release not only anti-oxidants we use in this industry but any carbon dioxide and other gas that may still be present.


It allows the wine to “breath” by introducing oxygen and releasing some of the flavours. This does the same as other products on the marketplace. It’s what we deem . . . the poor man’s decanter. And for all of you that have a wine that hasn’t quite reached its peak or want to drink a wine just finished, it does the trick. Some people will let wine breath by opening up the bottle, but not decanting it. This really isn’t of much use since not much oxygen is going to get down that small bottle neck.


It is true that introducing oxygen to your wine does harm it, but that is only if you plan to age the bottle after and not consume it right away. This “extreme” technique is a little more suited to this industry. It can be used for any wines less than 2 years of age because you are taking over the “aging” of the wine in order to save some 60-70% of your money vs. the wines sold at the LCBO.


This serving method would not be recommended for store bought wines because they have already “aged” when you purchase them, nor would I recommend it for fruit wines, or specialty wines, or some very deep long aged reds that have lots of sediment that should be separated.


It is a “quick and dirty” trick that works. So enjoy, and happy shaking, just think of it as preparing that can of coca-cola for your best friend when we were all younger and have fun. Best of all, a very quick hot rinse and clean up. Cheers.