Decanting is the process of separating the wine from the sediment that can accumulate in bottles. In addition to removing sediment, wine is also decanted to expose the wine to oxygen which "opens up" the wine by altering the chemical compounds found within the bottle, changing the perception of flavor, texture and aroma.

Here are the steps for decanting a bottle of wine: 

  1. If possible set the bottle upright before drinking, so the particles in the wine can settle on the bottom of the bottle, making it easier to separate.

  2. Locate a decanter (or other clean, clear vessel) from which the wine can easily be poured into glasses.

  3. Remove the foil and cork; wipe the bottleneck clean.

  4. Hold a light under the neck of the bottle; a candle or flashlight works well.

  5. Pour the wine into the decanter slowly and steadily, without stopping; when you get halfway through the bottle, slow your pouring down.

  6. Stop as soon as you see the sediment reach the neck of the bottle. Sediment isn’t always chunky and obvious; stop if the wine’s color becomes cloudy or if you see what looks like specks of dust in the neck.

    The wine is now ready to serve.

  7. Discard the remaining ounce or two of sediment-filled liquid in the bottle.