Monday, November 12, 2012

Should you decant?

Yes! I should just end this post here, but to expand briefly -- decanting can add elements to a wine that aren't present initially when you pop the cork. Sometimes there's a foul odor or off flavors that disapate, other times the exposure to oxygen can bring more life to the wine. I wanted to post this as an add-on to what The Reverse Wine Snob said on his site yesterday -- see here. The key thing I wanted to point out in his post was that he doesn't review wines until they've been decanted for a day. I tend to drink wines for a few days as well and update my notes as I go along. While this process probably wouldn't work if I was reviewing wines full time for a pub like Wine Spectator or Wine Enthusiast, given the amount of wines they need to taste a year, what you loose in that process is the changing nature of wine over the course of a few hours or days. When you taste, it's a snapshot in that wine's brief exposed life. It's a picture in time that's constantly changing. I've had numerous wines that tasted bad for a few hours or even a day, not revealing themselves until enough air had been able to work it's magic. And I've had wines that I liked better four days later (although rare). Without waiting, or with a quick sip and spit, as critics often do at big tastings (myself included) you can sometimes miss the gems. Just something to keep in mind.

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