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Let it Breathe - Wine Decanters

Better fruit expression, a softer structure and the best possible tasting condition – these are the reasons why it’s a good idea to decant certain wines.

But how and when should you decant a wine? We asked Tasting Panellist, winemaker and wine show judge, Dave Mavor to fill us in.

When to use a wine decanter

 

What is a Wine Decanter For?

The major benefit of decanting is to let wine and oxygen combine. Wine feeds on oxygen when it’s released, giving it the best chance to open up allows the fruit to prosper, the structure to soften, and the wine to be in optimum tasting condition.

In the old days, a wine that had a cork and was deemed worthy, or was of good providence, was meant to be decanted, but the advent of the screwcap has changed all this. It’s the newer bottles in your cellar, the ones you put aside for immediate drinking, which are the ones that can benefit from a little TLC in a wine decanter.

As screwcapped wines arrive tighter and more fine-boned than their predecessors under cork, a bit of air can help release primary fruit and aid texture. In terms of time, newer wines can be left in the decanter and you’ll notice they open up over the course of a few hours.

Older wines, however, do not need more than an hour as they will start to fall away in the decanter and fruit can become stripped quite quickly.

When to Decant Your Wine

How and when to decant wine infographic

Can Decanting Help an Inferior Wine?

Yes! Decanting a cheap wine can often help to get rid of the unpleasant odour from the sulphur dioxide. You might even fool your friends into thinking you’re drinking a much more expensive wine.

Vinturi Aerators

While we generally prefer the ritual, elegance and occasion of a wine decanter, there is no question that aerators are one of the fastest ways to achieve a similar result.

The theory works on the vinturi effect, where the velocity of a wine poured through a small gap increases, and as this happens, pressure decreases and air is mixed with the wine as it is poured into the glass.

So aerators are a fast alternative to decanting and if no-one else is sharing your wine, you can pour just a glass through the aerator instead of having to pour the whole bottle into a decanter.

Whether you use an aerator, a decanter or even a jug, give your wine some space to breathe and experience the difference.

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Food
The essential Seafood and wine matching guide
A seafood selection for all of your wine favourites. There’s something so Australian about tucking into a seafood feast with family and friends! We’re so lucky to have such an incredible range available all year-round, from fresh prawns and oysters served deliciously chilled, to barbequed and baked seafood dishes full of fresh flavours. The style of wine you choose to match your seafood is dictated by its delicacy. From the classic combination of crisp Riesling with freshly shucked oysters to grilled shellfish with a modern Chardonnay, and the not so classic match of salmon with Pinot Noir, there’s a vast array of wine and seafood-matching opportunities. LIGHT AND AROMATIC WHITES Dave Mavor and his family love seafood and are mad about Asian food, so a favourite at his house is steamed snapper with Asian flavours . “I’m a huge fan of alternative whites like Gewürztraminer and Grüner Veltliner which pair perfectly with this style of dish,” says Dave. With Asian flavours also think light and aromatic whites like Sauvignon Blanc , Semillon and blends, and Riesling . MEDIUM WEIGHT AND TEXTURAL WHITES “Living on the coast, I’m lucky to have access to fantastic quality fresh seafood and I love having friends around for lunch on weekends, so dishes like blue swimmer crab spaghettini with lemon and chive sauce and garlic pangrattato are my go-to,” says Nicole Gow. “Crab needs a white that’s light on the oak with crisp acidity, making medium weight and textural wines like Marsanne , Pinot G , Vermentino , Arneis and Fiano mouth-watering choices,” FULLER BODIED AND RICHER WHITES When you’re after an easy to prepare, but impressive and quite luxurious seafood dinner, Adam Walls recommends barbequed marron with garlic and herb butter . “Marron is just so delicious and the rich barbequed flavours of the dish are complemented by fuller bodied and richer whites which I love,” he explains. “Go for Chardonnay , Roussanne , Verdelho or Viognier .” LIGHT TO MEDIUM WEIGHT AND SAVOURY REDS Trent Mannell suggests forgetting what you’ve heard or read about red wine not going with seafood. “The richness of fish like salmon make it great for red wine-lovers,” says Trent. “I really enjoy dishes like King salmon with warm romesco salad that pair so well with light to medium weight and savoury reds like  Grenache , GSM blends , Nero d’Avola , Barbera , Pinot Noir and Merlot .”
Two Blues Sauvignon Blanc 2014
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