The Reality of Decanting a Sparkling Wine

Traditionally and historically, decanting has been a process largely limited to red wines. Many strong white wines are decanted. Some wines that are not too strong are decanted to allow the trapped aromas to blossom and be more than just a subtle sensory experience. In recent years, sparkling wine is being decanted. The finest champagnes from France or the most expensive sparkling wines from Italy, such as premium prosecco or the treasured bottles from California, are still not decanted. The decision is the discretion of a sommelier. It is the job of a sommelier to know if a particular bottle or type of sparkling wine needs to be decanted. However, what are you supposed to do when you are at your home and there is no one to tell you if a bottle of sparkling wine should be decanted or you can raise a toast immediately after uncorking it.

Sparkling wine is being treated more like regular wine nowadays. The expensive champagnes and other dearer bottles are not in this category. The more affordable sparkling wine variants are being perceived as standard wine and for good reason. The perception stems from the fact that sparkling wine produced quickly and from different kinds of indigenous grapes do benefit from steady aeration. There are many trapped aromas that can be allowed to get naturally enhanced when they get exposed to and treated with oxygen in the air. Aeration can also eliminate any unpleasant aroma that may exist in some bottles or brands of sparkling wine.

Sparkling wine is not usually associated with smell of rotten eggs or any majorly acidic aromas. However, the oxidative or reductive effect on the wine during its production can interfere with the intended natural or original taste. There is still a problem though. Some sparkling wines should not be decanted. It may be a little tricky to decide so it is best to decant cheap sparkling wine and to drink expensive champagnes straightaway. Sparkling wine has also undergone some tectonic changes over the years. It is no longer just used for a toast or as an aperitif. Many people drink sparkling wine with the entire meal. The wine does get naturally decanted when you keep it around for a reasonable period of time. You may or may not decant the wine separately in such cases. The wine poured onto a glass or flute would anyway get aerated in some time.

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