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The White Wine Decant

Robert Whitley on

Decant a white wine, you say? The mere suggestion will make jaws drop.

Decanting, after all, is for older red wines and vintage Port, primarily to remove sediment. At least that's the time-honored custom. In reality, all wines -- red and white, even sparkling -- benefit from decanting.

For young red wines, the practice of decanting from the bottle into a glass decanter provides aeration that softens hard tannins. If you haven't tried it, you should. It will enhance the overall experience of drinking a good red wine a bit too young.

Decanting a white wine isn't as widely practiced. For one thing, as we move into the warmer months, there is the issue of maintaining a decent chill on a white wine. But there is no question aeration brings out the more complex and subtle aromas of higher quality white wines.

If serving a large group, maintaining the chill isn't much of a problem. The wine is decanted, poured around the table, and just like that you're ready for another bottle. Pretty simple. But when serving just yourself or one other person, not so much, unless you down it quickly, which I don't recommend.

I happen to have a decanter with a punt, similar to the punt you will find on many bottles of wine. The decanter came with a glass bowl that fits nicely inside the punt. Fill the glass bowl with ice, and voila, the wine holds its chill while you enjoy it at your leisure.


You can find such a decanter at most major department stores, or do a search online. It needn't be fancy to be highly effective. You can thank me later. You're welcome.

Best Value

Wines are rated on a 100-point scale. Wines are chosen for review because they represent outstanding quality or value, and the scores are simply a measure of this reviewer's enthusiasm for the recommended wine.

Chacewater 2018 Rose, Sierra Foothills ($18) -- The race is on, and the first dry rose wines of the 2018 vintage are coming to market. The Chacewater offers clean, fresh aromas of cherry and strawberry, is bone-dry and beautifully balanced. Made from 100% syrah, it's a great example of syrah rose. Rating: 90.


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