Saturday, July 30, 2011

Another glass, PLEASE!

Add to Google Reader or HomepageLast night, we were talking about wine and when it is necessary to decant it. (The “we” included Karlice who came to visit and to see Tish before she leaves for Cairo on Sunday – now, both of my belle soeurs are here!)

In general, most red wine is improved by opening the bottle 20-30 minutes before pouring. (I think that counting to a hundred by fives is ample time…though you might count faster than I do.) You have undoubtedly seen people swirl wine from a newly-opened bottle in their glasses. They are doing that to let more air interact with the wine. Wine changes – opens up – when the air starts to mix with the liquid.

Some red wines should be decanted. Older red wines should be decanted slowly to reduce/prevent the sediments from ending up in one’s glass. Red wines that have a lot of tannin should be decanted. (Tannins are the chemical compounds in wine that make your mouth pucker and make you feel like you should go brush your teeth.) When we were tasting wine at Domaine de Beaurenard wine museum (, Catherine, who manages the tasting room, told us to decant a young, tannic wine brutalement –  which is French for ‘turn the bottle upside down and let it splash into the decanter.’

Using the same picture of Catherine again... At least she is photogenic!
One vintner told us that he opens his red wine in the morning and then it is perfect when he serves it with dinner that evening. I don’t know whether I have that much foresight, so I will stick to counting to a hundred by fives…


  1. Hope you are having a good summer. Just got back from Sablet. I am one of those who opens the bottle and swirls to get more air into the wine. I rarely decant.

  2. We're loving your blog :) Do you mind if we link to it?


    mccardey (and The Rabbi)

  3. 5, 10, 15, 20, 25.... Oh! My gosh! Where did to bottle go? What a lovely website for those of us mundane, drink it and leave the details to Mark people. He does such a great job and is so passionately eloquent in his descriptions. And then there are the "belle soeurs" we U.S. citizens recognize by law.
    I love reading this man's posts. Such friends are a rare treasure.

  4. If I open a bottle of wine in the morning, I drink it for breakfast.
    X David, NYC