Ever seen the weird, vase-like thing in a friend's cabinet and thought, what the heck is that? It's called a decanter, and it helps your wine breathe and become more enjoyable to drink.
But how does it work? The main forces behind a decanter are evaporation and oxidation, but what’s happening and why does it improve the quality of my wine?
After spending a considerable amount of its life trapped in a bottle, contact with fresh air is integral to the flavor and aroma of any wine. Decanters were designed to maximize the interaction between liquid to air – introducing oxygen as the wine splashes inside and sitting in a large basin at the bottom with plenty of surface area. Unwanted odors disperse to reveal the desirable ones. Otherwise, overwhelming tannins are lessened, resulting in a more tempered mouthfeel. Long story short – your wine tastes better.
“Why?” you may ask. Without boring your socks off, here’s a little scientific explanation as to how decanting works and why you should use it to get the perfect glass of wine…
Let’s start by thinking about aroma. What carries a wonderful smell to your nose? Air. So, it just makes sense that air is a major component of a wine’s aroma. Fermented beverages gain a wonderful quality known as alcohol, but also contain a slew of other compounds like hydrogen sulfide and sulfur dioxide. Don’t worry, none of these are harmful, but they do taste and smell a little funky! As air is introduced to a glass of wine, evaporation instantly releases these more offensive compounds from the solution and leaves the more enticing, aromatic compounds behind.
While evaporation happens almost instantaneously and releases a solution's components, oxidation constitutes a chemical reaction that changes a wine on an elemental level. This transformation happens in a matter of minutes rather than seconds. As oxygen interacts with the wine, tannins undergo a process called polymerization that changes them on a molecular level and results in a smoother feeling on the tongue.
If you’re not already snoozing, we’ll just wrap things up and say that decanting isn’t just for fancy wine drinkers who want to serve their wine out of a weird-looking flower vase. It really will make your wine taste better… because of science! But there’s no need to get carried away and purchase an expensive crystal decanter that you have no idea where to store. Cork Genius can help you instantly decanter with our Bottle-Top Aerator. It does all the work that a decanter does without the hassle, spillage, and price. As the wine passes through the pour-top, the air is introduced, jump-starting all the scientific processes outlined above. You get a better glass of wine with zero effort. Now that’s drinking like a genius!