Decanting Wine, When, Why and How to Decant

Wine Club Event at Folded Hills 5

You will notice in your wine shipments that we recommend decanting the reserves for an hour or two before serving them. So many of you have said to us, “why decant?” or “I don’t have a decanter.” We decided to share with you our suggestions on decanters and the power of letting your wines aerate before drinking. Have you ever been disappointed with a wine that was immediately poured, and then after a little while said to your friends, “I didn’t like this at first, but now I think it’s really good!” That’s the power of decanting. Not all wines benefit from decanting, and in fact, some can be harmed by too much exposure to air too quickly. At Folded Hills we are shipping young Rhone reds which do benefit from some time in a decanter. Try a little experiment. Try sipping the wine right after opening and then again after an hour or two in the decanter. The difference is remarkable! Wines that seemed like clenched fists when uncorked loosen up a bit with an hour or two in the decanter. Winemaker Angela Osborne says, “an hour in the decanter is worth a year in the cellar.” While decanting doesn’t exactly mimic age it certainly allows the wine to open up and releases the aromas and subtle flavors. High-quality corks allow exposure to minute amounts of air over the years that a bottle of wine is cellared. As impatient wine drinkers, we just want to open that wine up and drink it right away. Decanting smooths the edges and mellows the tannins of young wines.


Open the bottle and just let it breathe for a couple of hours — this method, while simple, is not ideal because the surface of wine exposed to air is minimal.  Still, it’s better than just opening and drinking.  If you live in an area with bugs or fruit flies be sure to cover your container or open bottle with a paper towel to keep the critters out.  They will ruin a bottle of wine in minutes.  

Slowly pour the wine into a decanter and allow it to breathe for an hour or two.  In a pinch we have poured the bottle into a glass or china pitcher, let it breathe, and then used a funnel to pour it back into the bottle- be sure to cover the bottle with a towel to protect the label as you funnel the wine back into the bottle.  I will often decant a bottle at home for an hour, recork it and take it to a restaurant.  The wine is delicious with dinner because it had time to breathe. (Don’t forget you will pay a corkage fee) You can also serve the wine at home directly from the decanter.  This makes guests feel like they are getting a really special bottle of wine. Be sure to keep the bottle on the table or near the decanter so guests can see what they are drinking! Scroll down for decanters of all price ranges.  

Use an aeration device. The Vinturi® wine aerator is a handheld plastic device that exposes the wine to more air in a short period of time.  You can use the device to pour into a decanter or directly into the wine glass.

Hyperdecanting.  We have yet to try hyperdecanting at Folded Hills.  Winemaker, Angela Osborne, would be horrified by the idea of torturing her precious juice. Hyperdecanting is a violent method of forcing air into the wine. See the Lifehacker post by Adam Pash, Hyperdecanting: Better Wine in a Minute, You Impatient Philistine.  The title alone makes us laugh and cringe at the same time.  This method recommends putting the wine in a blender for a minute….AACCK!  Whatever method you choose don’t stress. Just enjoy.  Decanting is just one of the many enjoyable experiences of drinking wine.  Cheers!


Aerate wine in seconds for better taste. Our Folded Hills Red Wine Aerator is clearly on the cutting edge of wine aerating. Mixing just the right amount of air with your wine at the precise moments, this see-through aerator allows your reds to breathe instantly. The Vinturi Red Wine Aerator results are a better bouquet, enhanced flavor, and a smoother finish. Perfect aeration in the time it takes to pour a glass. Couldn’t be easier. Comes with a no-drip base. Acrylic. Aerator and base are dishwasher safe.  




This hand blown lead-free crystal adds radiance to any room. Impress your guests, amplify the ambience and enhance the purity, aroma, and taste of your favorite red or white wine with Le Chateau wine pourer.

Le Chateau Wine Decanter

One of the coolest new aerating innovations comes from Corkcicle, a favorite among thermal water bottle and drink on the go fans. Their new Air+ has a convenient pour through spout that attaches to a wand that can chill wine as well as aerate as it pours.

Corkcicle Aerator

This elegantly designed carafe aerates your wine in one easy step. Simply press the decanter onto the top of an opened bottle of wine and flip it over so that the wine pours into the decanter. You can serve the wine from the decanter, or flip it back over once it’s done and pour the aerated wine back into the bottle and serve from the original bottle.

Menu Winebreather Carafe

Designed for all full-bodied red wines, in particular young powerful red wines that require a bigger surface/air ratio for the enhanced exposure of the wines individual characteristics and finer nuances. Also ideal for decanting magnum.

Zalto Mystique Decanter


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