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How to Decant

June 22, 2012
Question by: Maureen, Burton on Trent, UK

Q:

I have a bottle of 1970 Graham's and need information on how best to decant it. The bottle has been lying on its side for 25 years.

A:

Hi Maureen, Decanting isn't nearly as scary as some wine connoisseurs would have you believe, for Port it really is quite simple.  Gently set the bottle upright at least 30 minutes before you plan to pour - or earlier, if that is more convenient.  For a 1970, just over 40 years old, we recommend decanting 30 to 60 minutes before you plan to enjoy the Port.  After you have removed the cork, gently pour off the wine into the decanter, watching closely so you can stop pouring if and when you see any sediment coming out of the original bottle.  Alternatively, use a funnel lined with cheesecloth, muslin or surgical gauze to catch any sediment that may escape.  30 to 60 minutes later, relax and enjoy with friends and family.

Those are the basics.  Under the Enjoying Port tab on the menu above we have an article about Decanting Vintage Port with more information about corkscrews and glassware, as well as more technical fine points and some special notes about Ports 40 years or older, which you should read.  You may also want to look at our article about Serving Port, which discusses glassware again, enjoying Port in a restaurant, and food pairing suggestions.



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