When should you decant a wine?

I had a great wine that got better as it opened up, sadly I reviewed it before it really opened up to me to show its true character.  Over the last glass of it, a day later, my wife and I discussed the topic of decanting and when and why you should/shouldn’t decant.  She mentioned that a co-worker (also a winemaker) said she will only decant a bottle after tasting it.  The reason being is that some wines may actually “fall apart” if decanted, for example a properly aged bottle of wine may not need to be decanted to “open” it up and could be damaged by the extra exposure to air.

Interestingly, in a quick twitter poll, I received a couple of answers from the wine bloggoshpere.

From:@Whoreplied: @norcalwingman— tweet  (Their Blog URL — Give them a click!)

@blogyourwine: @norcalwingman I say old, bold or both! Some whites benefit, and I’ve even seen Champagne decanted!  (their blog http://www.blogyourwine.com/)

@LarryTheWineGuy @norcalwingman I like to decant older wines with sediment and younger tannic wines. It always looks nice tho. #wine #wineblog #winereview (http://www.overabarrel.net/)

@stevepaulo @norcalwingman If I decant or aerate, I will mention it. My reviews are basically bottle open, pour, maybe a little time (10 mins) in glass. (http://notesfromthecellar.com/)

…I just asked earlier today, so I may post some more replies as they roll in…

When do you decant a wine?  Please leave me comments, I’m trying to figure this one out!


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