A while back I did a post titled “To Decant Or Not” where I expressed opposition to the idea that decanting (other than to remove a wine from sediment), aerators, or blenders improves wines subjected to that treatment. In my post I suggested that “improvement” is relative, and that not everyone would agree. Writing for Smithsonian, Lisa Bramen picked up on that bit from my post and finished her piece with:
…if you want to try decanting, go for it. If you like the results, keep doing it. If you don’t, or you can’t tell the difference, don’t bother. Decanting, as with everything about wine, is a matter of taste.
Today Tyler Colman (Dr. Vino) brought attention to a piece on Bon Appetit where one of those aerator thingamajiggys was used on four different wines, which were presented in blind pairings with the un-aerated wines to a panel of three New York sommeliers. The take home message?
“The [device] definitely does something, but in three of four cases it turned the wines–each quite different stylistically–into less desirable versions of their former selves… This group of sommeliers unanimously agreed that the risk isn’t worth the occasional payoff.”
No this was not a rigorous trial, and there is no statistical significance to the results. But it is one more point in the meta-analysis, and one that supports my position–don’t decant or aerate if you don’t have to.
[Incidentally, I realize this is my first post in two months. Did you miss me? Hah! I didn’t think so. Well, there was harvest, and then there was bottling, and then there was our first big Wine Club shipment to get out since February. Excuses, excuses. Anyway, unlike Jeff Lefevere I have not retired from writing (miss you, Jeff) and with the holidays upon us I have more time out of the office, and plan to wrap up and post several pieces I have in the works. Merry Christmas and a prosperous New Year! Happy holidays to all.]