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How to Decant Natural Wine! Balistreri’s Decanting Guide


Decanting is done for two basic reasons. The first is to remove sediment that may have formed in the bottle with age. The other is to introduce oxygen into the wine, allowing the flavors and aromatics to blossom. You may want to decant Balistreri wines for one or both of these reasons. This is especially true for older bottles as our wines are made naturally, without filtering or fining. 

Step by Step Guide

  • Allow the unopened bottle to sit upright for at least a few hours before opening. This will allow sediment to settle to the bottom of the bottle. 
  • Find a clean decanter or glass pitcher to decant into. Fancy is not necessary. However,it needs to be clear so you can see through to the wine as you pour. A well lit room and a clean white surface to work on top of is also good for this reason.
  • Open the bottle and examine the cork and neck. If there is sediment on part of the neck, take note of where it is at so you pour from a different angle. You can also use a paper towel to wipe the neck if you think it’s necessary… just don’t plunge it into the wine. 
  • Pour the wine into the decanter slowly and steadily, without stopping. Only tilt the bottle enough to allow a steady flow of wine. The sediment will remain behind as it collects on the shoulder of the bottle. 
  • Stop pouring as soon as you see the sediment near the end of decanting. Sediment isn’t always chunky and obvious; stop if the wine’s color becomes cloudy or if you see what looks like specks of dust in the neck.
  • A properly decanted wine should leave nearly the entire bottle decanted with only a touch of cloudy sediment still remaining in the bottle. 

How long should I decant a wine before drinking it? 

It is important to taste the wine shortly after it is decanted. Older wines usually “open up” after just a few minutes and should be enjoyed right after. Younger or “tighter” wines may take longer to open up… sometimes even an hour or so. We recommend tasting a bottle throughout the night to see how it changes. 

Should I pour Balistreri Wine through an aerator? 

Although aerators introduce oxygen and “open up” wines, we do not recommend their use on Balistreri bottles. Decanting the wine will itself introduce oxygen to the wine. Aerators might bruise or over oxidize a wine – especially natural or older wines.

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