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Decanted Wine - How long until "spoils"?

herzzreh

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When I decant wine and can't drink the whole bottle... how long is it until it "spoils" (overoxidises)?
 

grimslade

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My father in law gave me a decanter that has a stopper with a vacuum pump. Seems to work OK. Without that, wine left overnight gets pretty dodgy. You can still drink it--it won't kill you--but the difference in 24 hours is pretty dramatic.
 

Dmax

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The Vacu-vin system, which is what Grimslade probably has, does work to retard the oxidation of the wine for a couple of days. It's hard to generalize though, since some wines could use a day's exposure to air to open up while others shouldn't be decanted at all.
 

The Wayfarer

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This thread brought to mind one of my earliest forays into wine. I'll keep this concise by saying that I quickly learned not to leave a bottle of wine out for a few weeks expecting to return to it with any intent of drinking.

Ghastly.
 

Piobaire

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Originally Posted by herzzreh
When I decant wine and can't drink the whole bottle... how long is it until it "spoils" (overoxidises)?

As someone above has said, "it depends." I recently had a nice pinot that was at the very end of its drinking window. We did not decant, as I knew it would not need that, and while the first glass was excellent, with all the characteristics of a good wine with age, by the last glass it was harsh and flat. So basically, no decanting, had turned in under an hour.

General rule of thumb, the more tannic a wine is, the longer it will take to turn. I would not decant if I was not planning to drink the entire bottle in short order. I only decant maybe 15% of the time also.
 

joopie

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Originally Posted by Piobaire
As someone above has said, "it depends." I recently had a nice pinot that was at the very end of its drinking window. We did not decant, as I knew it would not need that, and while the first glass was excellent, with all the characteristics of a good wine with age, by the last glass it was harsh and flat. So basically, no decanting, had turned in under an hour.

General rule of thumb, the more tannic a wine is, the longer it will take to turn. I would not decant if I was not planning to drink the entire bottle in short order. I only decant maybe 15% of the time also.



Exactly. I would say: be careful when decanting wine. The fact that you have to ask this question seems to suggest that you are not familiar with wine. Furthermore, I would not decant any wine if you do not intend to drink it straight away.
 

Lucky7

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Most of the wines that I drink need to be decanted, however those that do not need it are very harsh if left out for too long. I'm a bit of a functioning alcoholic, so there generally isn't any wine left int he decanter after a night of drinking...I never let any go to waste.
 

Piobaire

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Originally Posted by Lucky7
Most of the wines that I drink need to be decanted, however those that do not need it are very harsh if left out for too long. I'm a bit of a functioning alcoholic, so there generally isn't any wine left int he decanter after a night of drinking...I never let any go to waste.

Just curious. What are you drinking that requires most of your wine to be decanted?
 

Manton

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Rule of thumb #1: the older the wine is, the less time you have before it spoils.

Rule of thumb #2: the bolder the wine is, the more time you have before it spoils. "Bold" can be understood in two ways. The grape, and the quality. A pinot will go south before a cab, all other things being equal. A decent wine from an OK vintage will go south before a blockbuster from great vintage, even if the latter is older (though not if it is so old that it is on its last legs).

All this is subjective and hard to put into practice. This also applies simply to opening the wine and leaving it in the bottle.

Really, there are only three reasons to decant: 1) To trap sediment; 2) to aerate the wine; 3) for presentation.

#1 makes a lot of sense for very old wines that throw a lot of sediment such as Bordeaux, cab and port. With pinots and burgs, not so much, though you never know. Rhones can throw a lot sediment too.

#2 is one of those points hotly debated among wine snobs. There really is no settled truth or even conventional wisdom here. You will have some people passionately argue that decanting is essential to "waking" the wine up. Others will say that it risks ruining the delicate flavor of a finely aged wine. Still others will say, it depends: don't do it if the wine is really ancient, but do it if it is on the young side and some aeration can replocate the aging effects.

#3 is really up to you.
 

Piobaire

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Originally Posted by audiophilia
I thought all reds could use an hour decant.


Manton nailed things perfectly.

But as to all reds...last night I had a nice little blended wine from Novy Family. Pop and pour. It's just a nice little drinker. The pinot I talked about earlier; if I had decanted and let sit an hour, it would have been undrinkable. As it was, we had a very delicate lady, fading into old age, that still showed her beauty.

Personally, I decant if I know there's going to be sediment. Again, Manton squarely addressed that. I will decant a bold wine if I think it's a little on the young side. If it's well into its drinking window, I probably won't, except for sediment. I will decant pinots I know to have a heavy "earth" component, which I refer to as "pinot funk." I won't decant most Cali pinots, as I can aerate in the proper glass quite well, and that's actually part of the enjoyment for me.
 

Dragon

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Instead of decanting, I usually just open the bottle about 30 minutes ~ 1hour before drinking. For very good (bold) but young wines, I will decant but I am not sure if there is really any difference. In any case, I think the good wines usually take about 1~2 hours to really open up to full potential.

If I don`t drink the whole bottle, I just put the cork back on and the wine lasts about another day or two.
 

Doc4

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Originally Posted by Piobaire
Manton nailed things perfectly.


Ditto.

One exception, fortified wines tend to last much longer. Port and Sherry can last a while (several days at least ... but not Fino sherry like Tio Pepe ... it goes downhill fast) and Madeira can last almost forever.

I keep a couple empty half-bottles in the kitchen. If I won't finish the bottle of wine 'tonight' half goes into the half-bottle for 'tomorrow' ... helps with the post-opening lifespan.
 

SField

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That's the big problem with wine.

When I'm eating alone I never open a bottle or cook with it because I'm not going to drink the whole thing myself. I don't like drinking a lot of wine. I do binge drink with my friends but that's Vodka and Scotch. Unless I have people over, I don't open a bottle almost ever.
 

nicad2000

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I use the cheap stuff in the individual-serve bottles for cooking, which solves that piece of the problem. Sutter Home all the way!

Otherwise, I never have any trouble finishing off a decent bottle for myself.
 

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