Decanting question re: temperature

I see on CT TNs that people decant for 1-3 hours normally and is any thought given to temperature or are most people storing the wine at cellar temp and then letting it come to room temp as they decant. I’ve come to like drinking wine at cooler cellar temp or slightly above that and not sure I would like to drink at room temp after a 2 hour decant.

Room temperature refers to European temps, it would be too high in many places ,such as Miami.
Red or white wines would ideally be served at different temps.

For a long decant, I usually leave it in the cellar for much of it.

The same for me. I decant it in the cellar and leave it there until time to serve.

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If you don’t have a cellar, throw the decanter on a bag of frozen peas. It will keep it just a bit cooler. A gel pack wrapped in a dish towel would also work.

Decant at cellar temp imo.

I have a multiple wine coolers therefore I use one to keep the decant cool.

I have a double sink and when I decant wine I fill the one sink with colder water and put the decanter in it to keep it at the temp I want to drink it at. If it’s a longer decant I will periodically toss and ice cube in the sink to keep the water at a cooler temp. Just be careful not to fill up the sink too full so the decanter tips.

I decant in the freezer. I pour the wine into ice cube trays, cover with plastic wrap, and poke sticks into the center of each cube. Winesicles are great!

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Ever get woody notes or splinters?

I personally don’t worry about temps when decanting. No big deal. If you need to have it cooler for serving then double decant and put the bottle in the freezer for 5-10 minutes before service. It’s wine not rocket science.

Unless it’s actually both.

-1 for the pun. But I did laugh.
If double decanting is too much excitement for the wine, or efforts for you, you can also just pop the decanter itself in the fridge for a while (assuming it’s no strong odours eg from pnget cheeses). I do this quite a bit with young chards.

It depends on the wine.

A straight 2-3 hour decanting time does apply across the board. As always they’re exceptions to the rules.

Less age-worthy wines, such as Tres Picos Garnacha, 15-30 minutes to open/soften a bit.

Wines such as a mature Bordeaux where the anticipated maturity date was yesterday.
Allow the bottle to sit at room temperature for several hours, before pouring into the glass.
Your decanter in this case, is the bottle you opened.
This wine although drinkable, has the potential to begin fading once out of the bottle.

Wines that are young in the maturity development cycle, certainly will benefit from several hours in a decanter.

One item of note, is that drinking wines at cooler than suggested temperature guidelines has a tendency to mask/subdue flavor components that would be readily apparent at slight higher temperature.

Drinking the wine you the way you like is the most important thing. Enjoy.


Not sure I follow why letting an aged BDX come to room temp makes sense when the recommended serving temp is 61-64F? (Which is actually what I do now, but I am trying to figure out if it makes sense or not).

My only option to decant at a lower temp is to leave it in my wine fridge, which I’m going to try tonight with a 2000 St Estephe. Will report back.

Results were that there certainly is no downside to decanting whilst in the wine fridge. I did think it was nice to serve the wine at the proper temp, but having said that, I enjoyed the wine after it warmed up a little. Not sure I will go out of my way to decant in the wine fridge going forward, unless I’m doing a decant >2hrs

Decanting is the part that can’t be changed quickly. Putting a red in the fridge for 20 minutes before drinking is a lot easier if that’s so important. I do most of my drinking at room temp because that’s where the wine gets to after we start drinking it anyway.

One idea I have not tried for wine but have used for sake, is to use a decanter with an ice pocket. You can adjust the amount of ice you put in to vary the temperature; if you only want it a bit cooler put one ice cube or two in there (or even just some cold water). It would probably take a bit of experimenting to get it right, but if you want to keep the wine cooler and don’t have a cellar this could be a solution.

Stainless steel “ice cubes” would work great if you don’t have room in a wine fridge for a decanter or an actual cellar, of course. Stainless should be ideal since you wouldn’t have any flavor seep into the wine. I’d worry - a bit - about reusable cubes that are plastic. You could obviously also just decant it at [American] room temp and then just throw the decanter in the fridge for about 20-30 min before service.

I’ve actually taken a shelf out of the bottom of my wine fridge and use that space for decanters. So nice not having to worry about the wine getting too warm and then having to plan on cooling it back off before serving it.

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