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How to Decant Port Wine

HOW TO DECANT PORT WINE

PLEASURE WITH KNOWLEDGE

Decanting is a particular procedure of Port wine that separates the natural sediment that forms on the bottle of wine as it ages, and aerates the wine and let its delicate aromas to open and reveal themselves. The presentation of the Port Wine in a decanter allows you to not only appreciate its color, but also creates the ideal atmosphere for a full enjoyment of the wine, linking the ’eye pleasure’ to the unique flavor of each wine.
All Port wines can be served in a decanter, but only bottled wine without being filtered, such as Vintage Port, Late Bottled Vintage and Crusted need to be decanted.

PREPARATION

Place the bottle opening vertically, or in a proper support, 1 to 2 hours before opening the bottle, so that the sediments can settle down on the bottom. Remove the seal and clean the top of the bottle. Removing the cork may not be an easy task. In older Vintage Port wines, the cork may be fragile, or even glued to the bottle neck, something that can be induced by the high sugar content of the Port Wine. In this case, you can use tongs. See the section that teaches ‘how to open a bottle of Port Wine using tongs’ and that includes a short film.
You need a perfectly clean decanter. You can rinse it with some hot water through its interior to remove impurities and enable greater cleaning. Flip it after that so it stays well cleaned and with no traces of water.
You can also use a funnel and a clean muslin, a cloth napkin or a metal colander to help pour the wine into the decanter, preventing the passage of sediments, or if the cork is weakened and has fallen partially into the wine.

OPEN A BOTTLE OF VINTAGE PORT WINE WITH TONGS

Place the bottle vertically or in a proper support. Using tongs suitable for the size of the bottleneck; heat tongs directly on the fire and place them around the bottleneck at about 1 cm from the end of the cork, for some time, but not more than 1 minute. After removing the tongs of the bottleneck, pour some cold water on the heated spot. You will hear the click from the neck breaking. Slightly relieve the broken part and let it rest a moment under the water flow, so it cleans and removes some of the residues that may exist. Remove the cork, pulling the rest of it which is still on the bottle. See the movie and dare yourself. It is a unique moment in a ritual full of history.

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