Tips for Decanting Wine
While our wines have been crafted to deliver extracted fruit and soft, integrated tannins, decanting our wines can amplify their complex aromas and flavors. You will need a clean decanter with no soapy residue or moisture in it. Any simple glass vessel will do, you don’t need to decant into expensive crystal. You can use a clean, dry funnel to pour the decanted wine back into the bottle. This is called “ double decanting” and is very useful if you are serving a number of wines and want your guests to know exactly what they are drinking.
The Art of Serving
No doubt, your environment is the most influential aspect of your wine enjoyment. Who hasn’t savored a fine Pinot Noir from a plastic cup on the beach while viewing a spectacular sunset or been less than impressed with a legendary wine in the context of a stuffy business dinner? You can optimize the flavors and aromas of your wine in any context by serving it in ideal glassware at an ideal temperature.
It’s very important to serve your wines at a temperature that best reveals their complexities and character. Serving white wines too cold will mask their aromas and flavors. We recommend that you serve our WALT Chardonnays around 50° F.
For our red wines, if the wine is too cool, you will mask the fruit and the wine may seem a bit bitter or astringent. If the wine is too warm, it may seem off balance with overly pronounced alcohol. Our Pinot Noirs show best at around 60-61° F. If you find that your red wine is too cool and tasting slightly bitter, hold the bulb of the glass in the palm of your hand as you swirl the wine. The warmth from your hand will gently warm the wine. Conversely, if your wine is too warm, give it 30 minutes in the refrigerator to hit a desired temperature.
Always serve your wine in a thin-rimmed glass so that the wine hits the tip of your tongue as you sip it. When you're enjoying a wine with complexity and depth, it's best to use a glass with a nice deep bowl and tapered opening. The bowl gives you room to swirl and the tapered opening delivers focused aromas to your nose. Remember, the wine will develop in your glass more than anywhere else.
There are many wines in our portfolio that possess such ample fruit and tannin that they can be cellared for up to 5 years. One of the truly beautiful aspects of a well-crafted wine is that it continues to develop over time; there are nuanced characteristics in wine that can only be achieved with bottle aging. Aromatics can become even more open and complex, tannins become more integrated, and new savory elements unfold on the palate.
When you cellar your wines, whether a few months or decades, store them horizontally and slightly tilted down toward the cork as not to allow the cork to dry out and contract. Also, keep your wines in a steady climate—around 60 degrees is ideal—and out of direct sunlight. If you’ve purchased numerous bottles of a favorite wine, it is fascinating to uncork them over the course of a year or more to experience how the wine evolves.