Does White wine need aerating or decanting?

We need to be clear on a couple of things before we start this article. Definitions are important.

vinturi-wine-decantingWine Decanting is a traditional process useful when dealing with certain red wines to ensure that no sediment from the bottle. This was the tradional reason for having a wine decanter in your house.

In most modern winemaking, the need to decant for this purpose has been significantly reduced to where not as many wines produce a significant amount of sediment as they age.

Wine Aeration is often a by-product of using a wine decanter. By bringing wine out of the bottle and mixing air through the wine the decanter mimics the effects of swirling the wine glass to stimulate the movement of molecules in the wine to trigger the release of more aroma compounds. This is the exact process that the Vinturi mimics.

Given the definitions there is never a reason to decant white wine as it has no sediment in it. Thus the important question is whether white wine will benefit from Aeration.

The answer is that white wine does generally benefit from aerating. Some white wines, such as a young Mersault or Chablis from France that are made to age, would probably benefit greatly by being aerating. But most of the white wines we drink are made to drink a bit younger, and aerating them offers a slight benefit in terms of taste. It really is up to you.

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