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Dear Dr. Vinny,
When enjoying a quality white wine, why is not decanted as with a red? Would it not benefit and open up as well?
—Kirk, Allentown, N.J.
White wines are sometimes decanted, but you're right that it's less common than with reds. Remember that the main functions of decanting are to aerate a wine or to separate it from its sediment. The vast majority of whites are made in a drink-me-now style, so most folks don't age their whites, and even if they do, whites tend to throw less sediment then reds.
If you're curious, experiment! The next time you have an intense young white wine, see if you prefer it decanted, and hold a taste aside that's undecanted to compare. If you drink a lot of aged white Burgundies (and I hope you do), you should definitely try decanting them. Decanting is also a trick I use to warm up a too-cold white so I can enjoy it better.
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