Log In / Join Now

Wine Spectator School

Class 2: Tasting Reds


Decanting, the process of pouring a wine from its bottle into another container (commonly, a clear glass vessel called a "decanter") is necessary if the wine has developed sediment.

The object is to pour the clear wine into the decanter while leaving the sediment in the bottle. Though it's not harmful, sediment tastes bitter and adds a gritty mouthfeel.


How to Decant
1. Stand the bottle upright for a day prior to decanting, allowing all the sediment to settle on the bottom.
2. Set up a light source -- a candle or a flashlight standing on end -- to shine through the neck of the bottle as you pour the wine into the decanter.
3. Pour very slowly, taking care...

Ready to enroll?

First, you must register for a membership to WineSpectator.com. Your membership benefits include:
  • FREE enrollment in any course at Wine Spectator School
  • Over 230,000 searchable ratings and tasting notes
  • FREE mobile access so you can research wines wherever you are
  • E-newsletters with advance ratings
  • Editors’ blogs
  • Food and wine matching tool
  • And much more
Log In If You're Already a WineSpectator.com Member

If you have questions about Wine Spectator School, please contact us.

Free Email Newsletters—Sign Up

Sips & Tips | Wine & Healthy Living
Video Theater | Collecting & Auctions
New! Ratings Flash | New! Unfiltered

» View samples
» Or sign up now!
» Manage my newsletter preferences


The marketplace for all your wine needs, including:

Wine Storage | Wine Clubs
Dining & Travel | Wine Auctions
Wine Shops | Wine Accessories

WineRatings+ app: Download now for 340,000+ ratings.