How to store wine

How to store your wine in optimum conditions.

  • For medium to long-term storage wines should be kept in a consistently cool temperature, ideally between 12°C and 18°C with minimum fluctuations.
  • Wines should be stored on their side to ensure that the cork remains in contact with the wine. If the cork dries out, air may get in and oxidise the wine.
  • Wines should be stored in dark cool conditions with no vibrations to agitate the wine.

Decanting your wine

Many wines bought today are designed for early consumption and might not need decanting however may still benefit from the aeration decanting provides. The primary function of decanting is to allow the wine to be separated from any sediment that may be present but also for it to come into contact with the air which releases aromas and encourages the wine to ‘open up’ which means all of the flavours can be appreciated.

Vintage ports and older red wines will be most likely to throw sediment. Prior to decanting your chosen wine should be placed upright for several hours, ideally overnight, this will allow as much of the sediment to filter down to the base of the bottle making the decanting process more effective.

If you wish to decant a wine you do not necessarily need a ‘decanter’. Wine can be poured into any vessel, then carefully rinse out the original bottle with water and then pour the wine back in, minus the sediment. Some people prefer this method as serving a very old wine from its original bottle is part of the charm. White wines can also benefit from decanting but it is much more rare to see it done.

How to decant your wine

Preparation is key when decanting, make sure the wine has been standing upright for several hours, ideally over night, before you begin.

  • A clean and suitably large vessel will be needed to decant the wine into, a jug, decanter or another clean bottle.
  • Remove the capsule and dust away any stray bits of cork.
  • Using a good corkscrew (one with a long worm is best) remove the cork.
  • If you are opening a very old bottle of wine the cork may be very crumbly. If this is the case simply push the cork into the bottle rather than pulling small fragments of cork out.
  • If decanting a Vintage port the glass can be almost black and very hard to see through. It is recommended that a candle is placed parallel to the neck of the bottle so that you can see through the neck and tell when the sediment starts to escape as you pour off the wine (a good torch will also do or any form of light that enables you to see through the neck).
  • Once the cork has been removed carefully begin to pour in a slow steady and continuous motion. A funnel may be useful. When nearing the end of the bottle sediment may begin to appear this is when you should stop pouring.
  • Once decanted pour off a sample to taste and check the wine. It will be interesting to see how the wine changes while airing before it is drunk.
  • Leave the decanted wine to breathe prior to serving.
  • If you are decanting a number of wines it can be useful to label the wines so that they can be easily identified later on.

Always check the wine to see that it is not corked. Avoid pouring more than one bottle into each decanter as there is often bottle variation in older wines. Worse still you may pour corked wine over good wine.

If you want advice about what wines to decant and how long to let them breathe, simply contact us, we will be delighted to advise.

Davy’s Direct: Receive a regular wine order direct to your door ready for drinking.  With generations of experience you can depend on both the quality and reliability of our wines and our delivery service. Our aim is to make your wine buying easy, bring you new ideas if you want them or keep you topped up with your favourites – all at a budget to suit you. Simply fill in your details on the form opposite, tick your chosen price range (£75 or £100) and frequency of delivery (monthly or quarterly).

  • You can choose your preferred selection of wines, or we can send our case(s) of the month.
  • Once we have received your completed form one of the team will contact you to arrange the finer details. All our team are knowledgeable and helpful and will happily chat through your choices and our range of wines available.
  • Every time we are due to deliver we will contact you to double check your requirements should you wish to make additions or skip a delivery. A flexible scheme to suit you.
  • A vintage after sales service – we call you following every delivery to ensure you are happy with your wines, they reached you in perfect condition and that our delivery was efficient and easy for you. If you have any suggestions to make our service better we are always keen to know.
  • Terms and conditions: Delivery is free for orders of £100 more to any UK mainland address, this excludes the Isle of Wight, Scottish Highlands and Northern Ireland. Delivery is normally within 72 hours following order

If you have any questions at all please call 020 8858 9147and a member of the team will be pleased to help.

Be the first to find out about our latest news, tastings, special offers and more. Sign up to our newsletter here