I have been told that the sediment in the bottom of a bottle of old wine consists of harmless tartrate crystals and often indicates good quality. Be that as it may, I don’t enjoy having grit at the bottom of my glass. Should I decant the wine?
Decanting is fine, if it’s done properly. The wine bottle should be stood upright for at least 24 hours before decanting, to allow the sediment to sink to the bottom. It must then be uncorked as gently as possible to avoid shaking, and poured very carefully into the decanter—preferably with a candle or light behind the bottle to allow you to see when the sediment starts moving toward the bottle neck. Renowned wine master Jancis Robinson mentions in her Oxford Companion to Wine that there’s nothing wrong with simply filtering the wine through a paper coffee filter to get rid of sediment. Sounds like a good idea.
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