To Decant Or Not To Decant: Wine Glasses 101

To Decant Or Not To Decant: Wine Glasses 101

Buying nice wine glasses is something most of us always mean to get around to, but never do.

It’s a widely known fact that proper glasses make a real difference in the taste of your wine, but we believe that you don’t have to buy eight different sets of wine glasses and seventeen decanters to elevate your wine experience from average to extraordinary.

Buying glasses for specific types of wines and knowing how and when to use them is a simple and fulfilling step you can take in enjoying your next glass.

Here are some of the basics and fundamentals of decanting and choosing wine glasses that will enhance your drinking experience without breaking the bank.

Should you decant?

The short answers is: sometimes. The idea behind decanting (not to be confused with aerating) is to separate the wine from any sediment produced by the aging process. It’s thought that decanting helps aerate a wine to enhance the aroma.

Confused yet?

Decanting means to pour from one container to another and before doing so, it’s recommended to allow the bottle of your choosing to stand upright for 24 hours before decanting.

Aerating a wine helps to bring out its full aroma and flavour profile; not all wines need to be aerated, however, and in the end it is a personal preference. We highly recommend the BOSA Wine aerator for those looking to enhance their wine experience.

Which wines should be decanted?

Wines that should be decanted are older reds and vintage port wines, because these naturally produce sediment as they age. You almost never need to decant white wine, as sediment results from the skin of the grape, and white wine is made without the skin. If a bottle of red wine is older than five years, it will likely have accumulated sediment and would benefit from decanting.  

When in doubt, hold the bottle up to a light and look for sediment.

Some people opt to use a candle as a light source for show or to pay homage to how things used to be done. – source.

How to decant wine

Let the bottle sit upright for twenty-four hours to let the sediment settle before you begin decanting. Wipe off the neck of the bottle and find a clean vessel to pour the wine into. Slowly pour the wine into your decanter. As you reach the bottom of the bottle, keep an eye out for any sediment or cloudiness that you see. Stop pouring when the impurities reach the neck.

Choose the best wine glass

If you’ve gone to the trouble of finding your wine and maybe even decanting it, do yourself a favor and follow up with the right glass.

Knowing which glass is for what wine:


Red wine: Choose a large glass with a round opening to let your nose enter the bowl and smell the aroma. Larger bowls allow the wine to aerate and give you the best flavor profile.


White wine: These lighter, cooler drinks benefit from a U-shaped bowl that is more upright than a red wine glass. This helps preserve temperature and aroma.
Sparkling wine: Light and luxurious, sparkling wines need an upright flute with a narrow top to retain carbonation


Rose: Roses are commonly served in short bowled glasses with a tapered or flared lip. Either style will work, but you can also use a white wine glass for much the same effect.


Dessert wines: For sweet drinks like liqueurs, fortified wines, and icewines, choose a small glass to accommodate for increased sweetness and alcohol content.

Congratulations! You’re now a wine expert. Feel free to whip these points out at parties to impress your friends.