Why You Should Never Shake Up A Bottle Of Wine Before Pouring

pouring red wine in glass
pouring red wine in glass - Zbynek Pospisil/Getty Images

There's something truly magical about the way wine can awaken your senses. The combination of aromas and flavors creates an experience akin to being transported in time to places like vineyards halfway across the world. However, handling wine correctly is a skill you may need to master to enjoy its full potential. For instance, if you've ever found yourself staring at a bottle of wine with a decent amount of sediment settling at the bottom, you might have been tempted to give it a gentle shake before pouring to disperse the particles. But hold up! Before you start any agitation, let's talk about why shaking a bottle of wine before pouring is a big no-no.

First things first, that sediment you see is actually not a bad thing. It's a sign that your wine is probably pretty darn good. Sediment forms naturally as wine ages, and it's made up of harmless compounds like tannins and yeast cells. These little bits might not look appetizing, but thankfully, the sediment isn't harmful either. That said, they do have a texture, so if you shake the bottle, you'll end up making your wine cloudy and adding a slightly gritty mouthfeel to it. Not exactly what you were going for, right? But don't worry. There's a simple and elegant solution to dealing with sediment in your wine. All you need is a little patience and a steady hand.

Read more: What Happens If You Accidentally Eat Mold?

How To Handle Sediment In A Bottle Of Wine

pouring wine into decanter
pouring wine into decanter - G-Stock Studio/Shutterstock

The right way to handle a bottle with a lot of sediment is by decanting it. This simple yet effective solution separates clear wine at the top from the chunky bits at the bottom. All you need is a decanter (or even just a clean pitcher will do) and a little bit of patience. To decant your wine successfully let it first stand upright for one or two days before opening it. The goal here is to allow all the sediment to settle at the bottom of the bottle making decanting easier.

Next, uncork the bottle and slowly pour the wine into the decanter. Use a candle or a flashlight positioned under the bottleneck for better visibility of the wine. When you see the sediment moving closer to the bottleneck, stop pouring. Now your decanter holds only clear wine and you can discard the few ounces left in the bottle containing the solids.

But here's the best part: Decanting isn't just about removing sediment. It also gives your wine a chance to aerate, allowing those flavors and aromas to fully develop and come to life. So not only will you avoid the cloudiness and grittiness that comes with shaking up a bottle of wine, but you'll also enhance the overall drinking experience.

Read the original article on Tasting Table