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Port Decanter - how to decant port

Decanting Step 1
A lot of people find the whole idea of decanting vintage port nerve-wracking.  Fortunately it's a lot easier than you might imagine.

So what does decanting mean? Simply put, it is the act of pouring the port from its original bottle to another bottle (or port decanter) with the aim of leaving any sediment behind.  The port can be drunk from the decanter without any of the distasteful sediment being encountered in the glass.

Some good news first...not all port wine needs decanting; in fact the majority of port wines do not need to be decanted, having been bottled without any sediment being present.

Only port wine that has been created to mature in the bottle needs to be decanted - and a quick gander at the label will tell you if it is required.

So you are looking for vintage port to be stated on the label (and that's not the same thing as Late Bottled Vintage, just to confuse things).  A vintage port will say Vintage Port and will have a year designated as well.

Similarly, a Crusted Port will need decanting - again it should state Crusted on the label and give the year of bottling.

Lastly, look out for Traditional, Bottle Matured or Un-filtered on the labels of bottles of LBV port - whilst some LBV port can be drunk without decanting, if the label has traditional or un-filtered it means it will need decanting.

Ports that state Vintage Character or Reserve are not actually vintage port, and will not require decanting.  Ruby port, tawny port, white port and colheita port do not require decanting either but the experience of drinking them will still be enhanced if served in a port decanter (you can just pour them straight into the decanter without the funnel!)

So step 1 - decide what kind of port wine you have.

Decanting Step 2 >>
A selection of ports from our main sales site -
Vintage Port Crusted Port LBV Port Wine Tawny Port
How to decant Port Wine Decanter Types Port Glasses Port Wine Types Matching Port Wine & Food Serving Port Wine

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