Aerating Virage

People think I’m kidding (or goofy, perhaps) when I confess to my favorite “decanter.”

Everybody's got one of these, right?

Everybody’s got one of these, right?

Seriously, if you still have a regular ol’ fashioned glass coffee pot for a drip coffeemaker, or a French Press, these make the best vessel for the quick “rack-and-return” for a bottle of red wine.  This photo is deceiving; I usually pour against the side of the glass so every drop gets a wake-up call.  It’s critical of course to give the “pot” a good scrubbing; mine has plenty of hard-water deposits but I rinse VERY well to remove any coffee or soap residue, then dry–and/or give a quick rinse with a sacrificial ounce of wine.

Nearly any young red wine will benefit from air;  cabernet sauvignons need air to tame tannins that might otherwise attack your cheeks like little Pac Men…  Virage needs air to unfold its tightly-packed lush tannins and texture, and reveal its darker, deeper flavors.  2007 Virage starts out all pomegranate brightness –and never loses that –but the deeper flavors and weight gain come later to anchor the high notes into a full resounding chord of flavor.  Taste along the way and tell me if I’m wrong!

So easy you can do it with one hand while photographing with the other.

So easy you can do it with one hand while photographing with the other.

The ideal aeration process for 2007 Virage, I find, happens slowly.  We’re mimicking the impact of bottle aging; so, when you have the opportunity to plan ahead, I think the wine tastes its most fabulous –layered, plushy, energized, and complex–after it’s been awakened by good exposure, and then snugged BACK into the bottle to ponder itself until the NEXT EVENING when you’re ready to be blown away by its evolution.  Which is why I love glass coffee pots, with their handy pour spouts.

Love our cool sunny weather right now, so perfect for drinking hearty red wines.

I do have a favorite inexpensive decanter as well.  It’s from Crate & Barrel, and costs less than $30.  I find it easy to achieve a nice wide flow against the “higher” side of its angled top opening.  And the footprint is realistic for tables of smaller sizes, like I typically work on when presenting the wine at retailers or restaurant tables, and in my tiny house.  These are hardy, easy to clean, easy to grab and give a good swirl to compensate for the smaller footprint, and a single bottle of wine fills it to the widest point.  Right?  I’m always amazed when a restaurant uses decanters that require half the contents to be removed before there’s much more exposure than in the original bottle.  And it fills too full to swirl!  I’m not sharing a link, because I don’t advertise on this blog nor receive pennies for sending you to any commercial site but you can search for it on Crate & Barrel.  Cheers!Decanter3


About Emily Richer

Investment banker turned right banker.
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