How to Decant Wine without a Decanter – Wine Guide 2020

Wine decanting is basically one of the mysterious things for most drinkers in the wine industry. This process may be or not be necessary for some wines. Moreover, wine decanting requires a decanter to successfully achieve the process. Yet, the question is how to decant wine without a decanter?

In this article, we will share the alternative options on decanting wine without the decanter. In addition to that, the purpose and advantages of wine decanting are also available below. Aside from that, we also have here the ways on how to identify if the wine is ready for consumption. So, let’s check them out below! 

Why do you need to decant?

Basically, there are two main purposes of why some wines need decanting. First is in order to separate the wine from the formed sediment. The next one is to aerate the wine so that the aroma and flavors of it will be more dominant the moment it will be served.

As you will notice, sediments are more prone within mature red wines and Vintage Ports along their ageing process. This is due to the reason that the pigments responsible for coloration and the tannins bond and break out of the solution. However, you may not see sediments within white wines.

Moreover, stirring the sediment while pouring the wine over will form a cloudy appearance on the wine. Aside from that, it will also incorporate bitter flavors and gritty mouth-feel. Generally, sediments are not harmful; it is just that it makes wine drinking less enjoyable.

how to decant wine without a decanter

Advantages of Decanting Wine:

The process of wine decanting basically needs great patience. Yet, it extremely enhances the taste and the flavor of the wine.


Over time, it is within the bottom of the bottle where the wine sediment usually settles. In addition, the sediments may make the wine unpleasant to drink. Comparing the younger wines to the mature ones, the latter are expected to have larger amounts of sediments settled within the bottom.

So, you basically need to remove the sediments in order to avoid spoiling of the wine taste. For this reason, decanting is very much needed. During wine decanting, the sediments within the bottom of the bottle are not generally separated. Due to this, the wine is transferred to the glass container will not contain the sediments.

This process will guarantee that the wine to be served keeps its real flavor. Doing so will also avoid the wine from having an unpleasant taste.


Basically, there are various aromas for each different wine. These aromas must be released in gradual so that the drinkers may completely enjoy the drink. Moreover, if the wine will breathe, the aromas will be released. Generally, wine aeration let the oxygen to circulate within the winemaking the flavors to get delicate and release the aromas as well.

Moreover, decanting wine permits the oxygen to be mixed well into the drink. This process will basically allow the various aromas to mix and release simultaneously. Aside from that, the drinker will appreciate the flavor and the aromas of the wine.


Traditional wine bottles have cork which basically avoids the release of the aromas or the spoilage of the wine flavors. Yet, serving this kind of wine bottle often results in possible cork accident. Once the cork breaks, its particles might be mixed within the drink and will generally lead to customer dissatisfaction. Wine decanting usually require no cork for the process which may prevent any cork-related accidents. 

How long does it take to decant wine?

Basically, decanting wine takes about thirty minutes for eight years and older wines to get the right aromas and flavors. In case the wine is younger than eight years old and usually have high tannin contents, allow at least 1 to 2 hours for decanting. Keep in mind that you cannot ruin the wine, yet it won’t make the wine better if you shortcut the process.

How to Decant Wine?

By decanting wine, you simply separate the sediment from the wine itself. Ideally, it is safe to think that the red wine will form sediments after 5 to 10 years of keeping inside the bottle. Below is the step-by-step process on how to decant wine using wine decanter:

  1. Basically, position the bottle in an upright position for about 24 hours or more prior to drinking. This will allow the sediment to slide to the bottom which makes it easier to separate.
  2. Look for a decanter which can serve as a vessel to pour on the wine.
  3. Generally, remove the wine capsule and cork then wipe the neck of the bottle to clean.
  4. Moreover, hold a candle or a flashlight beneath the wine bottle neck.
  5. Slowly pour the wine into the decanter without any interruptions. Once you reach the bottom half of the bottle, pour the wine more slowly.
  6. Be alert and immediately stop once you notice any sediment reaching the neck of the wine bottle. However, take note that sediments do not always come in chunky appearance. The cloudy color of the wine or specks of dust in the bottleneck also indicates you to stop pouring on.
  7. Finally, the wine is ready to serve. Discard about an ounce or two of the remaining sediment-filled liquid inside the wine bottle.  

But, what if you do not have a wine decanter? What would you do in order to serve the best-tasting wine if you’ll have guests coming over? Below are suggested options on how to decant wine without a decanter.

Alternative options on how to decant wine without a decanter

In case you want to enhance the flavor and aroma of the wine but you do not have a decanter, you can use other alternatives using the same process. However, this may isn’t being that much acceptable in the wine industry. The two options available on how to decant wine without a decanter is through fake decanting and hiding. Using these two options will allow you to utilize other glassware in replacement of a decanter.    

Fake Decanting

One option on how to decant wine without a decanter is via fake decanting. In case you do not have enough money to buy a decanter, fake decanting is a cool alternative. Below are the suggested vessels that you may use on how to decant a wine without a decanter.


Generally, a glass vase is a good alternative on how to decant a wine without a decanter via fake decanting. It is also the easiest option to do which makes it a better replacement for a decanter. Aside from being similar in shape, the decanter and the glass vase also used to have the same circumferences in most conditions. That’s the reason why glass vase is pretty much better in wine decanting without a decanter.

How to decant wine without a decanter

Moreover, look for the one that is shaped like a jug having a wide mouth and can generally hold about 20 ounces of wine. It is basically much better if the glass vase can accommodate the whole bottle. Usually, the neck of the wine bottle acts to hold the vase. Afterwards, it swirls the wine so that the process of aeration may hasten.

Basically, pour the wine between two glass vases for few times. Allow it to stay on the counter and let the air do the work. Bear in mind that it doesn’t need to be a new vase, just make it more presentable. Glass is actually not porous and it can be easily cleaned well without the stains and odors.


A fishbowl is generally a funny idea on how to decant a wine without a decanter. Yet an eccentric or steamed style bowl can be a cool way of fake decanting your wine. Moreover, pouring the wine on the bowl might be very challenging. It is due to the narrower opening but the shape of the bowl is larger giving way for efficient oxygenation.

So it is generally advisable to look for something smaller yet can accommodate around 500 ml or about 16 ounces of wine. Through the use of a fishbowl for fake decanting may provide you with a generous decanted wine without compromising the style and the process of decanting. But, still, you need to stir the wine occasionally using a long swizzle stick.


Another good way on how to decant wine without a decanter is through the use of the glass jug via the fake decanting method. Basically, compared to the other, this one is the most plausible. Moreover, a wide-mouthed with a generous body is the best glass jug to use for fake decanting. It is also a big bonus if you can find an eccentric style glass jug.

Aside from that, you can choose for a jug with or without handle as this can be advantageous in swirling the wine. How to decant wine by using a glass jug is simply pouring on the wine between two jugs for several times. In case the jug has a wide mouth, pouring the wine can be done for fewer times. Afterwards, allow the jug to stay on the counter.

Hiding Decanting

Hiding decanting is another way on how to decant wine without a decanter. Actually, this is also known as the double decanting method. It only takes about 30 minutes to decant regardless of the type of wine. Utilizing this alternative decanting entails a very simple process. It simply works by doing the following steps:

  1. Initially, pour the wine from the bottle to the preferred vessel that you will be using.
  2. Proceed with the traditional decanting method.
  3. Then, pour back the decanted into its original bottle.

Here are the following alternative vessels that you may use on how to decant wine without a decanter through double decanting:


This plastic ware is not generally useless when you have a wine in your home and you and your guests need to drink it. Aside from storing last night’s food leftovers, you can also pour in there the wine. The larger surface area than it has can fasten the oxygen impact and allow your fancy wine to get enough time that it needs.


Basically, the blender is a possible dubious trick on how to decant wine without a decanter. On a faster rate, it swirls and aerates the wine. Blending the wine is also known as hyperdecanting. But, for the wine enthusiast, this method is a big NO! 

According to some sommelier, blending the wine will generally damage the soft flavor and aroma of the wine. Yet, if this is the only applicable vessel for you to decant your wine, give it about just a 10-second blend. Allow the wine to settle before you put it back into the wine bottle.


Generally, the Mason jar can be used on both fake decanting and hiding decanting. You can basically use a one-litre capacity jar or smaller ones, your choice. However, this jar does not have a wide surface area; perhaps you may have a number of it on hand. Moreover, using this for wine decanting necessitates you to shake the jar in an intermittent manner.

Doing so will help to redistribute the already oxygenated wine. Yet, another thing to consider is the amount of wine that you might sacrifice during decanting. Actually, the use of Mason jar on how to decant wine without a decanter is not the best choice. However, pouring wine into the Mason jar and pouring it on the wine bottle again may generally give the wine more air.


One of the simplest and widely available ways on how to decant wine without a decanter is the use of wine glasses. You can basically go on this option if you really opt to decant the wine. Moreover, using large wine glasses will do the job effectively especially if it can hold up a bottle of wine. Here’s how to decant wine using wine glasses:

  1. Use two wine glasses and roll the wine between them back and forth.
  2. For at least 10 to 15 times, roll the wine into the glasses.
  3. Afterwards, return it back into the empty wine bottle. Just make sure that the sediments left on the bottle are already removed.

However, the drawback for using wine glasses in decanting is allowing the wine to breathe or leaving them lying around. Doing this is a great temptation to take a sip of it. Or, worse, is to swipe up a glass generally too early.


Generally, the water bottle is the most basic alternative in decanting and rolling the wine. Pour the wine into the water bottle. Make sure that you allow the air to come in contact with the wine. Just make sure that it does not cause too many bubbles. Usually, bubbles in wine may not look appealing as the wine is put back on the wine glass.


A clean pan basically has a sufficient surface area allowing the wine to decant at a fast rate. Moreover, it also gives the exposure that it really needs. Yet, the main concern here is pouring back the wine from the pan into the wine bottle if a funnel is not around. Perhaps, using a funnel may not also guarantee that it will not go to spill. 

The Use of Carafe

Aside from the fake decanting and hiding decanting method, the use of a carafe is another option to decant wine without a decanter. Basically, the carafe is closely the same with a decanter in terms of their purpose. The materials of both decanter and carafe generally come from glass and they also both serve drinks. 

But what’s the difference between the two? First, the decanters usually serve wines whereas the carafes used to serve other drinks such as juices and coffee. Another thing is that carafes do not include a handle or a stopper. Due to this, it is generally unfit to serve wines. Moreover, when it comes to the shape, the carafe is basically taller and narrower while the decanter is generally round having a tapered neck. 

So, knowing their differences, you may definitely say that carafe is not a suitable alternative to on how to decant wine without a decanter. With this, it is actually recommendable to consider using the alternative options that we have previously discussed. 

Knowing if the wine is ready for consumption

Basically, after several segments of rolling, stirring, and letting the wine sit over the counter, it is already time to check if the wine is ready for consumption. Here are the ways on how you would able to know when the wine is ready to consume:

How to decant wine without a decanter
  • Generally, the great indicator here is your nose. Position your nose close to the opening of the vessel and make a good sniff. Bear in mind that the aroma must be more dominant at this point.
  • You could also taste it by sipping or just like dipping a spoon onto a soup. You should already taste the fruity flavors and it becomes smoother this time. However, if you are not able to detect if the wine is already decanted, consider answering the following questions:

Can you determine the aroma? If not, it means that the wine still needs decanting.

Is the finish has a tannic texture or taste? If yes, decanting is still necessary to enhance an elegant finish that generally lingers.

Final Thoughts

How to decant wine without a decanter is actually possible, however, wine enthusiasts do not consider this as an acceptable process of wine decanting. Yet, alternative options for decanting the wine if you do not have a decanter are available in two various ways. You can either decant a wine through fake decanting or double decanting. These ways involve different vessels that you can use as a replacement for a decanter. Doing so may enhance the taste and aroma of the wine that you may generally enjoy.

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