Serving Champagne by first decanting it is said to have begun with Parisian sommeliers who tried to enhance the sweetness of demi-sec Champagnes by reducing the tactile impression of their effervescence, says Tom Stevenson (2011, p.94). The benefits of decanting include the eradication of the largest bubbles and the taming of the most aggressive fizz, hence the most suitable Champagnes to decant are younger, cheaper, non-vintage cuvées. Stevenson adds even top cuvées may benefit from decanting. Decanting cannot replace longer post-degorgement [disgorgement] ageing, but it can be a quick fix worth trying, he says. Finally Stevenson adds ‘One almost paradoxical effect I have noticed about decanting Champagne is its ability to freshen more oxidative styles.’ See Champagne.


Tom Stevenson, ‘Decanting Champagne’, Decanter Sept 2011 p.94.