An item rarely seen to­day, the French pan­nier or wine de­cant­ing bas­ket is a must-have for rest­ing sed­i­ments from older claret-style wines, ma­ture Syrah or vin­tage Ports. The one at La Terre holds the wine bot­tle se­curely at a 45-de­gree tilt, to help the sed­i­ments set­tle at the bot­tom of the bar­rel. A lighted can­dle or strong light is then used to il­lu­mi­nate the bot­tle while it’s be­ing poured, to watch for sed­i­ments as the con­tents of the bot­tle are slowly, steadily poured out, stop­ping when the sed­i­ments start reach­ing the top of the neck. Done cor­rectly, there won’t be a need for fil­ter­ing or even a de­canter for these older, more frag­ile bot­tles.

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