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Choosing the Right Wine Decanter

Choosing the Right Wine Decanter

It's Wine o'clock!

Whether you are looking to expand your wine knowledge, see what all the hype is about, or you are looking for the perfect gift, read on to learn about the different decanting styles.

Decanters are a marvellous tool used for wines, whiskeys, or liquors. The actual decanting process however, is used primarily for red wine. They are a type of bottle made of glass or crystal and sometimes come with a cork to seal. The purpose of the decanter and the decanting process is for a few reasons listed below.

  1. Aeration of the wine to enhance its aromas and flavors
  2. To remove sediment sometimes found in aged red wines. 

For instructions on how to decant wine, check out our blog post. 

Selecting the right decanter for your wine type

Each type of wine will react differently depending on the size of the decanter. Typically, the amount of tannin- the mouth-drying sensation a wine may give off- affects the size and shape of the decanter you should use. To maximize the aromas and taste of your wine and achieve the optimal amount of time in the decanting process, here are some considerations and basic guidelines for your search.

  • Full-bodied Red Wines (Cabernet Sauvignon, Monastrell, Tempranillo, etc): Use a decanter with a wide base. Because these wines have high tannin, a wide base will increase the oxygen exposure and speed up the decanting process. 
  • Medium-bodied Red Wines (Merlot, Barbera, Dolcetto, etc): a medium-sized decanter will do just the trick. 
  • Light-bodied Red Wines (Pinot Noir, Beaujolais): a small to medium-sized decanter that’s been chilled is a great choice.
  • White and Rosé Wines: These wines do not need to be decanted, although you can use a small, chilled decanter if they smell like a burnt match or eggs. Decant for 15 minutes. 

Decanter Material and Cleaning:

Crystal decanters are durable and often used for large, intricate decanters. Standard glass decanters usually have thicker walls and are more simplistic. Borosilicate glass is another material used and is the in-between of crystal and glass. 

Cleaning is an important factor you should consider when choosing the right decanter for your needs. An intricate decanter will require more time when cleaning versus one with a simple design. If you aren’t a fan of washing and plan to stick your decanter in the dishwasher, opt for a standard glass decanter with a simplistic design. 

Overtime, your decanter will collect visible deposits. This is completely normal and you should not use agents like vinegar to try and flush them out, regardless of the material the decanter is made of. Instead, accept the deposits and care for your decanter using any of the methods below. 

  • Use a fragrance free soap and warm water to flush out your decanter. A decanter cleaning brush is a great tool to help clean. 
  • Take a wooden spoon and push a non-metallic sponge down the neck of your decanter. Do your best to get the sponge around each crevasse and use warm water. 
  • If your decanter is detailed and elaborate, decanter cleaning beads will help you reach tight spaces and remove stains. Pour the beads in the decanter with some warm water and swirl in a controlled manner for a minute or two. To remove the beads, place a metal funnel over a glass and pour in the beads and water.

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