Decanters - Let your wine breathe in style

Decanters - What are they?

For enjoying your drink fully, you need more than just a bottle of wine. You need something that can add some serious class to your drinks and make them taste perfect. You need decanters. Decanters are vessels used to hold the decantation of wine and sometimes whisky, brandy, and water that usually contains sediment. They may also be used as serving vessels and are designed to hold a full bottle of wine.


History of decanters

Earlier, decanters were filled with wine from amphorae and then brought to the table where the servants served it to their masters. The Romans used glass decanters as glass was common at that period but after their fall, decanters began to be made of bronze, silver, gold and earthenware due to scarcity of glass. The venetians of the renaissance period reintroduced glass decanters, this time with a long slender neck and a wide body in order to expose the wine to maximum air for oxygenation. In the mid eighteenth century, British people added decorative stoppers to the decanters for limiting air exposure. Since then, the basic design of decanters has been the same.

The importance of decanters

From a casual get-together with friends to a more formal dinner party, wine decanters play a vital role in enhancing the flavor of your wine.

A good wine decanter can help your wine to breathe properly and improves its quality markedly thereby maximizing the enjoyment of that wine. Wines, typically the red ones that age in bottles may grow sediment after several years. This is quite normal and is a sign that the wine is alive and natural and hasn't been excessively filtered.

Decanting allows you to pour the wine into another vessel leaving the sediment in the bottle. Decanting also softens the tannins in your wine and helps to develop a more complex aroma in the wine that might normally take years. So, whether it is an age old expensive wine or a tannic, youthful one, you need to decant. Also, serving wine from a decanter no doubt adds class to the table.

The science behind the functioning of decanters

Decanters necessarily add a flavor to your wine and a spark to the festivities but there is a purely scientific reason behind their functioning.

Before the wine has been decanted, it contains small amounts of sulfur compounds that are potent enough to cover up the fresh fruit aromas of the wine. They act as masking agents and thus hide the positive characteristics of the wine.

It is the natural sulphur present in the grapes and yeasts that help them turn into wine. A bottle of wine that has not been decanted therefore contains several sulphuric compounds and is called closed wine. And a closed wine is just like a closed flower that doesn’t give you the pleasure that it can give when it is in full bloom. It is only when the petals open that its real aroma can be enjoyed. Similarly, a wine also needs to breathe in order to open up and become much more aromatic and expressive.

And for it to breathe or aerate properly, it needs to be exposed to oxygen for some time. In order to do so in a proper way, a decanter comes in handy. It allows the wine to mix properly with the oxygen and oxygenate that result in the quick aging of the wine. For example, a wine that needs to be kept for 10 years to give its best flavor can do so by getting decanted in a decanter for only a few hours. Research says that for every 20 minutes in a decanter, a wine can age the same as a year in a bottle. You know very well that for a wine to be appreciated, it needs to smell its best and to do so, you either need to wait for long years with your wine in the bottles or simply a few hours with your wine in the decanters. And obviously, the second option is preferable for everyone, including you. Isn’t it? In fact, if your wine can't stand up to decanting, it can’t stand up to drinking either.

How to use decanters

If you use your decanters in a proper way, they can be the key to truly enjoying your wine. Simply follow the given steps and enjoy that beverage of yours that will then turn heavenly.
  • Decanters have been used to filter sediment laden wines for years. These sediments may occur due to the long duration of keeping the wine or non clarification during the wine making process. Before decanting a bottle containing sediment, let the bottle rest in an upright position for some time for the sediment to settle down to the bottom.
  • Keep the bottle angled to prevent any sediment from making its way and slowly pour the wine into the decanter.
  • Since older wines have a lot more sediments, they need to be poured more slowly. Also, they need to be decanted immediately before serving so that less oxidation takes place. For such wines, touch the wine bottle tip to the top of the decanter to reduce the aeration to the maximum extent.
  • It is better to light a candle for low-level illumination. In order to see the darker sediments, position the bottle's neck in front of the flame.
  • Place the decanter exactly under the lip of the bottle to pour the clarified wine. Once most of the wine has been poured into the decanter, insert a stopper to avoid spillage. It is better to leave a little wine in the original bottle with the sediments.
  • Swirl the wine in the decanter to provide more aeration.
  • A wine less than ten years old should be decanted for least an hour or two in order to oxidize with full potential. Before the guests arrive, it would be better if you check its level of aeration completion and leave it if it is not satisfactorily aerated. While consuming or serving old wines, it is preferable to insert stoppers in their bottles between the pours.
  • For wines with non settled fine sediment or wine bottles that have not been sitting upright and still contain dissolved sediment, light filtration is required. To do so, use food grade mesh screen funnels that are non reactive to the wines. The best option is to use a cheese cloth lined funnel during decantation as cheesecloth is inert and does not add any flavor to the wine.
  • If you are a drinker who wants a more controlled and subtle exposure of your wine to air, better go for double decanting. For this, at first decant the wine into the wine decanter .Then, clean the original bottle of any sediment and decant the wine back into the wine bottle. This process does not leave the wine in contact with a large surface area of air for a prolonged period but aerates the wine sufficiently for a perfect taste during the back and forth pours. Double decanting is great if you need to take your wine to your friend’s house for a wine tasting or dinner as it limits the exposure of the wine to excess air during the transportation.

The need for decanters

We need decanters for four prime reasons listed below:
  • Decanters provide aeration-

    Simply uncorking a bottle does not let your wine breathe properly. The bottle opening is too small for this. For a wine to stretch its legs, a broader area of contact with the air is required that is provided by the decanters. When wine breaths first after being closed in the bottle for long, it undergoes an amazing transformation in its taste and smell. A decanter can only provide this aromatic unfurling to the wine, which also smoothes some of its harsher aspects.

  • Decanters are vital for presentation-

    Besides improving the quality of wine, decanters also have an aesthetic appeal. Serving wine in a pretty decanter brings elegance and beauty to any party and highlights the wine. This lets the guests know the importance of the wine served. Using stunning decanters in many French and Italian restaurants to serve wine as well as water is a common style and it is done mostly to display the liquid’s clarity and enhance the elegance and class of the dinner table.

  • Decanters remove the sediments-

    The solid sediment that precipitates in a wine bottle with aging needs to be filtered first before serving. Imagine serving unfiltered wine full of sediment to your guest. The sediment not only sullies the appearance of the wine but also affects its taste. To avoid this, decanters are needed. They not only clear the wine of sediments, you can also use them to serve the very wine.

  • Decanters improve the quality of your wine-

    Decantation improves the taste of inexpensive wines to such an extent that they may seem to be high quality expensive ones.

Types of decanters

Decanters are of various styles, sizes and shapes and are most often made of glass or lead crystal.
  • Lead crystal decanters

    Lead crystals have a much more sparkly appearance than regular glass. This happens because; lead crystals are a combination of lead oxide and molten glass. Thus, they increase the index of refraction of light over that of regular glass. However, they are not recommended any more to be used in decanters as a long period of seated liquid in a lead decanter causes the lead in the container to seep into the liquid and may even lead to lead poisoning if consumed.

  • Glass decanters

    Glass decanters are usually made of inert colorless glass, in order to clearly exhibit the wine. Sometimes they come colored too. Some glass decanters come with decorative a stopper lid that has a rod in the centre to aid decanting.

The shape of the decanters is mostly tall and upright which gives it an elegance and fragility. Other shapes are also available. Most of the modern day decanters are resistant to breakage and dishwasher safe.

There is a wide range of decanting vessels to choose from. This includes antique whisky decanter, carafe, lead free decanter, decanters for port wine, duck wine decanters and so on.

The elegant or antique looking decanters are intricately designed glass ones but are not very practical. The practical ones have a wide base that tapers sharply as it goes up to the fluted top. As such, the wine’s surface area is expanded greatly thus allowing a more effective breathing. Wider necked decanters should be used only if the wine needs to be consumed within a short span.

Decanters - Before and after their use

After removing the cork of a bottle and before its contents are decanted, clean around the top of the bottle immediately. It is important as a slightly moldy or old cork remains can affect the wine while it is poured to the decanter.

Excessive oxidation of a wine can sometimes lead to an undesirable taste. So, after decantation, if you do not finish all the wine right away, spray a neutral gas in to a clear bottle, pour the remaining decanted wine and quickly re cork it to slow the oxidizing process.

Decanters from Vital Wares - The route to all good wines

If you want the best from your wine, purchase a decanter from Vital Wares today and give your wine a chance to bloom and attain a stage of development that normally requires years of ageing. With it, you can very well experience the drastic change in your wine the next time you drink it. For a wine lover, decanters are as frequently used tools as the bottle openers.

Decanters are practical showpieces that present your wine elegantly. They can help bring you into the big leagues of wine presentation. These ornate looking magic machines can be the best gift to a wine lover and are the most elite corporate gift items as well.

These decanters can give a classy touch to your home décor as well. Decanters from Vital Wares are among the best decanters available today that can prove to be definitely the centerpiece of your dining table. They are as functional as they are beautiful and can bring every sip of wine to its full potential. With Vital Wares, make your choice of decanters easy and perfect and create an atmosphere of sophistication and cheer every time you use them. Our wide ranges of decanters are shaped to protect the qualities of your fragile wines and enhance them to the highest level. Combinations of timeless beauty and over the top efficiency, these decanters are ideal gift items for any occasion, particularly weddings. Make your next dining experience heavenly with an indulgence of your perfectly decanted wines from Vital Wares Decanters- a guarantee of pleasure, beauty, and taste.

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