Spirit and wine decanters are decorative serveware pieces that are stylish and functional. Decanting enhances the aromas and flavors of most wines through separation and oxidation. The sediment in wine, particularly red wine, pulls away from the liquid when mixed in a decanter. This process removes the overwhelming bitters that are in aged wines. In addition to separating wine from sediment, decanting also exposes the liquid to oxidation to help release additional aromas and flavors. Each type of wine requires a slightly different decanting process that varies by time. Younger wines are enhanced the longer you decant the wine; however, aged wines require less decanting time. Similarly, you can decant white wine, but it requires significantly less time for oxidation or you risk losing the complexity and overall flavor.
Glass decanters are very popular for their affordability and design aesthetic. This type of wine decanter allows you to peer into the contents of your wine so you can see the richness of deep reds and crispness of white wines. Typically, glass decanters are made from thick and durable material that is resistant to unwanted chips and breakages. Glass wine decanters are useful because they stain resistant, which makes them easy to clean with water and soft dish soap.
Glass is the introductory material for decanters; however, if you are hosting an elegant party then you may want to consider a crystal decanter. Spirits, such as whiskey, are enhanced by oxygen and look sophisticated in a crystal decanter. If you are interested in this elegant barware, then you should also know that crystal decanters require more care and attention. This type of decanter requires that is hand washed with water and soft soap.
Aside from material, decanters also vary by shape and size. Decanters have a signature design, which includes a wide round base and a tall, skinny neck. Decanters widely vary in height and size, so it’s important to find a decanter that matches your needs. Standard decanters range between 20-26oz, but there are also larger sizes that will hold up to an entire bottle of wine. Ultimately, the decanter should match your personal aesthetic and other serveware.