For the drink amateurs, you may have never seen a decanter before, much less heard of one. Or, maybe, you've seen one before, but have questioned what it is and what it does.
Wonder no more! In this week's blog, we cover what a decanter is, how it's used, and a brief history on how these handy vessels came to be!
WHAT IS A DECANTER
A decanter is a bottle-shaped container with a narrow neck and a wide body that is used for storing and serving wine or other liquids. Decanters are typically made from glass, crystal, or other materials, and are designed to be both functional and decorative.
Decanters are used for a variety of purposes, including:
- Storing wine: Decanters are often used to store and age wine, as the wide body allows the wine to breathe and the narrow neck helps to prevent evaporation. Some decanters even have a built-in aerator to help improve the wine's flavor and aroma.
- Serving wine: Decanters are also used to serve wine, as they allow the wine to be poured easily and elegantly. Decanters are often used at formal dinners or events to serve wine in a more sophisticated manner.
- Displaying spirits: Decanters can also be used to store and display other spirits, such as whiskey, brandy, or cognac. These decanters are often made from high-quality materials and are used as decorative pieces in addition to their functional use.
- Decorative pieces: Decanters can also be used as decorative pieces in their own right. Many decanters are made from beautiful materials, such as crystal or glass, and are designed to be displayed and admired.
THE HISTORY BEHIND THE DECANTER
Decanters have a long and storied history dating back thousands of years. The word "decanter" comes from the Latin word "decantare," which means "to pour out". Decanters have been used for centuries to store and serve wine and other liquids.
The earliest decanters were made from materials such as clay, glass, and metal, and were used by ancient civilizations like the Egyptians, the Greeks, and the Romans. These early decanters were often used for storing and serving wine, and were often decorated with intricate designs and symbols.
Over time, decanters have evolved and have been made from a variety of materials including crystal, glass, and even precious metals such as gold and silver. Today, decanters are used for a wide range of purposes, including storing and serving wine, displaying spirits, and serving as decorative pieces.
HOW TO USE A DECANTER
The purpose of a decanter is to separate the liquid from any sediment that may have accumulated in your bottle of choice and to allow the liquid to breathe and open up, enhancing the aroma and flavour.
Here are some tips on how to use and maintain your decanter!CHOOSING THE RIGHT DECANTER
Select a decanter that is appropriate for the type of wine or spirit you want to decant. A wider-bottomed decanter is ideal for red wine, while a taller and narrower decanter is better for white wine.
PREPARING YOUR WINE/SPIRIT
If you are decanting wine, make sure to store it upright for a day or two before decanting to allow any sediment to settle to the bottom of the bottle. If you are decanting whiskey or other spirits, simply pour the liquid into the decanter.
DECANTING YOUR DRINK
Slowly and steadily pour the liquid from the bottle into the decanter, being careful not to disturb the sediment at the bottom of the bottle. Stop pouring when you reach the sediment.
LET IT BREATH
Let the liquid sit in the decanter for at least 30 minutes to allow it to breathe and develop its flavour and aroma.
TIME TO SERVE
After the liquid has had time to breathe, serve it from the decanter into glasses. You may need to use a funnel or strainer to prevent any sediment from entering the glasses.
After use, clean the decanter by rinsing it with warm water and letting it dry upside down. You may also use a decanter cleaning brush or a mixture of water and white vinegar to remove any stubborn stains or odors.
Decanters continue to be a popular and enduring part of our culture, and are often used for special occasions and as decorative pieces in homes and businesses.
In addition to their functional and decorative uses, decanters are also often used as conversation starters and can make a great addition to any home bar or collection of fine glassware. Whether you use a decanter to store and serve wine, display spirits, or simply as a decorative piece, there's no denying the timeless appeal and elegance of these classic vessels.
And if you're looking for a good Decanter for your favourite spirit, Ethan+Ashe also has their Alkemista Infusion Vessel! Not only can it be used as a Decanter, but the reusable filter allows you to personalize your favourite drinks with fruits, spices, herbs, botanicals, and more!
Remember that decanting is not always necessary for every wine or spirit. Some wines, such as younger red wines or white wines, may not benefit from decanting. However, decanting can be a great way to enhance the flavor and aroma of older red wines or whiskey, so it's worth experimenting to see what works best for you!