If you want to prove yourself as a wine connoisseur, you will not only serve this drink in a normal water glass to your guests but also pay attention to style when enjoying it. This includes wine glasses made of the best crystal or high-quality glass and even pouring directly from the bottle is not perceived as a stylish enjoyment of wine. This is where the wine carafe comes in so that before the wine can be enjoyed, the wine can first breathe. In this way, it is decanted, which simply means that it is transferred from the wine bottle into a wine carafe. This should be done with care so that the wine can be presented to the guests in the best quality.
A wine carafe is a glass vessel for serving wine. They are particularly suitable for allowing the wine to “breathe”. By storing the wine in a carafe, the aroma of the wine unfolds best possible.
Of course, the wine connoisseur knows all about growing regions, aromas, vintages and also very great wines and simply appreciates the quality of these wines. But in order to appreciate the contents of these wine bottles properly, decanting the wine into the wine carafe is the first step towards ensuring that a particularly expensive wine can really prove its overwhelmingly good taste. If you keep your wine in the refrigerator or cold cellar, you should always pour your wine into a wine carafe first. This ensures that the wine will develop its full aroma and best taste through contact with the normal air and the warmth of the room. Red wine notes are stored and served at room temperature.
What are the advantages of using a wine carafe?
A wine carafe is usually used to serve wine. A process is also known as decanting or carafing. In traditional use, carafes are used to free the wine from unwanted suspended solids before drinking. In special bulbous carafes, also known as decanters, the wine reacts additionally with the existing oxygen and thus unfolds its aromas. Although in principle there are differences between wine carafes and wine decanters, the two terms are often used synonymously.
What is a decanter?
A wine carafe is also used for decanting. Decanting is the process of pouring wine from the bottle into the carafe. When separating the wine from the bottle, the so-called depot can be separated from the wine, since wines can be stored for years and so the sediments settle in the bottle. A decanter helps the wine so that the deposit does not end up in the wine glass. Such sediment usually only forms in very old wines. What finally remains in the bottle is also called decantation.
The wine is also aerated during pouring. This can be done in the wine carafe for several hours.
Carafe or decanter – what is the difference?
As already mentioned, the terms carafe and decanter are usually used synonymously and are not distinguished in general language. The German word Karaffe is derived from the Arabic “ġarrāfa”, which describes a lifting wheel for water. Besides, carafes are not exclusively used for red or white wine until today. There are vintage whiskey decanters, but also water, spritzers or juices are often served in corresponding carafes.
The advantages of a wine carafe at a glance:
- Separation of sediment in older wines
- Aroma development through aeration
- A special presentation of fine wines
Not every wine carafe is suitable for decanting. However, a decanter is suitable as a wine carafe in any case. The carafe is a vessel that is suitable for storing liquids. So is a decanter, but with a special shape.
The shape of a carafe is classically based on a bottle shape. However, models with a bulbous glass body, which positively influence the development of the wine during decanting are now more common.
How do you clean a wine decanter or wine carafe?
Wine carafes and wine decanters are anything but easy to clean. However, a good cleaning is indispensable, otherwise, the aromas of the wine will settle and later transfer to the next bottle.
Rinse immediately after use with warm water and a little washing-up liquid. Most wine carafes are dishwasher safe, but we recommend that you clean the carafes by hand. If you have very hard water, you can add a few drops of vinegar to prevent deposits or simply use distilled water for cleaning.
Some models are easy to clean in the dishwasher. There are alternative methods for all models that are not allowed in the dishwasher.
Wine decanter cleaner beads are a great product to clean even the narrowest corners of the carafe from wine residues.
Alternatively, there are also carafe brushes which, due to their curvature, can easily penetrate every corner of the glass container.
How do you dry a wine carafe?
After cleaning, the easiest method is to turn the wine carafe upside down on a cloth to dry it.
What sizes are there for wine decanters?
The average capacity is around one liter. However, models with up to 1.5 liters are also possible, but a carafe of less than one liter makes little sense because the wine does not get enough air.
What accessories are available for a decanter?
Wine decanter set comes with a wide range of accessories:
- Decanter dryers in which the decanters are hung upside down
- Wine aerator pourer, which ensures that the aromas are released even faster
- Decanter cleaning brush for the glass containers
- Decanter beads that replace the brush and clean even narrow corners
- Crystal decanter stopper
Read also: the best wine stoppers
Are there additional parts for wine decanters?
Wine decanters serve to mix the wine with oxygen. There are many different ways of aerating wine. Depending on the shape, different additional elements are needed.
The classic one is a wine decanter with a stopper or a bottle cap. Depending on the opening you can use a ball or a lid.
A wine decanting vessel is used without extra parts. Wine needs certain aeration to allow the aromas of the wine to unfold. Most additional equipment is needed for soft drinks.
There are also alternative aids that can be used to bring more air into the wine. It is called a wine aerator. Here you simply have to let the wine pass through the funnel. Afterward, a creamy aromatic drink is created.
Which wine goes into a wine decanter?
There is a rule: the older a wine is, the shorter it may come into contact with air. Therefore, two essential terms have to be distinguished when it comes to the filling content of a carafe.
Depending on the shape and design of the carafe, a different type of wine is put into the decanter bottles. Do you aerate white wine? Definitely! White wines and fresher red wines or rose prefer an airy wide carafe vessel. Vintage wines and older red wines need a decanter vessel with less air.
Now you know what is a carafe and that the best wine decanter can also do something else in its beauty because it extends the table decoration by another beautiful tableware and is much more decorative than if only the usual wine bottle would stand on the table. In this way, the host proves his good taste by serving his guests the wine from a wonderful wine carafe. All the art of modern glassblowing is revealed here, and high-quality wine carafes are also designed to be placed in a shelf, display case or living room cupboard, completely open. Perhaps on a nice tray surrounded by two or wine glasses, the wine carafe is also a wonderful decoration, which immediately shows that a person who appreciates good wine and who has learned the art of serving valuable wine properly lives here. Whether you choose a classic wine carafe or a modern design for your wine decanter, you will always get a home accessory that can also serve as a beautiful decoration in addition to the useful advantage for wine enjoyment.