When selecting a gift for someone, that enjoys a drink now and then, a decanter is sure to please. Decanting wine has been practiced for centurys. It helps separate the sediment in older wines and helps a young wines’ bouquet…blossom. Decanting isn’t just for wine, as it can release the aroma and enhance the flavor of spirits, liquor, and even champagne and sparkling wines.
Champagne is probably not the first thing that comes to mind when thinking about decanters. It is however, one of my personal favorites. Unique and certainly unexpected, decanting champagne in front of party guests will certainly create a buzz in the room. Most are hesitant to transfer the champagne to any other vessel than the flute it will be served in. But just like a young wine, a sparkling wine’s essence will flourish with a gentle aeration.
Champagne decanters are designed much like a flute. The long narrow neck of the decanter limits bubbles from escaping and a smooth interior surface of the decanter will limit nucleation, the formation of bubbles from the carbon dioxide in the champagne. Too many imperfections in the surface of the glass will cause bubbles to form and burst too rapidly. Decant slowly to allow the champagne to aerate.
Decanting spirits and liquor comes down to two things; personal preference and presentation. I’ve heard many opinions on the benefits of decanting and the most common opinion is that spirits can be enhanced, and whiskeys or fine scotch if exposed to air too long (days or weeks, not hours) it will weaken the quality of the liquor.
When it comes to entertaining, nothing looks more sophisticated and inviting than the golden amber of rums, whiskeys and scotch and the glimmer of gin and vodka resting in sparkling decanters. With so many decanter styles available, your bar accessories can become a reflection of your personal style; be it contemporary, classic, rustic, or eclectic.
When selecting a decanter, there are a few areas of consideration. What is the preferred beverage to decant, personal style.
If your gift recipient is a wine drinker, select a
decanter with a wide bottom that will allow a greater surface area of the wine to come in contact with air. This is more beneficial with young red wines. Aged wines are preferably not decanted. For causal entertaining, try decanting into a carafe or long neck bottle that are easy to pour. A funnel is a great accessory to have on hand for pouring.
Caring for your decanter is equally as important as it is selecting one. Decanters should always be washed and dried soon after use; leaving any liquid in a decanter for too long can cause unsightly rings to form on the inside. To clean, rinse thoroughly and use a mild detergent, if any. Detergent residue can have a negative effect on the taste of the wine or liquor you decant the next time. Try swishing around a teaspoon of rice or large grain salt with filtered water to remove resistant stains or hard water spots on the inside of the vessel.
Do Me a Favor is a full service gift boutique offering unique gifts, including the decanters featured, gift wrapping services, delivery and shipping nation-wide. Located at 4247 E. Indian School Road, Phoenix, AZ 85018 p. (602) 200-0190