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Decanters practicality vs looks



have one of these for everday use -
Sadly, I don’t think they make them any more but others (inc John Lewis) sell the Carafe style

also have one of these -
https://www.riedel.com/en/shop/decanter/ultra-240000014 - needs a careful pourer !
and the older (less squat) version of this https://www.shop-spiegelau.com/decanters-jugs/decanters/spiegelau-karaffe-dekanter-red-and-white.html?___SID=U

overall, the cheap one is used the most…


Would beg to disagree at least in my experience they are pretty effective. You need a little warm water in with them. I was surprised how much gunge they remove. It probably depends on the shape of the decanter to a degree.


+1 for magic balls (of the steel variety, I think)
Zalto make a lovely decanter, the Olly Smith pint-bottle decanter is fun and works well too, and some of the Riedel ones are lovely to use, even if less fun to clean. The Superleggiero pours well and make quite a statement…


I’m with Geoff on this, I have a couple of decanters which I rarely use, can’t be bothered with the faff of cleaning them, so they are ‘special’ occasion usage, for the most a water jug does the job just as well and is more practical and a lot cheaper.


Overtime, in letting wine breathe for an hour or so at a time my commonly used decanters to seem to take on a red tinge to the glass.

I’ve used magic balls through to bendy brushes, but if there is one method I’ve found that takes those stubborn stains out it is Steradent tablets: pour some slightly warmed water into the decanter (normally to where a bottle fills the vessel) and then pop 2-3 tablets in over a 2 hour period, swirl occasionally and leave over night. You’ll need to rinse this out about 4 times to get rid of the fresh denture smell but after you’ve left the decanter to dry this will have completely disappeared. I thought this was a barmy suggestion, but it totally works, for extra rigour use one of those bendy foam sticks or brushes.

If you want to go the mile and make your decanter / stemware glisten on the table for special occasions, then buy some of this cleaner, and pour some into a water spray bottle and spray onto the glass and use a soft-fibre cloth to dry. Get your sunglasses ready :sunglasses:


Thank you all that have replied. I hadn’t realised there were a number of remedies. My late father in law never bothered, beyond a rinse under the tap. The pink hue in his decanters seemed to match the gamey glow on his face!


Yes, Steradent tablets are the step up if you find your magic balls or brushes won’t shift the stains from your decanter.

There are a couple of steps beyond that too. Firstly, try dissolving a good quality dishwasher tablet into very warm water in the decanter. When dissolved, slosh it around as much as you can.

Then beyond that, there is Decon90. This has to be made up as instructed and you don’t throw it away after use, but keep it for the next session. But it’s designed to remove surface adsorbed radionuclides from scintillation counting equipment, etc. - pricy, but useful to know about in extremis. Not sure about general availability to the public though, but it’s worth a look.


I know someone who pays a small fee for a specialist to come clean her oven every 3 months. I wonder if there is a similar market opportunity for someone to go round cleaning decanters :smile:


Stares hard at decanter - shakes head and sucks in air through teeth. “This is going to need the cyclotron. Onl;y high intensity gamma rays will shift that stuff. It’ll cost of course…”


Dishwasher. Tws decanter. That’s it, dead easy so I can use the decanter often. The problem with hifallutin’ decanters is they are a faff so rarely used for the prime purpose of improving wine often, and actually get used as occasional showpieces. But, horses for courses.


In terms of practicality, the one I use most frequently is a ship’s decanter. It’s the best shape for oxygenating wines by sloshing them around, without fear of overflowing.

The one illustrated by @Oldandintheway has too narrow a neck constriction, that’s presumably why it surges. No troubles with mine (made by Schott Zwiesel if I recall).

Amongst others, I also have claret jugs, including half and magnum sizes.