A glass decanter is an elegant bottle for serving water, wine, brandy, cognac, and other drinks. This ornamental design has been around for quite some time and you can find various types and styles from years gone by. You can learn about the features of these bottles and treat yourself to an antique glass decanter.
Most glass decanters are from glass, although you can find designs from crystal as well. Glass decanters have cleaner lines and look more modern than their crystal counterparts, which are often very ornate. You should also consider the clarity of the decanter. A clearer decanter is best for serving wine, as it allows you to see whether it contains any sediment. Frosted and coloured decanters work well for all types of drinks. You can also find a great deal of variation in decanter shapes. Simple cut glass decanters can come with a wide centre and a thin neck. When choosing the shape, you should also consider who is going to use the decanter and whether you would benefit from having a handle.
Defining the Decanter's Purpose
People typically use antique decanters for decanting and aeration. Older wines benefit from decanting to reduce its sediment. As you pour the wine from the bottle into a decanter, most of the sediment stays inside the bottle. Aeration is an oxygenation process that tones down the harshness of tannins in the wine and reduces potential wine faults. The taste of the wine changes when you expose it to the air. However, some critics claim that it does not soften the tannins; some vintage decanters come with stoppers that function as caps and prevent further oxygenation. Choose a decanter with a stopper if you intend to keep the liquid inside the decanter for longer than a few hours.
Evaluating the Decanter's Condition
When buying an antique glass decanter, you are dealing with an old piece. You should therefore check its condition before making the purchase. Check the surface of the glass for scratches and other deficiencies, as the glass can wear with time. Look for any cracks from which the liquid could leak, or eventually cause the decanter to break. When it comes to glass, it is best to get tempered glass, as it is resistant to sudden temperature changes. You can store a tempered glass decanter set in a cold place when not in use, however, be sure that it does not break once you take it out to serve drinks.