The Main Features Of A Wine Decanter

by Tara Webb

Decanter is the name given to the vessel that is used for decantation of liquids, typically wine. Usually the liquid used has some amount of sediment in it. Through decantation, there is a separation of liquids. The wine decanter is used primarily to store, as well as serve, the alcoholic beverage.

These vessels differ in many respects, particularly in their design and shape. Many times they are made using inert materials, for instance: glass. In general, they can store 0.75 liters of liquid or the equivalent of a standard-sized wine bottle. Carafes are similar structures that are used for to serve alcohol and other beverages. These units do not come with a stopper.

Decanters were once a major part of beverage serving. The containers were filled with wine poured out of amphoras. This made it easier for servants to bring the beverage to the guests and serve them. Ancient Romans are the people who pioneered the glass decanters. But when the Roman Empire fell, so did the production of these versions. The scarcity of glass meant that decanters were being produced from earthenware, silver, bronze and gold.

Venetians are said to have brought back the glass versions of these vessels. This occurred in the time of the Renaissance. During the 1700s, British glassmakers first developed the stopper, a piece placed inside the vessel to limit the air that reaches the contents within it. In the time since this addition, few alterations have been done to the overall design and concept of this container.

This kind of decanting starts when liquid from another container is poured inside the decanter. This is done to separate the little bit of liquid that includes sediment from the larger amount of clear liquid that is free of all sediment. In the process, the sediment stays in the original container while the clear, sediment-free liquid transfers to the decanter vessel.

Another common usage for this device is aerating the beverage. In other words, letting the liquid breathe. The container is designed in a way to offer an imitation of what occurs when a glass is swirled, the stimulation of molecule movement, which releases aroma compounds. These units are also known to smooth the harsher elements of certain beverages.

The level of effectiveness from this process and the vessel itself is arguable. There are experts who claim the overexposure the drink has to oxygen diffuses and dissipates aroma compounds rather than simulating them. There are some reports that say the process, over a couple hours, does not have the softening tannins effect. This is believed to take place only when the wine is being made and oak is aging. Still, there are experts who take a different stance and tout the abilities of these devices, referencing its aesthetic appeal.

A wine decanter is the structure used to serve and hold the alcoholic beverage. It is available in many sizes and designs and usually comes with a stopper. Most containers of this type are made from glass, bronze, gold or silver. There are some who believe using this structure improves the overall smoothness and effect of the drink itself.

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