It is that time of year again, like it or not, that we are required to find, thoughtful and suitable gifts for the most awkward people in our lives (Fathers and Husbands) those who never want, or need, anything.
This year, partly fuelled by an over indulgence in ‘Downton Abbey and Mad Men, I’ve decided to buy a decanter for my dad. However, having typed ‘Decanter into Google, it has become quite apparent that there are a myriad of different decanters with different drinks requiring different styles, and most importantly - ‘why decant’ To some, decanting improves a wine while others think it a pointless task done mainly for show.
According to Fiona Becket of the Guardian, the reason to decant a wine, and this is more likely with vintage ports and aged unfiltered reds, is the wine has thrown a deposit, or to get some air into the wine if it’s developed a ‘strange’ odour.
“For the process to work effectively the bottle needs to have been upright for several hours, then carefully poured into the decanter in front of a light (traditionally a candle) so you can see as the sediment inches towards the neck. You need to do this in a single movement so that it doesn’t fall back and get mixed up with the wine again.”
Fiona Beckett, Thursday 23 December 2012, The Guardian.co.uk
Whether or not you should not decant a wine at all seems quite subjective but not so when it comes to whiskey; the answer would appear to be not, other than for aesthetic purposes. Keeping whiskey/ bourbon in a lead crystal decanter could actually be detrimental if left for more than a day not to mention years.
None of this affects my present buying decision, as I still rather like that romantic nostalgica that comes from pouring from a beautiful decanter (and I love beautiful things) but with so many different styles to choose from it can be hard to know where to start.
Firstly decide on its purpose, taller leaner styles are for wines with shorter or stockier styles reserved for spirits. Stunning vintage styles look beautiful but need to be cared for and washed by hand in warm soapy water; boiling water will cause breakages.
Decide on your budget, you can find pretty Georgian styles starting from around £125 - £190, unusual ‘Bristol Blue’ decanters around £260 but if you are looking for, say, a Napoleonic decanter you are looking at around £1,500+
I’ve picked a few examples from the Georgian and Victorian eras to help inspire you. At AntiqueforSale we have a wide range of dealers, with links to their individual sites – so if you see something you like and have any questions you can easily contact them.
If you are looking for something more unusual try searching for ‘Bristol Blue’ or my personal favourite styles Art Nouveau and Art Deco (The green decanter below and stunning graphic black and white below) and not forgetting modern striking decanters like the John Rocha far left or the cast Iron example far right £950 from Culture Label.
Good luck with your own searches and don’t forget to let me know how you get on! If you’ve something to add or any questions you can contact me via Twitter, Facebook, Google+ or for more inspiration you can follow me on Pinterest and Tumblr and remember new products are added everyday at AntiqueforSale.