Decanters and their drinks...
Narrow your search through the myriad of decanters with our guide, matching the perfect design with your favoured tipple.
By Cherry Martin on Friday 17th August, 2012
We all empathised with the downstairs staff of Downton Abbey preparing the multitude of decanters for the varying drinks every night for the upstairs guests. Whilst you may not be using them every single night for dinner parties we've made your present searching easier by matching drinks with decanters...
Spirit decanters are labelled so due to the simple fact that bottles of such beverages tend to be smaller in size, as the amount required to be decanted for the night ahead is obviously less than a bottle of wine. Whilst no one is going to reprimand you for placing wine in a traditionally spirit shaped decanter, it is worth double checking the sizes listed next to each piece to ensure that your choice fits its desired purpose.
Traditionally the shorter or stockier shaped decanters lend themselves to the more manly spirits. Pair our beautifully aged Glenfarclas 21 year old Single Malt Whiskey with the classic Hadeland, Willy Johansson spirit decanter, or if however, you’re looking to accentuate the depth of colour to our 1952 Sigognac Armagnac then carefully decant it into the spherical depths of this bronze Stromberg piece.
Wine decanters began by following the lean lines of the bottle itself, before branching out into the more bulbous and ovoid shapes. If you’re a clean and lean style fan then we’d recommend bringing out the works of Per Lutken’s work for Holmegaard for your ’74 Produttori del Barbaresco. More traditionalists will prefer the Royal Brierley Willow Set, whereas science buffs will surely approve of our selection of Webb Corbett conical formed decanters. Whereas if you prefer the rich round decanters to pour your ’82 Borgogno Barolo Riserva into, then only the exceptional 1930's Stuart & Sons enamelled decanter with its art deco colouring will do this strong sip justice.
Sherry initially followed the same style of decanter as the wine with its tall decanters, however as time progressed and designs developed the shorter and smaller versions have taken over. We’d recommend embellishing the warm tones of the Lustau VORS Pedro Ximenez with the warm amber tones of this Stuart & Sons decanter.
Claret jugs, for example, have no evidence to support the fact that they, out of all of the drinks, were better suited to being in a grand jug, it comes down to the initial traditions of wine drinking where the decanters would be placed on a sideboard in the dining room and served by a butler or servant to the drinker. Obviously therefore in terms of design, it looks far more pleasing and decorative to the eye to display differing heights and styles to differentiate between the wines. None more visually eye catching than our Stourbridge claret jug which will add a virtuous height to your collection.
If your a fan of a quick shot of Schnapps to warm your cockles then go gung ho for our Czech Schnapps decanter brilliantly preserved or, differing in design but just as good for the task, invest in the Sandvik Orrefors creation.
Essential Vintage Seekers’ extra tip for taking care of and getting the most of our of your decanter:
Obviously the main aim when decanting your wine is to allow it to reach its potential, to rid it of harsh tannins and release its true and intended flavour, so taking care of these vintage decanters when washing is paramount.
We recommend only washing in warm water by hand. This is absolutely crucial to protect the glass and prevent it from cracking; Use boiling hot water at your peril as the differences in thickness across the glass, be it cut or not, will hold differing amounts of heat. A classic mistake which commonly leads to breakages is the handle retaining more heat than the body of the decanter and snapping off when it is placed into extremes of temperatures. After rinsing thoroughly to rid it of any lethal soapy residue, drain as much of the water away as possible and leave a silica decanter hanging inside it to complete the task. Bacchus do a good one. Follow these tips and your decanter should continue its long and useful life...