Does a Decanter Need to Be Dry?

A resounding yes! Drying a decanter after use is crucial to prevent water spots and, even worse, a film of calcium build-up from hard water. This not only affects the aesthetics of your decanter but can also impact the taste of your wine.

Why Drying Matters

When water evaporates from a wet decanter, it leaves behind mineral deposits, especially in areas with hard water. These deposits can create a cloudy film on the inside of the decanter, making it appear dirty and dull.

More importantly, these mineral deposits can affect the taste of your wine. The calcium and magnesium in hard water can react with the tannins in wine, creating a metallic or bitter taste. This can significantly detract from the enjoyment of your wine.

Traditional Drying Methods

Traditionally, many wine enthusiasts have relied on decanter drying stands to dry their decanters. These stands typically hold the decanter upside down, allowing water to drain and air to circulate, facilitating faster drying.

While effective, drying stands can be cumbersome and take up space. Additionally, they may not be suitable for all decanter shapes and sizes.

Alternative Drying Methods

Fortunately, several alternative methods can effectively dry your decanter:

  • Microfiber cloths: These cloths are highly absorbent and can quickly remove water droplets from the inside of the decanter. Ensure the cloth is clean and dry before use.
  • Paper towels: Similar to microfiber cloths, paper towels can absorb water effectively. However, they may leave behind lint, so use them with caution.
  • Hairdryer: A hairdryer on a cool setting can be used to quickly dry a decanter. However, be careful not to overheat the glass, as this can cause it to crack.
  • Rice: Fill the decanter with uncooked rice and swirl it around. The rice will absorb the moisture and can then be discarded.

Additional Tips

  • Rinse the decanter with distilled water before drying. This will remove any remaining wine residue and help prevent water spots.
  • Store the decanter in a cool, dry place. This will help prevent the formation of condensation, which can lead to water spots.
  • Clean the decanter regularly with a mild soap solution. This will help remove any accumulated dust or debris.

Drying your decanter after use is essential for maintaining its appearance and preventing the build-up of mineral deposits that can affect the taste of your wine. By following the tips and methods outlined above, you can ensure your decanter remains sparkling clean and ready for your next wine-tasting experience.

Jamie Goode is a wine journalist who has been blogging since 2001. Feel free to nose around; your comments are welcomed.

I have just discovered two solutions to these problems. The first is solved by a nifty product from Around Wine, called decanter drier crystals. These silica crystals are blue when dry, red when wet. You dry them in the microwave (or conventional oven), then suspend them in the neck of a drained, washed decanter. They absorb the moisture and the decanter dries properly. You can then recharge them in the microwave to use again.

I love decanting red wines. And some whites. But I have always struggled with cleaning decanters properly.

I’m more inclined to use decanters for all the wines I serve now that I have these two options. A good thing.

My typical method is to repeatedly submerge them in extremely hot water before allowing them to drain. However, no matter how hot they get, water always seems to condense in them after they drain completely and never seems to properly evaporate. Additionally, I dislike storing decanters with a few drops of water in the bottom.

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One might assume a beautiful spirits decanter on someone’s bar cart is there purely for aesthetic purposes.

These are classic, stylish, and clever enough to turn your house bar from a so-and-such into an A

The liquor decanter is making a huge comeback and is no longer just a clever trinket from the swinging ’60s. They are more relevant than ever because of independent distilleries and the craft spirits movement.

How to Dry a Wine Decanter Properly


Can you put water in a decanter?

THE ANSWER: That’s a good idea. Water won’t sully your wine. Personally, I prefer to clean decanters with light soapy water. But I’m a compulsive dish-soap man.

Does a decanter need to be sealed?

Unlike wine, which becomes overaerated and can oxidize if stored in a decanter, spirits can last years in a decanter—as long as the stopper is airtight.

Should you wash your decanter?

Decanters should always be washed carefully. If you are washing your decanter straight after use, it should only require water. Depending on the hardness or quality of your tap water, we’d recommend using distilled water as highly alkaline water can cause cloudiness.

Does a decanter need to be dried?

It takes time and effort to dry a decanter. With something as precious and fine as wine, it is only natural that it receives the proper vessel. When a decanter is not dried, it is not fully cleaned and may just risk ruining the wine and the presentation.

How to clean a decanter?

The last rinse should be with hot water because it evaporates faster which is great if you air dry your decanter. The most effective method is to air dry the decanter with the help of a drying stand. They are made from stainless steel with a rubber on the spot that the decanter will be placed on.

How do you Dry a wine decanter?

An important tip: Whatever method you decide to use, be sure no smudges are left on the decanter. Hold the decanter with a microfiber cloth to keep the fingers away from it while drying it. Perhaps the easiest way to dry a wine decanter is to place it upside down on a surface and let the remaining water drip and evaporate.

How to choose a drying brush for a decanter?

There are two different staples of drying brush to choose from: a mop style and a foam brush style. Both types of decanter drying brushes will work in much the same way. They will feature a long handle so that you can easily reach inside your decanter to dry it. You will need to stand your decanter up as normal on your work surface.

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