Our complete guide to cleaning your wine decanter

Wine Decanter Open Cristal Developer L'Atelier du Vin

The wine decanter plays an essential role in the aeration and presentation of wine, allowing its aromas to fully develop. A wine that has been properly aerated reveals all of its subtleties and offers an optimal tasting experience. However, it’s crucial to keep your decanter in impeccable condition because old wine residues can alter the taste and purity of any subsequent wines. Careful cleaning of your decanter not only ensures that you enjoy exquisite flavours, it also prolongs the life of your glassware. Keep reading to find out how to care for your wine decanter.

Why is it important to clean your wine decanter regularly?

Cleaning your wine decanter regularly is essential for several reasons.  Firstly, wine residues left on the bottom and at the sides of the decanter can have a significant impact on the taste of any wine you may pour into it later. These residues can ferment, leaving acidic or bitter traces that can dramatically alter the delicate aromas and purity of the wine, reducing your tasting experience. Similarly, mineral deposits and tannins can accumulate, disturbing the balance and flavour of any subsequent wines.

Wine Decanter L'Atelier du Vin

Regular maintenance will also extend the life of your decanter. Glass, though resistant, can deteriorate over time if residues aren’t properly removed by cleaning. Stains and limescale deposits can become difficult to remove if left for too long, and trying to remove stubborn marks later can potentially damage the surface of your decanter.

By adopting a cleaning routine after each use, you not only safeguard the quality of your wines, but also the longevity of your decanter.

Special features of glass decanters

Glass decanters are cherished for their elegance and ability to magnify the appearance and aromas of wine. Glass is a neutral, non-porous material that doesn’t retain odours or flavours, making it the perfect material to protect the purity of individual wines. What’s more, the transparency of the glass allows the wine’s colour to be admired, adding a visual dimension to the oenological experience.

L’Atelier du Vin offers glass decanters of exceptional quality such as the Open Cristal Developer and the Carafe Bonde. The Open Cristal Developer decanter is designed for optimal aeration thanks to 6 Developer® flow grooves that provide slow, even oxygenation along the inner walls. This decanter also reduces sulphur dioxide content, further enhancing the wine’s olfactory and gustatory benefits.

Open Cristal Developer wine decanter with aroma developer

The Carafe Bonde is a desirable design that’s remained unchanged for over 30 years – a classic must-have from L’Atelier du Vin. Its wide base and flared neck aid the oxygenation of wines, particularly young ones. Each decanter is a unique, mouth-blown piece, finished with a distinctive solid glass stopper that’s inspired by barrel bungs. Carafe Bonde blends aesthetics with functionality, making every drink memorable, whether it’s an informal family lunch, dinner with friends or a formal business occasion.

L'Atelier du Vin's cork-blown wine decanter with full glass stopper

The correct way to clean a wine decanter

Prepare your decanter

Carefully remove any remaining wine residue from the decanter. We recommend emptying the decanter immediately after use to prevent wine from drying out, leaving hard-to-remove stains.

Rinse the decanter thoroughly with hot water which is particularly effective at dissolving the sugars and tannins present in wine. This step dissolves and removes coarse wine particles, making subsequent cleaning easier. 

Use the right cleaning products

The right cleaning tools and products are crucial when it comes to preserving the beauty and functionality of your decanter. Here are a few our recommendations:

Decanter brushes: These special brushes are designed to reach every nook and cranny of the decanter. They generally have flexible heads and soft bristles to avoid scratching the glass.

Special brush for wine decanters
Sachet of washing beads for cleaning wine decanters, vases...

Washing balls: Ceramic washing balls are perfect for removing stubborn residues. Simply place them in the decanter with a little water and shake gently so that the beads agitate the inner walls, removing deposits.

Natural chemicals: For those who prefer eco-friendly alternatives, white vinegar and baking soda are excellent choices for cleaning glassware. White vinegar is a natural disinfectant that helps dissolve limescale deposits and wine stains. Baking soda is a gentle abrasive that can be used to scrub stubborn stains.

Wash and dry your decanter

Once you’ve assembled the right tools and products, you can start to wash your decanter:  

  • Use the brush to thoroughly clean the decanter. Scrub gently to avoid scratching the glass. If you’re using washing balls, add them to warm water and shake gently.
  • After cleaning, rinse the decanter thoroughly with lukewarm water to remove all traces of both wine and cleaning products. It’s important to rinse several times to ensure that no residues remain that could alter the taste of any future wine.
  • To avoid water marks and limescale deposits, use microfibre cloths or an air dryer. Microfibre cloths are particularly effective, as they leave no lint and absorb moisture well. Dry the inside of the carafe by gently wiping with the microfibre cloth. For the outside, wipe over the entire surface until completely dry.
L'Atelier du Vin decanter dryer rack
  • For optimum drying, use a wine decanter drainer which allows air to circulate freely inside the decanter, speeding up the drying process and preventing the formation of water marks. Place the decanter upside down on the rack and simply allow air to circulate. If you don’t have a dedicated drainer, you can place the decanter on its side on a clean, dry surface, making sure it’s stable to prevent rolling.

How to keep your wine decanter clean and in good condition

Keeping your wine decanter clean and in good condition requires regular attention and proper care.   As soon as you’ve finished serving wine, it’s crucial to clean the decanter immediately. This prevents wine residues from drying out and leaving stubborn stains.   Once the decanter has been cleaned, it’s essential to dry it completely to avoid moisture build-up that could lead to mould formation. Even if your carafe doesn’t look dirty after a few uses, it’s advisable to clean it regularly. Deep cleaning every three to four uses ensures the removal of invisible deposits and maintains the purity of the glass.

How to remove stubborn stains and odours

Open Cristal Developer decanter for slow, even wine oxygenation

There are several effective means to treat stubborn stains and odours in your wine decanter.    Baking soda is an excellent natural cleaning agent. Mix a tablespoon of baking soda with lukewarm water and pour the mixture into the decanter. Leave it to stand for an hour, then gently scrub it with a special brush before rinsing it thoroughly. For particularly stubborn stains, soda percarbonate provides enhanced cleaning power and can be used in the same way.   Another method is to soak the carafe in a solution of half water and half white vinegar. This mixture is highly effective at dissolving mineral deposits and neutralising odours. Soak the carafe for a few hours, or overnight if necessary. After soaking, rinse thoroughly with hot water to remove any vinegar residue.    These techniques will restore the clarity and freshness of your decanter, guaranteeing an impeccable tasting experience.

Carafe Perchée L'Atelier du Vin

By following these tips, you’ll ensure the cleanliness and longevity of your wine decanter. A well-maintained decanter will allow you to fully savour the aromas and purity of every wine for years to come.


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