With the holidays fast approaching, it’s time to get those little jobs [you love to ignore] done before your guests arrive and the wine is uncorked. Because you know the jobs, no matter how small, will never get done when that happens.
Cleaning my wine decanters is one of those jobs. I admit I haven’t been decanting my wine in the past few months; instead favoring the aerator or just going au naturel and pouring right from the bottle into the glass. I did stop, however, at just taking a straw to my bottle because I like to stay a little classy. Since I’d been neglecting my decanter, a fair bit of old sediment had accumulated on the bottom and was tough to get out with the standard method of cleaning.
I’d seen bottle brushes that looked like they’d do the trick but one of my decanters was irregularly shaped and the brush wouldn’t reach the main area of trouble. Further research lead me to the Riedel decanter cleaning beads; little stainless steel beads that are shaken around the bottom of the decanter and naturally power away stains and old sediment residue.
The way they work is simple: Take your decanter, fill about half way with water, pour in the beads and swirl, or gently shake back and forth for about two minutes. Pour the water and beads through a strainer, let the beads dry and reuse again. I found with my decanter, it took a little longer to get the stubborn stains out but what resulted was a crystal clear decanter, ready to use for some beautiful holiday wine!
I finished the experiment by placing my decanter on a wine decanter dryer stand so that all the water could drip and/or evaporate. Nice. And easy.
All this cleaning is making me thirsty. And now that I know how to easily cleanse my decanters, I just might have to find a vintage that’ll help me whistle when I work.