Two new wine vessels throw a few curves into the glassware category.
The Decanter : Riedel Macon, $190
How to Decant
Air It Out: Pouring wine into a decanter rapidly exposes it to oxygen. Aeration improves the flavor of tannic young red wines, many dry whites, and vintage ports.
Cellared Wines: Decant older wines gently, taking care not to include any sediment. Pouring so the wine slides down the decanter walls will let you spot sediment in the stream of wine so you can stop pouring.
Young Reds: Glug the bottle roughly into the decanter one hour before you’re ready to drink it. Let it splash to soften the tannins.
Deep Clean: With their narrow necks, decanters can be a pain to wash. Sommelier Belinda Chang took a cue from her local coffee shop for a smarter solution: “I get the same stuff that baristas use for their espresso machines: Urnex Cafiza Espresso Machine Cleaning Powder [$23],” says Chang. “Just add a teaspoon of it to the vessel, fill with water, soak overnight, rinse with hot water several times, and it’ll be like brand-new.”
The Glass: Mark Thomas Double Bend Allround Glass, $70
Two distinct bends in these handblown crystal glasses created by Austrian designer Thomas Zichtl set them apart from the rest. $70 at Kneen & Co.
1. Always Be Swirling
The second bend in the glass denotes a full pour, and the rounded bottom helps the wine “move more harmoniously in a conical shape” as you swirl to better aerate it, says Zichtl.
2. Embrace Curves
The first bend marks a perfect tasting portion, but Caleb Ganzer, sommelier at Compagnie des Vins Surnaturels in New York, also loves that it exposes more wine to air, “making it pop more in the glass.”
3. Invest in Stems
Austin Bridges, the sommelier behind Enoteca Nostrana in Portland, Oregon, considers the stem a pedestal for your wine. “Think about smelling and examining a flower without a stem,” he says. The long stem also gives you more control when sipping from the glass.