Decoding Decanters and Carafes
By: Lorenzo Anello
Let it Breathe
Decanters and carafes can be a great addition to any kitchen. Whether it be residential or commercial decanters and carafes can compliment both. Decanters and carafes are alternatives to pitchers for beverage service including water, iced tea, lemonade, juice and wine and more still drinks. The servers are made from glass or plastic and are clear, allowing wait staff and clients alike to discern between different beverages. While a pitcher without handles may not be ideal for wait staff, this uniform design brings the ambiance you want for your guests. A decanter distinguishes itself by having a lid that can help seal the beverage up for later use. Carafes are similar to pitchers and bring a home style feel to restaurants, catered events and even the dinner table at home. Alongside typical beverage service, milk and creamer can be kept in carafes on ice at a coffee station or with a breakfast meal. Decanters and carafes can give your restaurant or home not only great presentation but even help with the taste of certain beverages. “Another reason for pouring wine into a decanter or carafe is to aerate it, or allow it to "breathe". The decanter is meant to mimic the effects of swirling the wine glass to stimulate the oxidation processes which trigger the release of more aroma compounds. In addition it is thought to benefit the wine by smoothing some of the harsher aspects of the wine like tannins or mercaptans.”1 Vendors such as Elite Restaurant Equipment can help you find the ideal carafe or decanter for the home or business.
Finding the Right Size
Before obtaining the appropriate carafe or decanter it is important to determine what size you need. Decanters can be purchased in a half liter, liter, or one and a half liter sizes. Make sure to pick which size is appropriate by determining how much beverage you wish to serve. For example a standard 750ml bottle of wine is approximately 22 ounces. A liter is approximately 33 ounces. Therefore a single bottle would have to be poured in a 1 liter decanter or carafe. A 1.5 liter bottle is approximately 50 ounces and should be poured into a 1.5 liter carafe or decanter. In the decanter and carafe market there are three major manufacturers Winco, Cambro, and Thunder Group. Winco offers three different sizes of decanters. Winco decanters come in half a liter, one liter, and one and a half liter sizes. Cambro decanters can be purchased in a quarter of a liter, half a liter, one liter, and one and a half liter sizes. Additional lids can also be purchased from Cambro in packs containing 12 lids. Finally Thunder Group offers 25 oz carafes or approximately one 750ml bottle. These carafes can be purchased in packs of 12.
Other Advantages of Decanters and Carafes
Besides the aforementioned reasons of aeration decanters and carafes can be beneficial visually as well as financially. First as with others kitchen items presentation is very important. A beautifully designed carafe or decanter will help the visual and overall presentation of any kitchen or restaurant. Not only are these decanters and carafes stunning but they are also made of polycarbonate material. Polycarbonate material is a glass looking like material made from materials that are very impact resistant. This material guarantees that even if a customer happens to drop the carafe or decanter it will not shatter. In addition carafes and decanters can also increase profits. For example let’s say a restaurant is selling a standard 750ml bottle of wine for $50. Now the same restaurant is going to sell a decanter full of wine for $40. Here is the catch the decanter is only 500 ml meaning that the extra 250ml of the same bottle can be used to fill the next glass of wine. The beauty part is that your guests will not mind because since the wine has had time to breath in the decanter or the carafe it will be a lot softer and tastier on the pallet.
After it has all Been Poured
Carafes and decanters can be a great addition to any retail location or even in the home. When utilized correctly decanters and carafes can help aerate the wine thus producing a better overall taste. Also if used correctly customers may be more inclined to purchase beverages when they come out of a visually striking decanter or carafe. Finally proper usage of a decanter or carafe can help maximize profits by providing the customers the appearance of a large amount of liquid but being less than a standard sized bottle of the beverage.