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Truly modern decanter

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Decanters are being recast as playfully intriguing objets d’art. These are stunning shapes that can act as decor for a living room as well as a great conversation piece for the dining table says FUNKE OSAE-BROWN.

Nneka Nnamdi is holding a high profile business dinner. It is a little get-together party for her close business associates. She desires to treat her guests to high end cuisines that will make the evening a memorable one.

She decides to bring a new touch to the way the wines are served with her newly acquired decanter. When she travelled to London last December, she purchased the EVE decanter, designed by Maximilian Riedel in 2008. It is a handmade, mouth-blown decanter made of lead crystal. It is a unique and functional work of art.

She says the EVE decanter turns the service of wine into a theatrical performance. According to her, EVE needs to be rotated 360 degrees to charge the neck and allow the wine to travel around the flowing glass curves. When charging the neck, EVE emits a sound likened to the noise of a King Cobra, as air is pumped back through the wine. That was the attraction for her before she purchased the decanter.

“The sensuous curves of Riedel’s lead crystal, mouth-blown EVE decanter are not only enticing,” she tells me, “but functional. This design double decants the wine as it flows through its serpentine shape, making it perfect for young, full-bodied wines.”

Modern designs of decanters are transforming the way wine connoisseurs drink and enjoy wine. Designers are using crystal to create exquisite designs of decanter.

Through their designs, they are showing the practical and gustatory benefits of decanting. They are recasting the decanter away from the rigid fat bottles people are used to, to an exciting, eye-catching objet d’art (object of art). These are stunning shapes that can act as decor for a living room as well as a great conversation piece for the dining table.

Not everyone believes in decanting wine. Most people prefer to serve wine directly from the bottle. But Bola Ogundipe, a wine lover, says she strongly believes that wine must be decanted because it makes such a difference to what you are drinking; whether it’s young or old, red or white, still or sparkling.

Of course, one would not expect anything less from Ogundipe who has recently acquired Rokos 13º, a decanter by British designer Jim Rokos. The Rokos decanter is an amazing design that comes in different shapes of Rokos 13º, 60º, 104º.

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It is very amusing as the decanting design can be turned on its head or side. The Rokos’ decanter can be placed at three different angles. Moreover, moving the decanter into each position increases the wine’s exposure to oxygen, thereby bringing out the flavours and aromas at a faster rate. The position of the decanter using the degrees shows the various moods of the wine being served.

At 13º, the decanter is upright and sober. As more wine is consumed, it can be turned to 60º at this point, the decanter is also getting a little bit tipsy. The wine is becoming mildly intoxicated. And by the end of the evening, it sits at a relaxed 104º. It shows how the mood of the wine and its drinker changes during the course of an evening.

Modern decanters are revolutionary, modernist designs with interesting techniques away from moulded decanters. These revolutionary designs have given birth to more free-form shapes. Some of the finest shapes, like the striking Eve decanter, come with coiled, cobra-like body.

For lovers of delicate designs, it is tempting to think that this elegantly tactile decanter is primarily about its daring design and appearance, rather than its practical application. In fact, it’s the other way around. For most designers, the philosophy has always been to follow the Bauhaus approach, where form follows function.

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To show the functionality of the EVE decanter,  Nnamdi explains that the shape of the Eve aerates wine more quickly, about 17 times faster than a traditional decanter by double-decanting the wine in the tummy of the vessel. According to her, each time a glass of wine is poured, the decanter has to be given a clockwise rotation, which increases the aeration by creating a partial vacuum.

Furthermore, some rare designs are Etienne Meneau’s Strange Carafes, which are also be taken for exquisite abstract sculptures. Some of its latest designs include vinous creations that mimic human hearts, blood vessels and tree branches.  Strange Carafes are made in borosilicate glass, just 12 Grand Coeur decanters were numbered, signed and sold at 3,000 Euros apiece.

Does this trend mean the demise of the traditional decanter? This is the question that comes to mind. Some collectors believe so as they argued that the traditional designs are gradually phasing out.

To this end, modern designs of decanter will definitely enhance the pleasure that comes from decanting, serving and drinking fine wines.

 

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