Although they look delicate, wine carafes and decanters are actually quite sturdy. However, they’re still susceptible to damage from time to time, especially if you don’t handle them with care or wash them properly. Make sure your wine carafe lasts you a lifetime by avoiding these six things that can damage your wine carafe.
1) Frosted Glass
If you are planning to pour your wine into a carafe and serve it at room temperature, make sure that you do not place your wine decanter in a freezer or on ice before you pour. It may not break, but frosted glass will distort your sense of smell and taste when it comes time to enjoy your wine.
This is because cold glass will actually chill down the molecules in your nose and mouth, which can affect how you perceive aromas and flavors. So if you’re looking for an excuse to skip out on chilling your wine, look no further than its container!
2) Acidic Liquids
Acidic liquids like vinegar and lemon juice can damage your wine carafe’s crystal lining, rendering it ineffective at preserving wine. If you have vinaigrette in your fridge, place it on a different shelf so you don’t accidentally use it with a bottle of wine. And if you do happen to splash some acidic liquid into your decanter, immediately pour out any wine that may be contaminated. Don’t let it sit there for hours; it could ruin your entire collection!
3) Extreme Temperatures
Le Chateau wine decanters are manufactured to withstand extreme temperatures and sudden changes. However, as with most glassware, Le Chateau wine decanter should be stored out of direct sunlight in moderate temperature environments. Extreme hot or cold may cause Le Chateau wine decanters to shatter or crack easily. Also, Le Chateau recommends using coasters underneath your wine carafe when setting it down on a table.
For example, if you have a table that is made from wood that gets very hot when exposed to sunlight, do not set your Le Chateau wine decanter directly on top of it. Use a coaster instead! Lastly, Le Chateau recommends washing your wine carafe by hand in warm water with mild soap before use.
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4) Freezing Conditions
Extreme temperatures—whether hot or cold—can warp and break wine carafes made of glass. We’re not talking about a few minutes in your freezer, but long-term storage. And it can happen fast: Glass breaks at 32 degrees Fahrenheit, so even if you just take your wine out to chill it before dinner, you could be in trouble. If you’re going to chill a bottle of wine, transfer it from its original container to an insulated cooler.
5) Microwaves and Dishwashers
Wine carafes are best kept at room temperature, but it’s important to protect them from damage. Both microwaves and dishwashers can cause serious damage to a wine decanter if they’re used on a regular basis. The sudden change in pressure can cause liquid to leak out of your decanter and onto your dishes, so refrain from using these appliances around your wine.
6) Dishwasher Detergents
Although most dishwasher detergents leave behind no residue, washing a carafe with your dishes can cause it to leach stains and odors into your wine. Also, if you don’t wash your carafe by hand—or never even use it—it’s likely covered in soap scum, which is also something to avoid putting in your decanter.