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What Is a Drink Carafe and Why Use One?

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What Is a Drink Carafe and Why Use One?

 

A drink carafe is simply a vessel in which to store and serve drinks. Typically tall and thin, they’re often associated with wine.

However, carafes can be used for any drink be it wine, water, juice or iced tea. Drink carafes shouldn’t be confused with decanters which are a little different. 

The main purpose of a carafe is to give your drink an elegant vessel in which to sit. Do away with plastic jugs and top one of our elegant heart-patterned bottles up with chopped fruit and sparkling water for a pretty addition to an alfresco summer dining table. 

 

What’s the difference between a drink carafe and a decanter?

The terms carafe and decanter are sometimes used interchangeably. Decanters, however, tend to serve a different, specific purpose. While any drink can be served in a carafe, decanters are exclusively used for wine. 

As such, the wide, flat base and narrow neck of a decanter is deliberate. It allows for the sediment in wine to be separated from the liquid. The sediment collects and remains in the flat bottom. 

Decanters are mainly used for red wines – particularly older reds and ports – which contain the most sediment.

 

Both carafes and decanters enable aeration, though carafes aren’t always purpose-built for this. Aeration is where wine is exposed to oxygen. When this happens, the tannins in wine are softened, gases are released and the natural aromas can expand and ‘breathe’. 

How much aeration takes place depends on the size and shape of the vessel. Since carafes generally have more of a decorative purpose than a practical one, you’ll often find that they have less dramatic shapes than decanters. Decanters’ wide, rounded bases act as chambers that allow the circulation of oxygen. 

What’s the purpose of a drink carafe?

Carafes mostly serve more of an aesthetic purpose, though they do also help aerate wine. They look more elegant at the dinner table than a bottle of wine. This is why sommeliers in restaurants will often pour wine into a carafe on the table, storing the bottle elsewhere. Drink carafes give a stylish and rustic feel to a dinner table. 

 

Carafes can also act as a good measure for liquid. Wine carafes typically come in three sizes, 750 ml, 375 ml and 187 ml and so decanting wine into one specific size prevents over pouring – and over drinking. 

 

But it’s not just all about wine. Now summer’s in full swing, making sure you drink lots of (non alcoholic) fluid is important.

If you’re socialising outside around a table, you don’t want to be perpetually ducking inside to fill up water glasses. And sometimes plain, old water jugs just don’t cut it. 

 

Iced water infused with herbs or fruit in our dotted, glass carafe will look so sumptuous, it’ll encourage people to drink more water.

The cork – as well as giving a gorgeous rustic feel to the bottle – also helps keep the summer flies away (helpful when the bottle contains fruit). 

. . .

 

Pretty Little Home specialises in gorgeous, shabby chic homewares for beautiful homes. Don’t forget to follow us on Instagram for home styling inspiration @pretty_little_home. 



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