kelly magyarics

washington, d.c.-based wine, spirits & lifestyle writer / wine educator

703.203.9463

Decanter as Art

While thumbing through the latest Dean and Deluca wine catalog, I saw this limited-edition, $4000-a-pop decanter from French artist Etienne Meneau.

Yes it's gorgeous, and I would love to watch wine cascade down its "roots." But my practical side couldn't help asking 2 questions:

1. How many uses would you actually get out of it before you broke it? (I just keep picturing in my mind a well-meaning guest at a cocktail party whose elbow just happened to bump it as he or she was gesturing while sharing a witty story.)

and, more importantly:

2. How on earth would you clean it??? I love my wide-based Wine Enthusiast decanter, but that's difficult enough to clean--I recently found out that they make metal beads just for this purpose, and I definitely have to invest in a set. But this decanter has nothing on mine. As far as I know, there is no brush or any other device that could effectively clean it out. The only idea I have is to immediately run it under water after using it, before the wine gets sticky and dries. But if you are in the middle of hosting a party, it could be all too easy to forget to do that. And the thought of cleaning it brings me back to question #1...

Then again, I guess if you can afford this work of art, you can afford to hire someone to clean and protect it.