Captain's Decanter and Wine

I have a whole page on How to Decant Wine if you're unsure what decanting is all about or how to decant. Once you understand the theories of decanting, just what is a Captain's Decanter?

Captain's DecanterA Captain's Decanter is simply a decanter style used by ship captains. It's not like a Tickle Me Elmo where they mass produced these things :) Decanters were hand made by individual glass makers all around the world, and were made in a variety of shapes and styles. Captains knew they'd be on a moving ship. They tended to buy decanters that would not tip over easily - and ones that the wine would not slosh out of easily.

So a Captain's Decanter would have a very large, stable base, and would have a tall, narrow center so that the wine would be kept inside the decanter even in rough seas. It of course still had to serve as a decanter! So the center would be very wide, to provide a large surface area for the wine to breathe. You want a maximum surface area for the wine - combined with a minimal chance for the wine to spill.

Someone asked me when they first started making Captain's Decanters. Seeing as how people have sailed on boats since pretty much they began walking, and people were drinking wine thousands of years ago, the answer is probably for a very, very long time :) They probably always had *something* they had wine in while on a boat. Maybe they were pottery at first. If you want to know when mankind first started making glassware, that would be the Romans.

Wine in History

Wine Glossary Main Listing
C Glossary Words

All content on the WineIntro website is personally written by author and wine enthusiast Lisa Shea. WineIntro explores the delicious variety and beautiful history which makes up our world of wine! Lisa loves supporting local wineries and encouraging people to drink whatever they like. We all have different taste buds, and that makes our world wonderful. Always drink responsibly.