by Amy Gross, the VineSleuth
Let me start by saying that this one is really for those who bake pies– or those who live with someone who bakes pies.
I know that sounds strange, and you might be thinking, “Pies and wine decanters? Where is Amy taking this one?”
Well, I’m just about to get there.
My wine decanters had been looking pretty nasty for way too long with red wine residue lining the bottom, leaving an unsightly ring of wines from yesteryear. I tried scrubbing with bottle brushes of all shapes and sizes, but nothing would get them clean. I tried the trick I used in my days as a waitress for coffee pots–swishing salt, ice, and water. That didn’t work.
At one point I saw some metal balls on a metal ‘string’ called wine decanter cleaning beads, but I held out from buying them. I knew there had to be a better way than to buy another gadget.
But then, about a year later, I came so very, very close to making the purchase, even holding them in my hand at the Central Market in Houston, when I remembered that I had something very similar at home. Except they were called Pie Weights instead of wine decanter cleaners. And a lightbulb went off in my head.
A few nights later, after enjoying a delicious wine and draining the decanter, I pulled the pie weights out of one of my drawers filled with baking accessories.
I put about an inch of hot, soapy water in the decanter and slid the metal balls of the pie weights into the neck of the decanter and swirled, allowing the balls to gently rub against the crystal.
Moments later, my decanter was glistening again, and all tell-tale marks of previous wines had been removed! VICTORY!
So, if you are a baker, you don’t need to buy the metal balls to clean your wine decanter. Just use your metal pie weights. (This totally works for me.) But if you don’t have those, then I’d suggest you go ahead and pick up some of those metal balls for cleaning. They’ll do wonders for your decanters–and maybe you can use them for your pie shells, too.
Do you have any other tricks for cleaning wine decanters? Or what about any favorite kitchen gadgets that do double-duty to help with your wine life? Tell us about your tricks in the comments.
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