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A Winning Decanter Design

2009 May 13
by Eric Hwang

My Decanter DesignI’m constantly amazed at all the cool sites, news items, and interesting content I find through my twitter friends. In the last days of March, I was reading the stream of tweets and noticed a retweet for a decanter design contest sponsored by Wine Enthusiast magazine. I thought, “Cool, I could do that,” and I even had a lot of ideas in mind for a decanter I would like to use. I put those ideas in the back of my mind until about 3 days before the entry was due. A little reminder popped up on my computer to let me know that this task needed my attention.

My 3-D rendering skills are not great and manually drawing something with complicated curves, reflections and liquid content was extremely challenging. After several hours of manual rendering in PhotoShop, I thought I had a decent design; at least one good enough to become the basis for a final product. I designed the decanter with the neck offset to prevent the mishaps I’ve had with wide decanters and having to tilt them nearly upside down to pour. The neck is also large enough in diameter to make cleaning and drying easier. The ridge on bottom serves dual function as a finger grip and to help aerate the wine by simply rocking the decanter from side to side. I was fairly certain that some talented industrial designer who had access to better software would end up winning. Nonetheless, the day before the final call for entries, I submitted mine and promptly forgot about the whole affair.

Two days ago, I received an email from Sybil Strum, CEO and Co-founder of Wine Enthusiast Companies. It simply said that they had reviewed all the entries and really liked my design. The email didn’t say that I had won. Yesterday, I called them and found out the good news. I won the grand prize of $1,000, 4 VIP tickets to Toast of the Town, and a subscription to Wine Enthusiast magazine. There was some further discussion about my design and possibly producing it. Even more than the prizes and money, I think it would be really rewarding to see something I designed be made into an actual product.

I don’t know when the formal announcement will be made, but I’m really curious about the other designs and how many total entries were submitted. The other thing that I noticed was that when I tweeted about winning the grand prize, I only received replies from 3 people on Twitter. When I posted this as my status on Facebook, I received 15 responses. Even though I have nearly 5 times as many “friends” on Twitter, I received 5 times as many responses on Facebook. I guess that just shows who my real friends are. They’re the ones who are happy for me when I acheive something. So a warm thank-you to everyone who acknowledged me.

2 Responses leave one →
  1. May 17, 2009


    Congratulations! I think this is the dream of every designer, I´m an architect, I live in Mexico, and I love wine so I understand when you talk about winning the grand prize.


  2. May 19, 2009


    Congratulations. The design is really beautiful, perhaps you should speak to some one from Riedel about it. . .

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