These Are the Best Wine Decanters on the Market Right Now
If you want to enjoy the full flavor and potential of red wine, you’ll want to invest in a high quality wine decanter.
Many people are unfamiliar with wine decanters or their purpose and benefits. Decanters have two purposes: to help the wine breathe and to remove deposits from old wine. Using a decanter can give your wine better flavor and aroma. Which decanter you will need varies with the wine’s age and type. Most white wines will not need aeration, whereas most red varieties will.
What Is a Wine Decanter?
A wine decanter is a container that holds your wine rather than leaving it in the bottle. These decanters allow the wine to aerate, which means exposing it to air so the flavors can bloom.
Aerated wine has stronger aromatics and a more developed taste. You can detect more of the different notes of a wine when it’s had time to breathe.
Older red wines often have deposits from tartaric. Using a wine decanter can help clear these sediments, so you don’t taste them while sipping your wine. It can also reduce the amount of tannin, which causes the sensation of having a dried mouth.
Decanters are most frequently used for older reds, but they can also help improve the flavor of flat, younger white wines and reds by aerating for as short as fifteen minutes.
The time it takes for a wine to aerate can vary by blend, taking as little as 15 minutes up to three hours. Wines poured into a decanter aerate faster than leaving the wine in a bottle to breathe. It also increases the flavor, aroma, and different nuances that give the wine its unique taste.
Criteria for Picking a Wine Decanter
When shopping for a wine decanter, consider these criteria to ensure you get the best model and design for your needs.
There are different styles of decanters, including traditional and electronic operations, and various ways they decant. It’s important to understand how the decanter works, including the time it takes. Some styles take time to finish decanting, while others allow for immediate use.
Size is crucial to consider. Decanters come in various sizes, with some being large enough to contain a full bottle of wine. Others may decant a single glass at a time. You’ll also need to think about storage to ensure you have a safe place to put your decanter when not in use.
When it comes to the decanter’s style, there are unlimited options. You can choose a traditional design or go for one that doubles as a decorative statement piece. There are also different shapes to consider.
Decanters are available in multiple shapes. Which shape you need depends on the age, variety, and type of wine you’re serving. The more body your wine has, the more room you’ll need in the decanter so the wine can decant.
You can achieve this by choosing a decanter with a wider base. The best wine decanter shape will depend on the wine. Here are some of the most common shapes:
- Small – rosé, whites, and light-bodied reds (Beaujolais or Pinot Noir)
- Medium – medium reds (Sangiovese, Dolcetto, Merlot, Dolcetto)
- Large – full-bodied reds (Sauvignon, Tannat, Tempranillo, Cabernet, Petite Sirah)
Best Wine Decanters
I’ve found some of the best wine decanters for aerating wines and assigned these a label based on what purpose the decanter best serves.
Overall Best: Le Chateau
The Le Chateau wine decanter features an 8.5” wide base (largest available) and an asymmetrical slanted spout that allows for the perfect amount of aeration and easy pouring.
This decanter can hold the contents from a standard (32oz) 750ml size bottle, filling to the widest diameter, so there’s still plenty of breathing room. This feature makes it the best red wine decanter. The thick neck allows for easy handling and pouring.
Made of lead-free handblown crystal, this decanter will look great as a centerpiece while being functional. A fine lip design also reduces dripping, which often occurs from pouring out the final few drops.
The Le Chateau is ideal for reds or whites, including port, cabernet, merlot, pinot noir, etc. It is dishwasher safe, although it’s best to hand wash it if possible.
Luxury Pick: Riedel Ultra
The Riedel Ultra is a handcrafted wine decanter that can hold up to 43.3 ounces, about the size of a standard wine bottle.
The wide base allows enough room for the wine to get maximum oxygen, while the flared neck is perfect for easy pouring.
This decanter has a simple yet elegant classic design. There’s no modern twist or asymmetry with this model.
Best for Fast Aerating: Cuckoo Wine Decanter
The Cuckoo Wine Decanter features a big belly and a long neck for easy handling and pouring. The wide base allows for sturdiness so you can use this attractive decanter as a functional centerpiece.
This crystal glass decanter holds a max capacity of 1200ml, leaving enough room for the wine to aerate to reach full flavor. It does require handwashing and careful handling and cannot be put into the dishwasher.
To speed up the aeration process, this decanter features a breathing port made of food safe silicone and 304 stainless steel.
After inserting the port into the neck of the decanter, place the neck of your wine bottle into the port. Then, flip them so that the wine bottle is upside down and draining the wine into the decanter.
You can pour the wine into your glass using the wide mouth with a curved lip to minimize dripping or through the breathing port.
Highest Durability: Spiegelau Authentis
The Spiegelau Authentis is excellent for bolder wines, as it has a wide base that provides maximum room for aeration. The unique design also makes this decanter sturdy enough to rest on a counter or table without tipping.
The Authentis is a lead-free crystal with a 9-inch base and the ability to hold 35.3 ounces, the equivalent of a standard bottle of wine. When added, the wine reaches the curved part of the base. The upper half of the bowl stays empty, so there’s room for plenty of air.
The narrow neck allows for easy handling, while the wider mouth assists with pouring. This model is best for those shopping on a budget. It’s even dishwasher safe for easy cleaning. However, you should also use a cleaning brush and place it on a drying stand to thoroughly clean it.
Best Sealed Decanter: Sagaform Oak Stopper Wine Carafe
The Sagaform Wine Carafe is an ideal decanter for serving up to 32 ounces of white wine. The elegant simplicity and oak stopper also make this decanter useful as a water carafe.
White wines need less aeration than reds, but this decanter can help eliminate tannic (bitter) or sulfurous tones, so your wine tastes more mellow.
It can also help bring your wine to room temperature faster due to more surface area and thinner glass than a wine bottle. However, you shouldn’t leave white wine in a decanter for longer than thirty minutes, as whites lose their liveliness faster than reds.
Unique Design: Nutriups Wine Carafe
If you prefer a uniquely-shaped wine decanter, check out the Nutriups Decanter. Shaped like a snail, this hand blown, lead-free crystal decanter works great as a functional statement piece.
The large, sturdy size is durable yet attractive, with enough room to hold up to 375ml or half a bottle of wine. This amount reaches the hollow center, allowing for maximum aeration and better sediment capture of old reds.
This decanter is the perfect gift option for wine lovers. It comes with the eye-catching decanter, a cleaning brush, and a wine cork in an attractive package.
The crystal walls are thicker to provide better stability and durability while the spout is polished for a smoother finesse that’s more resistant to chips. You even get the lovely “ding” that comes from tapping quality crystal.
Best Style: HiCoup Wine Decanter
Another hand-blown, lead-free crystal decanter for serving wine is the HiCoup carafe. This decanter has an interesting shape consisting of a wide curved stem where you pour your wine, a curved bowl, and a thinner stem to pour the wine into your glass.
These decanters are mouth-blown into a design that allows maximum aeration while blocking you from getting sediments from seeds, pulp, or stems. You can even use these stylish carafes for serving orange juice, water, or lemonade.
This decanter has the capacity to hold a standard 750 ml bottle of wine. Despite the unique shape, this type is easy to hold, keep balanced when serving as a centerpiece statement, and pour thanks to the smaller spout with a thin lip that prevents dripping.
You can even put it in the dishwasher for easy cleaning, which is useful given that the design can be challenging to handwash due to the uniquely curved swan shape.
What You Need to Know
When shopping for a wine decanter, you’ll need to consider the type of wine you want to serve. Most white wines will not need decanting, although you may choose to do so with a blend that has bitter notes. Red wines, especially older varieties, typically need time to aerate so you can enjoy the full flavor and aroma. I’ve given you multiple wine decanters to start your search.