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The 10 Best Wine Decanters

wine-decenter

If you’re new to wine, you’ll soon discover that you need some simple equipment to help you enjoy your vino at its very best.

One of the cheapest and also one of the most indispensable pieces of kit is a wine decanter.

Today, we’ll highlight the top 10 decanters in a variety of shapes, styles, and price points.

Most red wines and some closed white wines benefit from decanting before serving. This will intensify both the flavor and the aroma. Additionally, decanting wine minimizes the chance of sediment in your wine glass – a particular problem if you are partial to vintage reds.

Decanting your wine aerates it and introduces oxygen to the wine. This kickstarts the process of oxidation. During the oxidation process, the tannins in the wine soften. Skip this step and the tannins could end up overpowering the wine.

One of the other benefits of decanting wine is the way it will reduce the intensity of sulfites in the wine. These chemicals are responsible for the nasty whiff of sulfur that sometimes accompanies pouring wine.

Decant wine in these scenarios:

  • When you need to bring red wine from the wine cooler to serving temperature.
  • If the tannic structure of young red wines needs breaking down.
  • For those who drink aged red wines who want to prevent sediment from ending up in their wine glasses.

If you drink exclusively white wines, you’ll find that most whites do not require decanting.

When decanting red wines, you should allow them to breathe for between 30 minutes and three hours, depending on the type of wine.

Choosing a wine decanter is straightforward if you consider these elements:

  • Size: A small decanter is ideal for decanting a glass or two. Medium-sized decanters are suitable for decanting 750ml bottles of wine. Large decanters can often accommodate up to 1.5l of wine. That said, the core goal of decanting is to expose a large surface area of the wine to oxygen. Resist the temptation to fill decanters to the brim, whatever size is most appropriate for your needs.
  • Material: Premium decanters are made from crystal, making them attractive and durable. Look for lead-free crystal decanters. A glass decanter is generally less expensive. Opt for borosilicate glass for a less fragile alternative to crystal.
  • Shape: Choose a wine decanter according to the surface area of wine you wish to expose to oxygen.
  • Aesthetics: Although you should choose a decanter based on its functionality, if you plan to leave it on display, it’s worth picking one you also like the look of.

OK, you should now be ready to explore our showcase of the best wine decanters to see if any make the right fit for you.


The 10 Best Wine Decanters

1. Our Pick: Le Chateau Red Wine Decanter

Le-Chateau-Red-Wine-Decanter-Aerator

Features

  • Material: Crystal
  • Capacity: 32oz
  • Weight: 1.5 pounds

First in line is our overall favorite in today’s showcase of the ten leading wine decanters. What do you get for your money here, then?

While this decanter is certainly not the cheapest option at your disposal, it’s discounted right now, so act quickly and grab yourself a bargain for the coming holiday season.

Thinking of holidays, this decanter would make an excellent gift for any wine lovers in your life if it doesn’t make the right fit for your home kitchen.

Made from hand-blown crystal that contains no potentially damaging lead, this decanter looks great and delivers the optimum decanting experience for a variety of your favorite wines.

The 32oz capacity of this decanter will easily accommodate a full 750ml bottle of wine, while still exposing sufficient surface area to oxygen to promote brisk and efficient aeration. Pour in the whole bottle and it will reach the widest area of the decanter.

You benefit from a slanted spout that should ensure you don’t spill wine all over the carpet when you’re attempting to aerate a bottle of red.

Not only is this decanter a cinch to use, but it’s also just as easy to keep clean, so what are you waiting for? Ideal for everyday use or for special occasions, you’ll never look back once you start decanting red wines with this unit.

Things We Like

  • Striking aesthetics
  • Accommodate a whole bottle of wine
  • Easy to use and clean

Things We Dislike

  • Quality control issues raised

2. USBOQO HBS Red Wine Decanter

USBOQO-HBS-1.2-Liters-Lead

Features

  • Material: Crystal glass
  • Capacity: 40oz
  • Weight: 1.94 pounds

For those who want a decorative decanter without breaking the bank, this model from the strangely named USBOQO is one of the best budget wine decanters out there.

Designed with fragrant red wines in mind, this crystal glass unit is shaped like a snail. This is not a case of form for its own sake, though. The innovative shape is intended to let more fresh air in, accelerating the process of oxidation, and enhancing the flavor and aroma of your red wines.

This is a weighty decanter, so you might want to think twice if you struggle to lift heavy objects. On the upside, you’ll enjoy a substantial capacity more than large enough to hold a 1200ml bottle.

While the lead-free crystal appears quite fine and refined, it’s much stronger than you might imagine. The two-year limited guarantee offered by the manufacturer shows you how much faith they place in this product. As long as you don’t knock it around, you should get plenty of years of service from this wine decanter.

The decanter sits nicely in the hand as you’re pouring, so you shouldn’t get any unwanted spillages or breakages when decanting your red wines.

Whether you want this decanter for home use, commercial applications, or as a great gift idea, you might be surprised at how little this thing costs.

Things We Like

  • Oversized capacity
  • Lead-free crystal construction
  • Generous warranty coverage

Things We Dislike

  • Air bubbles trapped inside

3. BTaT XL Wine Decanter

BTaT- XL-Decanter-with-Drying-Stand

Features

  • Material: Lead-free crystal
  • Capacity: 60oz
  • Weight: 1.5 pounds

Another unusually named brand, BTaT serves up a keenly priced wine decanter that won’t stiff you in terms of performance.

The first thing that stands out with this model is the oversized capacity. Designed to hold up to 1800ml of wine, the BTaT is a wise bet for anyone who frequently serves multiple bottles of wine with dinner. As with all larger decanters, experiment until you discover how much wine you can pour inside while still exposing a large surface area of that wine to oxygen.

The durable lead-free crystal construction is attractive, safe, and long-lasting.

You also get some worthwhile extras with this decanter. A stand comes in handy since decanters are notoriously challenging to dry. This drying stand also serves to prevent drip spots from ruining your new investment.

To make things even easier for you, the manufacturer also bundles some cleaning beads and a cleaning rope, so you have no excuse not to keep your decanter looking pristine.

As a nice touch, the bottom of the decanter is left hollow, giving the optical illusion that it’s floating on top of the table. If that doesn’t impress your dinner party guests, the aerated wine certainly should. Aerating red wines for as little as 30 minutes in this decanter will dramatically improve the aroma and the flavor of the end result in your wine glass.

As you would expect from a decanter boasting a 60oz capacity, this unit feels quite bulky and clunky, despite the crystal construction. For those looking to quickly aerate several bottles of wine, though, this is one of the finest options up for grabs.

Things We Like

  • Extra-large capacity
  • Drying stand included
  • Made from lead-free crystal

Things We Dislike

  • Feels quite clunky

4. GoodGlassware Wine Decanter

GoodGlassware-Wine-Decanter

Features

  • Material: Crystal glass
  • Capacity: 44oz
  • Weight: 1.8 pounds

As we near the midway point of today’s wine decanter reviews, we have a smaller offering, this time from GoodGlassware, although it’s still capable of accommodating a maximum 1300ml of liquid. For those looking to aerate whole bottles of wine for dinner, this makes an excellent choice.

Not only does the decanter look great and perform strongly, but this model is also one of the cheapest models in a crowded market segment.

Made from a reasonably robust crystal glass, you can safely slip this decanter into the dishwasher if you dislike the idea of cleaning it by hand. There are no reported issues from consumers concerning dishwashing this model.

The glass is recyclable, too, allowing you to do your part for the environment, while at the same time improving the quality of the wine in your wine glass.

You should find this decanter is pretty simple to use, with the oversized spout nicely designed to inhibit spillage.

Unlike many brands in this vertical, GoodGlassware prides itself on responsive customer care, so you’re getting a complete package for less than the price of a drinkable bottle of red – what’s not to love.

Things We Like

  • Outstanding value for money
  • Easy to clean and dishwasher safe
  • Recyclable and contains no lead

Things We Dislike

  • Fragile overall feel

5. Riedel Cabernet Decanter

Riedel-Cabernet-Decanter

Features

  • Material: Crystal
  • Capacity: 37oz
  • Weight: 0.75 pounds

Riedel is arguably the best-known brand in the wine accessories space. Made in Austria by the world’s premium crystal company, Riedel has been in business since the mid-1700s. Their crystalware remains a popular choice worldwide for its attention to detail and quality.

The 37oz-capacity is ideal for decanting a 750ml bottle of Bordeaux. For anyone who needs a more substantial aerating device, we review plenty of larger options above and below. Additionally, by opting for this capacity, you get a decanter that measures just nine inches tall, making it a neat fit below kitchen counters or on smaller shelves.

Made from machined crystal, the transparent and thin-walled decanter looks refined but doesn’t force you to endure a fragile decanter that’s just waiting to go pop. The thin walls also allow you to monitor the breathing process.

A favorite of restaurants globally, the Riedel decanter will stand up to repeated dishwashing without its integrity being compromised. That said, we still recommend washing Riedel decanters by hand for best results. Protect your investment with minimum effort.

The neck of this model is perfectly curved to promote drip-free pouring when you’re aerating your red wines before serving.

Whether you are looking to refresh a cheap wine to introduce more vim or you want to minimize the likelihood of sediment from older reds ending up in your wine glass, it is well worth taking the time to decant your wine, and Riedel offer the perfect solution.

Things We Like

  • Unbeatable brand image
  • Optimum capacity for a whole bottle
  • Ergonomic curved neck

Things We Dislike

  • Hand wash only

6. Sagaform Wine Carafe

Sagaform-Wine-Carafe-with-Oak-Stopper

Features

  • Material: Glass
  • Capacity: 67oz
  • Weight: 2.1 pounds

As we push through our wine decanter reviews, we have a great option from Sagaform. This brand has a deep bench of wine accessories for the discerning collection. This line is designed to work well together, so what do you get from this decanter?

This mouth-blown unit would make a neat fit with both traditional and minimal décor.

The oak stopper contrasts wonderfully with the expanse of glass and lets you keep your wine for as long as you wish before serving.

The 67oz capacity of this model is ideal for anyone who frequently serves several bottles of wine and doesn’t want to wait around hours for aeration.

Like many wine decanters, this model is indicated for use in the dishwasher, but it responds more favorably to hand washing. Several consumers report damage and breakage when dishwashing this carafe, so buyer beware.

Although this decanter makes it relatively easy to pour your wine, you may find that you encounter some issues with dripping. Overall, this is an affordable and effective decanter well worth popping on your shortlist.

Things We Like

  • Generously sized bowl
  • Brisk and effective wine aeration
  • Safe to place in dishwasher

Things We Dislike

  • Challenging to dry

7. Godinger Wine Decanter

Godinger-Dublin-Wine-Decanter

Features

  • Material: Crystal
  • Capacity: 25oz
  • Weight: 3.2 pounds

The Godinger Dublin is absolutely not the cheapest wine decanter you can find, but we appreciate that everyone has different budgets and requirements. What does this decanter provide if you’re prepared to dig deeper, then?

Perhaps the first thing to flag is that you can pick this unit up at a steep discount if you act quickly, so why not treat yourself for the looming holiday season?
The construction of this decanter is premium 24% crystal. This does contain small traces of lead, though. Weighing over 3 pounds, this is a bulky and hefty decanter. The light will catch the carved elements, an effect that is further intensified if you have a prime bottle of red wine sluicing around inside this thing.

As with most wine decanters, washing the Godinger Dublin by hand is the optimum approach to cleaning.

Aside from the potential concern of the lead-content, this is hands-down one of the best decanters out there.

Things We Like

  • Currently discounted aggressively
  • Intricate and attractive design
  • Half a century of brand heritage

Things We Dislike

  • Reportedly contains lead

8. Menu Winebreather Carafe

Menu-Winebreather-Carafe

Features

  • Material: Glass
  • Capacity: 34oz
  • Weight: 1.2 pounds

The Menu Winebreather wine decanter will help you to efficiently aerate your wine, allowing it to breathe as advertised. Both the aroma and the flavor of your wines should be noticeably elevated after decanting.

Using the decanter is super-simple. All you need to do is place it on the top of a wine bottle. You then need to invert it and the bottle of wine will be near—instantly aerated, ideal for anyone too impatient to wait for the process. You can then choose to pour your wine directly from the decanter or to pour it back into the wine bottle.

Although the one-step aeration process is ideal for anyone new to wine collecting, more advanced collectors may find the device is too unsophisticated.

Things We Like

  • Straightforward to use
  • Impressively robust for glass decanter
  • Aerates wine in two minutes

Things We Dislike

  • Prone to leaking

9. Mixologist Wine Decanter

Premium-Wine-Decanter-With-Aerator-Set

Features

  • Material: Lead-free crystal
  • Capacity: 25oz
  • Weight: 2.5 pounds

The Mixologist Store is filled with wine accessories for your home bar. This decanter is one of the finest pieces the brand produces.

Made from lead-free crystal, this decorative decanter is one of the most visually striking examples you’ll find. Fortunately, it’s not a case of form over function, though. Using this decanter to aerate your red wines will intensify their purity and improve the flavor.

You can easily decant a whole bottle of your favorite wine into this carafe. Even when filled with 750ml of wine, a large surface area of the wine remains exposed to the air, softening the tannins and enhancing the flavor.

A stopper can be inserted if you want to prevent the wine from evaporating before you finish it off.

This decanter is rather fragile, so we would advise handling it with extreme caution to avoid breakage.

Things We Like

  • Awesome appearance
  • Accelerated aeration
  • Integrated wine filter

Things We Dislike

  • Not the smoothest overall feel

10. HiCoup Red Wine Decanter

HiCoup-Red-Wine-Decanter-with-Aerator

Features

  • Material: Glass
  • Capacity: 25oz
  • Weight: 1.5 pounds

HiCoup serves up a pricey wine decanter here, but it’s currently up for grabs at a discount, so snatch yourself a bargain.

Made from lead-free crystal glass, the hand-blown unit is elegant and hardwearing.

The U-shape of the decanter means it can easily serve double duty if you need to serve water or juice rather than wine.

You can pour an entire 750ml bottle of wine into this decanter. A large surface area of wine stays exposed to the elements, and you shouldn’t encounter any issues with dripping when pouring.

For those who drink lots of red wine, it can become tiresome to wait around for the wine to breathe. Whether you are too busy or too impatient to wait for your wines to breathe, the HiCoup speeds the process up without compromising the aeration process.

In terms of performance, there is very little to complain about here. The main gripes from customers center on the fragility of this unit. Think closely about your intended use and the environment in which this decanter will be used. If you are not expecting a thick, rugged decanter and you are prepared to handle this thing with care, it’s one of the most effective aeration solutions out there.

Things We Like

  • Currently steeply discounted
  • Innovative U-shape
  • Quick and efficient aeration

Things We Dislike

  • Feels more like plastic than glass

FAQs

1) Does every wine always need decanting?

No. You can serve the majority of white wines directly from your wine cooler. Most red wines, though, will taste better if you allow them to breathe for at least 30 minutes after decanting them.

2) How about white wines?

Delicate white wines should not be decanted. Doing so could impair the flavor and the aroma. If a white wine was produced in a cold climate, it will typically respond favorably to decanting.

3) How do I determine whether or not to decant a wine?

The best way to assess whether wine needs decanting is by experimenting. If you have never decanted red wines before, trying letting your next bottle of red breathe for a half-hour and you should taste a noticeable difference.

4) Is it possible to decant wine without using a decanter?

A young red wine can be aerated using a food blender. Decant the bottle into the blender and blitz for 30 seconds. If you have a large wine glass, you could swill the wine aggressively around the glass. Wine aerators are also a great alternative to wine decanters.

5) How long can I keep wine in the decanter?

Different red wines have different recommended breathing times, ranging from 30 minutes to three hours.

6) How do I let wine breathe if I don’t have a decanter?

To expose your wine to oxygen without using a decanter, you could decant the wine from one pitcher into another.

7) Will decanting wine filter all the sediment?

No. Decanting wine makes it easier for you to detect the sediment as you pour the wine from the decanter. Decanting does not physically filter sediment.

8) How can I fix closed red wines?

A closed red wine has a dull flavor and aroma. Fix these wines by double decanting. Decant using the standard method and then pour the wine back into the bottle before decanting it a second time. This process will often but always open a closed red wine.

9) What does it mean to correct a reduced white wine?

The rotten egg smell associated with some white wines is due to the sulfite content. Decanting a reduced white wine for just 15 minutes can eliminate the smell of rotten eggs.

10) Which wines require the breathing times?

Vintage port requires at least two hours of breathing time. The same applies to Madeira. You can leave aged port or Madeira for days or even weeks in the decanter to bring out the finer elements of these beverages.

11) How do I decant wine?

When you are using the regular decanting method for wine, speed is not of the essence. You should take your time when aerating wine if you want to bring out the best qualities in both the flavor and the aroma. Uncork your wine using a corkscrew or a bottle opener. Then, either rest the wine decanter on a flat surface and pour from the wine bottle or hold the decanter in one hand and your wine bottle in the other. You should try both methods to see which feels most comfortable. When you are pouring the wine, use a slow and controlled motion. You should be aiming to retain as much of the wine’s flavor and color as possible. The slower you pour, the more chance you have of isolating sediment before it ends up in your wine glass. You could also try using the shock decanting method.

12) What is shock decanting?

If you have a young red wine that has been aged for no more than two years, but is loaded with tannins, shock decanting is the optimum method of enhancing the wine’s properties. Simple invert the wine bottle then allow the force of gravity to decant the contents of the bottle into the wine decanter. You can use either method of pouring as when you are regularly decanting wine. Shock decanting causes the wine to hit the base of the decanter at high speed. When is splashes off the base and starts sloshing around inside the carafe, the wine will be aerated with extreme efficiency. Never shock decant older red wines as this method will agitate far too much sediment and impair the wine in your glass.


Conclusion

We hope today’s guide to wine decanters has helped clear up some of the mystique surrounding this simple process.

Aside from choosing a material that meshes with your needs, your primary concern when shopping wine decanters should be the capacity. For those who often drink large bottles of wine or for those who often serve multiple bottles at the same time, it is worth looking for a more substantial decanter.

Make sure to bookmark Slow Wine Magazine before you head off today. We have a busy content calendar for the coming months with holiday season on the horizon. Pop back soon for more informative guides to all aspects of wine collecting.

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