Updated on 2021: Anyone who likes to drink red wine should consider buying a decanter to maximize their enjoyment of their favorite tipple. Although in the past, using a decanter was considered to be rather formal, in fact, today it is recognized as a much better way of serving wine than directly from the bottle.
While decanting wine may not seem to be very important, in fact, the more wine is exposed to oxygen, the better it tastes. This is because oxidization softens the astringent tannins in the wine and allows its floral and fruity aromas to be released.
Many of the top glassmakers like Schott Zwiesel and Reidel produce wine decanters in a range of sizes and shapes, so finding one that suits your tastes and your budget is easier than ever. If you are looking for the perfect decanter for you, here you will find some helpful suggestions to inform your purchasing decision.
Best Red Wine Decanters
Menu Winebreather Carafe
One of the quickest and easiest ways to effectively decant your favorite red wine is to use the elegantly designed Menu Winebreather Carafe. A breeze to use, you simply press it onto the top of the opened wine bottle then turn it over, allowing the wine to pour directly into the decanter. The drinker then has the choice of either serving the wine from the decanter into the glass or alternatively to pour the aerated wine straight back into the bottle by turning it back over once more, to serve it from the bottle. This innovative solution is a multi-functional way to aerate your favorite wine.
Glass Wine Decanter by HiCoup
One of the most stylishly designed decanters on the market, this piece by HiCoup is not only modern and fashionable but also the optimal way to aerate your red wine. Made by artisans from mouth-blown lead-free crystal glass, this beautiful and elegant horn-shaped decanter adds a touch of class to any home bar and makes any gathering more sophisticated. The drip-free design is also very simple to use, allowing the user to pour wine through the large opening from the bottle and to serve it into glasses through the smaller one. With its easy-grip design, it is also extremely well balanced, and its thin lip ensures no drips while pouring. This decanter is also protected by a free lifetime warranty for the user’s peace of mind.
Wine Reveller Crystal Decanter
Beautifully designed and elegantly blown by hand from 100% lead-free glass, this decanter has been produced with the greatest possible attention to quality and detail. Designed to give adequate surface area to aerate a whole 750 ml bottle of wine, this is the ideal decanter to use for any occasion as it is versatile enough to use for whiskey, white wines or sherries too. The easy pour spout helps the user to avoid spillages, and although it has a sturdy construction, it is still not too heavy to make serving guests a challenge. This is a great gift idea for any wine enthusiast.
Iceberg Wine Decanter
With its stylish and unique shape, the Iceberg wine decanter is made from lead-free crystal and features a hand-crafted iceberg bottom to improve its aerating efficiency. Unlike other similar decanters on the market today, this beautiful model is made from crystal that meets medical and food grade standards so that it is entirely safe for your peace of mind.
Whether you’re hosting a wine and cheese party and need a beautiful decanter to decorate your table or whether you’re giving a gift to a special someone, the stunning iceberg design this model features allows for maximum oxygenation as you pour the wine. This ensures the best possible flavour and aroma as the wine can breathe more easily.
This decanter is also an elegant addition to your room or home bar. With its unusual aesthetic and quality design, it will grace any shelf or table as a spectacular showpiece that is sure to impress your family and friends whatever the occasion.
The Wine Enthusiast Vivid Wine Decanter
Aerating your favorite red wine faster than ever thanks to its wide-based design, this appealing and attractive wine decanter has been made by hand in Europe from the highest quality lead-free crystal glass. Its lightweight design is sturdy thanks to its large base but still light enough to hold in hand and pour without any spillages.
Best White Wine Decanters
Luigi Bormioli Magnifico 35-ounce Decanter
A beautiful addition to any table, this fabulous white wine decanter from the quality Luigi Bormioli brand is an excellent choice for personal use or as a gift for a wine enthusiast, holding 35 oz of wine. Made from the brand’s own proprietary SON.hyx material, this decanter from the Magnifico range has been machine blown in Italy and blends advanced technology with elegant styling. Its brilliant color and beautiful sound is testament to its exemplary design, and it will never lose its clarity even after a regular cleaning in a dishwasher. This decanter is also incredibly durable and strong for everyday use.
Schott Zwiesel Tritan Crystal White Wine 3/4 Liter Decanter
This appealing white wine decanter from the Pure collection is made from Tritan crystal, a lead-free material made from zirconium oxide and titanium oxide for improved resilience and strength. Holding a total of 25.3 oz of your favorite wine, this beautiful high-quality decanter is very fashionable thanks to its crisp, sharp lines and geometrical styling. This decanter is also dishwasher safe for your convenience and will never discolor or cloud, being resistant to chips, scratches and breakage as well as thermal shocks. Cut using laser technology, this decanter has elegant and thin edges, being produced to enhance your wine drinking experience.
Wine Decanter and Ice Bucket Set
Whether you’re seeking a beautiful gift for a wine-loving recipient or whether you’re looking for an attractive and stylish addition to your home bar or drinks cabinet, this wine decanter and ice bucket set won’t fail to tick all your boxes.
The perfect tool to aerate and cool your favorite wine, this decanter can also be used for a variety of other popular beverages. Thanks to its unique cone-shaped body design, this decanter also ensures an ideal spiral movement for maximum oxidation of the wine. This not only improves its taste but also releases the richness of its aroma for the ultimate tasting experience. When the well-designed neck is added into the equation, this decanter ensures the most comfortable grip for a perfect pour every time you serve a glass.
With a 33oz capacity and wide surface area, this dishwasher-safe decanter comes complete with a matching ice bucket to cool down your favorite beverage. This ensures that your wine will boast the best possible taste and aroma. Both the ice bucket and decanter vessel have been crafted from high-quality 100% Borosilicate glass to add elegance and aesthetic appeal to your home. Whether on a shelf or the table, it is the ideal addition to any party or meal as a beautiful accessory and is sure to be the subject of many compliments.
Kalalou Glass White Wine Decanter with Ice Pocket
Made by a family business in a small Colombian glass factory, this decanter was blown by hand into a stylish handmade piece of art. With its organic shape, it is a unique and visually appealing addition to any table. This is the perfect wine decanter for anyone who values eco-friendly products as it is produced from recycled glass. Thick and sturdy, it has a stable base and features an ice pocket to optimally chill your favorite white wine.
Wine/Water Carafe with Oak Stopper
Made from beautifully clear hand blown glass, this attractive white wine carafe holds 33 7/8 oz of your favorite tipple and features an attractive oak stopper for a modern appeal. With its easy to handle shape, it pours beautifully, and its sturdy base ensures perfect balance. It is also dishwasher safe for the drinker’s convenience.
Crystal Wine Decanters
Godinger Dublin Wine Decanter
This beautifully styled two-piece decanter set is part of the Dublin collection and stands at 12 inches high. Crafted from 24% lead crystal it is sturdy and heavyweight, and its classic Irish design is especially brilliant, combining diamond cuts with a sparkling wedge. This wine decanter coordinates beautifully with the extensive Godinger Dublin collection and should be washed by hand to preserve its beauty.
Eravino Wine Decanter
Made from the finest 100% high-quality lead-free crystal glass, this handmade Eravino wine decanter provides a stunning, colourless finish that ensures the wine’s true shade can be fully appreciated by the drinkers. Boasting an elegant and unique design, its beautiful curves allow for easy, drip-free pouring while allowing the beverage to release its full aroma for an even better tasting experience.
Whether decorating a home bar or drinks cabinet, gracing your dinner table at a special occasion or given as a gift to a wine-loving loved one, this mouth-blown decanter is the perfect choice for serving red or white wine of any age that is enhanced by air exposure. The perfect size to decant a regular-sized 750ml bottle of wine, this aerating decanter opens up your favourite beverage’s flavour profile while its timeless sophistication adds understated simplicity to any table.
Le Sens Swan Wine Decanter
Whether you’re a wine enthusiast who is looking for an effective and beautiful wine decanter or someone who is seeking an attractive and special gift for a loved one, this Le Sens Amazing Home Cygnus Wine Decanter is the perfect choice. Presented in its own stunning gift box, this is the ideal way to mark an important occasion or celebration.
Designed to ensure your favourite wine receives optimum exposure to the air so that its full flavour profile and aroma can be properly released, this attractive decanter boasts an unusual and unique swan shape with elegant, smooth curves for an easy grip and mess-free pour. Durable and practical without compromising on aesthetic appeal, this high-quality 100% hand-blown crystal glass decanter comfortably accommodates a regular-sized bottle of wine for the ultimate in stylish and convenient service at the dinner table.
What’s the Difference Between Wine Decanters and Carafes?
Many people are confused about the difference between wine decanters and carafes, often thinking that they are the same thing. However, there are subtle differences.
A wine decanter’s primary function is to serve and store wine as well as allowing it to breathe. A decanter provides an adequately sized area for the wine to rest with as much surface area as possible exposed to the oxygen in the air in order to complete the oxygenating process that allows the wine to reach its peak of aroma and flavor. Decanters are especially important when drinking red wine as crumbled cork and sediment is often found in older vintages. When a wine is poured into the decanter, sediment can be removed, and the underlying bitter flavors and tastes that so often occur in older wines can be filtered out. Usually, a wine decanter has a flat base or bottom and a wider bowl which can be up to 30 cm across. The neck is generally curved or tapered upwards around 30 cm in height. Sometimes, a decanter will feature a stopper which will seal the contents inside until it is ready to serve. This will also serve another function, which is to slow down the deterioration process that occurs when wine is exposed to the air.
A carafe is generally considered to be simply a vessel for holding a liquid which may be anything from water or fruit juice to wine or any other alcoholic beverage. Carafes are often used today for serving juice and water as the container’s shape has no effect upon the taste or characteristics of the liquid inside. Often they are decorative, showy pieces designed to make the table look more formal or sophisticated and may be used for more everyday occasions than a decanter, which tends to only come out for special events. A carafe will often feature a small base and a long body in order to accommodate a large volume of liquid while taking up a smaller amount of table room. In recent years, however, both decanters and carafes have been designed by many of the best manufacturers in a range of unusual shapes for a more modern appeal.
In short, therefore, the difference between a carafe and a wine decanter lies in its style, shape and tradition. A decanter will be used primarily for serving wine while a carafe can be used for serving a range of liquids. Their shapes will also differ with a carafe being longer and straighter than a decanter which tends to feature a bowl shape and a tapered neck.
Why You Should Use a White Wine Decanter?
Most people tend to associate decanters with red wine, and this is because red wines tend to contain sentiment which requires decanting out and also because red wine benefits from aeration which allows the aroma to be released. However, it is also possible to decant white wines too, and in fact, brief exposure to the air can be beneficial to all wines and not only reds. There are also several other benefits to decanting white wines:
- Temperature – usually white wines are drunk cold and are therefore stored in the fridge. If you decant a refrigerated white wine before serving and leave it for 20 minutes, this will allow the wine to return to a suitable temperature to drink without it being too cold. It is also possible to use a decanter to cool unrefrigerated white wine simply by pouring the wine into the decanter and then placing it in an ice bath where the increased surface area will allow the wine to cool more quickly than in the bottle.
- Oxygen exposure – a brief exposure to the air will allow the aromatics in white wine to be freed up, showing more depth in a crisp and refreshing white. It also allows Mercaptans to escape before they spoil the taste of the wine. Chardonnays, in particular, benefit from a short amount of oxygenation.
- Eradication of “bottle stink” – winemakers use different gases to kill bacteria in the wine, and this can cause the phenomenon known as “bottle stink”. This can be dissipated by decanting the wine and allowing it to sit for a few minutes. The wine should be poured slowly into the decanter along its surface in order to increase its exposure to oxygen.
Not every white wine requires decanting, but it looks more attractive to serve any wine from a decanter rather than a bottle, and the extra aeration can be surprisingly beneficial to any wine, even a young white. Even champagne can be decanted, especially if it is an older vintage.
Why You Should Use a Red Wine Decanter?
There are several benefits to using a decanter for your red wines. These include:
- Removing sediment – often red wine releases sediment, like fine sand grains, into its
bottle as part of the maturing and aging process. Although they are not harmful, they can cause the wine to have a bitter taste, so you should always pour the wine slowly into a decanter to leave the sediment in the bottle.
- To awaken the wine – decanters are often used to soften the flavor of red wine and to aerate it. By exposing red wine to the oxygen in the air, the natural acid flavors and polyphenols which create tannins in red wine are reduced.
- Aesthetic pleasure – wine decanters are very attractive and have actually been shown to have a psychological impact on a wine drinker thanks to the visual appeal of their sophistication and beauty. By decanting red wine, you are turning wine drinking into a special ritual which enables the drinker to immerse themself fully in the aroma and flavor of their drink.
I received a wine decanter for christmas. It doesnt have a flat bottom and am wondering if this is how its meant to be or do I need to purchase some sort of plate/dish for it to sit on?