Decanting wine can be a bit challenging for those who drink wine occasionally. The decanting process has two purposes: one is for aeration while the other is for oxygenation to improve wine aromas after they have been closed.
For older wines, however, the process makes it a lot tastier by improving astringent tannins and letting aromas and fruits flavors to come out.
Decanting can also be a little mystery to a novice wine drinker. For those who don’t know, a decanter is a container responsible for holding the decantation wine which often has sediment. It plays an important role in serving quality wine. It would make your wine have complete contact with the air because it oxidizes liquor and removes sediment.
Ancient Rome first introduced the decanting container by glass and crystal. After the reign of the Western Roman Empire, glass shortage has begun causing the majority of the decanter to come from earthenware, bronze, silver, and gold. The Venetians, however, reintroduced glass decanters; but this time, they used a long slender neck design which exposes the wine from the air.
Meanwhile, in the 1730s, the British found out that the taste of wine is affected when it is exposed to air. Hence, they introduced a stopper to prevent air exposure. Since then, nothing much has changed with the design of decanters.
Having a decanter is not only good for your wine, but it is also luxurious to look at. A decanter also makes an ordinary wine honorable. It is best to partner your wine with romantic candle lights, classy crystal utensils, and a prime and proper bartender in a tuxedo. That would be the perfect image of the most romantic date ever.
Truly, the secret to experiencing the intended taste of your wine is to make it undergo the decanting process. You often see the process in your favorite upscale restaurants. When you expose too much air to your wine, the less acidic it would be resulting in an understated flavor.
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If you want to have the most out of your wine, or you simply want to impress your house visitors, then you might want to take a look at our list of the top 12 best decanters you can add to your wine collections. They’re as follows:
1.Our Pick: Le Chateau Wine Decanter
Lead-free, a wide base, and a long neck; this is often the shape of most wine decanters. This is exactly the design of Le Chateau, and it’s for a good reason. Full-bodied wines tend to have more tannins which make them difficult to aerate. This design, however, when filled with wine, allows exposure for proper aeration and attracting more oxygen.
This attractive decanter is hand-blown, hence impurities won’t go inside your container. Another good thing about a hand-blown decanter is its aesthetic style. It has a lightweight crystal design, slanted spout, and wide-bottom base that makes pouring easier.
Le Chateau is our number 1 choice on the market. Its high-quality material, elegant, and classy design is just so mesmerizing. Everything you would expect for the best decanter exists in here. It really serves its purpose; the wide base bottom, for instance, is responsible for more oxygen.
Whether it is your first time buying a decanter or just wanted to add this to your collection, having a crystal hand-blown piece would never be a wrong choice. However, while this one is dishwasher-safe, it is still recommended you handwash it.
2.Runner Up: Sagaform Wine Carafe with Oak Stopper
This decanter from Sagaform is oozing with elegance. By just looking at its design, it felt like you are ready to entertain and serve wine to your dinner guests. This piece is styled by a mouth-blown carafe with a stopper. While Sagaform offers many high-quality decanter designs, this specific design is no doubt its best-seller.
This decanter holds up to 67 ounces. It’s quite huge for a decanter, but in reality, it is really lightweight. It is in fact easy to carry around, thanks to the oak stopper. The material is not so fragile, making it dishwasher-safe. Being lead-free, you can use it to serve cold wines.
This is also made from hand blown glass, and with its traditional shape, dust would never really get into it. The stopper is really helpful in maintaining the quality of your wine. It keeps the beauty and fragrant aroma of your wine which is released only every time you open it.
Overall, this product is something you would want to buy as a gift during the holidays. It’s also best to use on your usual Sunday family time where you are the dinner host, during a party to welcome your new neighbor, or even you if you feel like brightening your day.
3.Budget Pick: HiCoup Crystal Wine Decanter
If you want a more affordable decanter, then Hiccup is definitely one of the best choices. This decanter serves the same as its pricey counterparts. The only downside is its size which allows it to only serve 800 ml or just half a bottle of wine. However, if the size is never a problem for you, this can be a great pick too.
This decanter is so sleek, modern, and elegant. Not to mention that it is crafted by hand which makes it quite a great work of art. With this decanter, romantic dates and hosting a dinner night would be more fashionable and classy. When not in use, its beautiful horn build is a great addition to your wine bar as it makes the whole interior look luxurious and minimalistic.
When it comes to the decantation process, this product can provide powerful aeration. It does the job of removing sediments and softening tannins. Its freeform shape is responsible for superior aeration while the narrow mouth design ensures spill-free serving.
This decanter is also lead-free. This assures that your health and wine quality are not compromised. It also has a durable build, making it a decanter that we would recommend for daily use.
4.Upgrade Pick: Menu Winebreather Carafe
Aerating your wine can last up to 25 to 30 minutes. The Menu Winebreather Carafe, however, would eliminate your problem of waiting. It does the job in a heartbeat, thanks to its lid design. It is powerfully built that you would only need to flip your wine bottle in it. It is also drip-free which truly makes the whole process easier for you.
The build of this decanter is mesmerizing. It is lightweight and easy to carry because of the long neck that could serve as a handle. Speaking of long neck designs, it also helps with having enough oxygen for the decantation process.
On the other hand, while the material is also commendable, it can be fragile. Though the manufacturer says it is dishwasher-safe, we recommend you don’t take a risk. Many customer reviews have shown that the material breaks easily when not used properly. So make sure to be a little cautious when handling this decanter.
Overall, it is the aeration process that we adore with this decanter. Wine connoisseurs would definitely agree once we say that the key to having high-quality wine is through aeration. The best decanter should serve that purpose perfectly, and it’s like what this brand is all about.
5. USBOQO HBS Red Wine Decanter
USBOQO decanters are meant for wine lovers who wanted to keep the flavorful aroma of their wine. This decanter has a snail-shaped design with a crystal construction. It is designed to maintain the mixture of the wine oxygen in it. Aside from that, it also allows the fragrance to distribute well in the wine while taking away the sediment.
The snail design is hand-blown and uses the highest-quality glass available. It may seem heavy, but in reality, the glass is actually thinner and lighter. It actually has a greater value than the ordinary glass. The design also features a hole in the middle to ensure a steady grip to avoid spills or drips.
It is also pretty huge, capable of carrying liquid up to 1200ml which is equivalent to 2 bottles of wine. For this reason, this can be the best decanter for big occasions. When not in use, this can be a beautiful addition to your interior. It is a beautiful accessory in the house especially in the bar area or simply in the kitchen.
The USBOQO is for the fragrant reds. This should be your choice if the fruity smell of your wine is all that matters.
6. YouYah Iceberg Wine Decanter
This wine decanter has two purposes: to soften the tannin and to aerate the wine. Unlike other decanters, this one will require you to follow three simple steps before use. First is to tip the decanter and connect it with the wine bottle. Second is to set the decanter on the table and tip the wine bottle upside down to transfer the wine to the decanter. Lastly, when all wine is transferred, the decantation process is over.
These steps may seem like a bit of a hassle, but it’s actually very easy to do. If you are not used to using a decanter, you can put it back in the wine bottle. Just repeat the aforementioned process. Don’t worry as putting it back won’t affect the quality of your wine. In fact, your wine is best served with the wine bottle.
This decanter has a long neck and wide bottom design which can fit up to 1.3ml of liquid. It is a handmade masterpiece which makes it very unique. Also, the glass build utilizes a 100% lead-free crystal. The stopper, however, is made of silicone gel and stainless steel. The design does only assure aeration efficiently, but it truly is a work of art.
Another commendable thing about this decanter is its accessories such as a drying rack for proper maintenance, etc.
7. Godinger Dubline Wine Decanter
Elegance, classy, and luxurious-looking – these are the perfect adjectives to describe this decanter. It is a timeless design perfect for the most luxurious and sophisticated interior. This decanter, however, is not something you would see on ordinary days, but you have probably seen it on fantasy movies or series, like the Game of Thrones, for example.
This decanter is Irish-design inspired. You can tell it because of the diamonds and wedges. It would coordinate well with any type of barware and dinnerware. It is made from 24% high-quality crystal glass. This is the most heavy-duty and durable design you could avail of in the market.
The whole piece is truly an eye-catcher. You would probably buy them at first glance. The only downside, however, is the lack of a pouring spout. Hence, transferring the wine into the decanter would be a bit challenging. Besides that, everything from the price and design to its quality is worth it.
8. Rabbit Super-Aerating Decanter
By reading the name of this decanter, you could easily tell that it focuses on the aeration process. That’s really a good thing since aeration is the most important thing in the decantation process. Due to its features, we can say that this decanter is best for red wine lovers.
If you the type of person who is impatient about the decantation process. Such an issue would never exist with this one. This decanter has an all-in-one tool for removing sediment and for oxygenation. Indeed, it’s meant for wine enthusiasts who are excited to have the best wine be served.
The Rabbit decantation system is composed of three parts: a spray funnel, crystal hand-blown decanter, and a super-efficient sediment screen. These three parts are easy to assemble and join forces to do the job: the spray funnel makes the aeration process faster, the crystal decanter makes for a more oxygenated wine, and the sediment screen is responsible for filtering the pulp and yeast cells.
The manufacturer notes that their decanter is dishwasher-safe. However, the carafe is quite fragile and needs to be handled properly. Hence, it is safe to wash it with hot, soapy water. After hand washing, dry it with a soft cloth and let the exterior dry first before putting it back in the storage.
Overall, this is among the wine decanters that feature the most efficient decantation process!
9. Culinex Wine Decanter
The unique build of this decanter from Culinex assures proper aeration. The material is made from 100 high-quality, lead-free, and hand-blown glass. It has a round cork stopper with an angled spout to prevent dripping. This makes pouring your wine definitely mess-free.
This vase-shaped decanter is truly your definition of simplicity and elegance. It has a wide bottom base which is good for decanting faster. Due to its shape, hand washing this piece would never be a problem. It is lightweight and is easy to clean and carry around.
The waiting time for aeration is never a problem with this decanter. This is something you would rely on when you’re in a rush or simply don’t want to wait for the long decantation process. Wine connoisseurs who love to drink wine daily should add this decanter to their collection.
The decanter glass is not delicate and fragile. Hence, you can also use it as an accessory when not in use. This would certainly be a good addition to your bar area. This is a masterpiece for those minimalist and classic interior fans.
10. Luigi Bormioli Magnifico Decanter
This aesthetically pleasing decanter is made from Italy which is known for its elegance and with the most luxurious fashion brands. This means that you can know what you’re getting from this decanter. This piece is lead-free, hand-blown, and made from 100% crystal material. It has a widemouthed design that makes pouring wine easier for you.
This decanter also has a wide base which is perfect for wine enthusiasts. This is because large bottoms assure better oxygenation since it allows more oxygen to go inside.
The decanter is 10.08 inches high which allows it to fill wine up to 38 ounces. It’s not that much, so this is not the recommended decanter for huge gatherings. However, it’s definitely a good choice for romantic dates.
This piece is specially made to last longer. You could see it from the way it is built and the materials it used. Durability would never be an issue. Besides, it is easy to handle as it would comfortably fit in your hand.
11. Riedel Merlot Decanter
Wine connoisseurs, or simply wine lovers, deserve a beautiful and functional decanter such as Riedel. Riedel usually offers both machine-made and handmade decanters. This one, however, is handmade, meaning it’s delicately crafted by their professional glassmakers.
This material is composed of fine and lead-free crystal glass. It is relatively small with a liquid capacity of only 34 1/4 ounce. Due to its size, this wine is meant for a small dinner date and is not the type of decanter you would use for the whole family. The glass is quite fragile too. Therefore, careful hand washing is recommended.
Unfortunately, this is not the decanter that can decant your wine easily. So for impatient wine lovers, this is not the one for you. To use this decanter, you should wait several hours before you could achieve the best and tasty wine. We advise you to decant your wine overnight before you serve it the following day.
12. Vintorio Citadel Wine Decanter
The Vintorio Citadel wine decanter is durable as it is made from high-quality materials. It is hand-blown and lead-free with a punt that has its special use. It is built there for a reason – to disperse the wine while the bottle is opened and transmitted in the decanter.
This piece has an everlasting design which is more than a decorative piece or an aerator. It does the job of maintaining the quality of your wine and lets you achieve the most exceptional wine experience. The material is really sturdy to make sure that the decanter can last long.
When you pour your wine into the decanter, it would swirl until it reaches the bottom. The swirling process is helpful too to boost aeration. Lastly, the Vintorio has a silicone storage cap and a commendable lifetime warranty.
We highly recommend this for first-time decanter buyers.
Wine’s Decanter Buyer’s Guide
As much as it is difficult to choose the best brand for a decanter, it is likewise challenging to know which factors to consider when buying one.
To help you out, we have compiled the following factors so you can identify the best decanter that will suit your taste:
Most decanters can fill up to a liter or 1 bottle of wine. Some, on the other hand, is just enough for one to two glasses of wine while others are in between. Most buyers go for decanters meant for one bottle of wine. This is because decanters of this size are practical and convenient.
Consequently, smaller decanters are for those who can’t finish the whole bottle. It is pretty convenient because if you let the entire bottle in the decanter for too long, it would be more acidic.
If you are the type of person who loves to host parties, then you should go for a larger decanter. However, also consider that your wine won’t aerate well if you only use one large decanter for one or two bottles of wine.
You can avail of a simple decanter at an affordable price while more powerful decanters cost hundreds of dollars. For wine lovers who find aeration important, you can find a decanter with superior aeration for $20 to $60.
If style, durability, and performance in removing sediment matters to you, invest in high-end brands. After all, if you are serious with your wine gaming, it is truly worth it to buy top-notch quality wine accessories.
Wine decanters come from various shapes. Some are long neck, vase-like, wide-bottomed, animal-shaped, and many more. Shape matters too because it ensures better aeration and oxygenation.
The best shapes are those with wide bottoms or surfaces which are great for spreading out wine to attract more air and keep its fragrant aroma.
You should also consider if it’s easy to pour or not. You don’t want to make a miss or spill your beloved wine, hence we recommend going for a long neck decanter. Some have spouts too for easy transmission of wine.
Most wine decanters are made of glass. This is because when other materials are used, they would affect or add an unpleasant flavor to the wine. Not to mention, the wine may cause stain on other materials.
There are also some high-end decanters that are made of crystals. In case you’re wondering, this material is very stylish but easy to break. Therefore, you should be careful in handling this type of decanter. While fragile, you would be amazed at the refined taste you’ll achieve with crystal decanters.
• Wine age and type
A decanter comes in several types. It could be marketed as a cabernet, syrah, or merlot. Decanting your wine on any type of decanter is better than not decanting at all. But if there’s one thing that wine connoisseurs can agree on, it’s on the importance of using a specific type of decanter where it is meant to be used.
For instance, if you are into dark red wines, the best decanter would be the cabernet. But if what you have is black wine grape, you should consider the merlot type. Meanwhile, the syrah decanter is for ordinary, grape red wine.
• Ease of maintenance
When we say ease of maintenance, we refer to it as being dishwasher safe. Many wine lovers insist that a decanter is best to wash without a dishwashing soap as it may affect its quality. When you also don’t rinse your decanter enough, it may add flavor to your wine.
Interestingly, there are tools that you can buy to clean your decanter. There are brushes you can use to fit the long neck of your wine decanter. There are also decanter cleaning beads that can reach any spot or surface of your decanter.
Other Features Worth Considering
We’ve mentioned the common factors you should consider when buying a decanter. However, if you want to take it up a notch, you may want to opt for decanters that have the following features:
Most decanters come with a stopper while some don’t. Basically, a stopper can help maintain the tasty quality of your wine for a longer period. When you leave your decanter without a stopper, you can expect your wine to have an undesirable taste.
A hand-blown decanter is so stylish. It can be a good decorative piece to your bar area. Therefore, you may want to buy hand-blown pieces if you want to make your house interior look more luxurious.
• Chilling decanter
White wines benefit a lot from chilling decanters. Therefore, if you want your white wine to have a cold and favorable taste, then a chilling decanter might be worth the extra cost.
If you are a clumsy type of person, we’re afraid that you might break your expensive decanter easily. Some decanters break easily even when you are holding them, especially when you have a strong grip. If you can relate to this, we suggest you buy a break-resistant decanter.
Frequently Asked Questions
Q: Is it important to decant my wine?
A: Generally, no. We would all agree that tasting the wine from a freshly-opened bottle is so satisfying. If, however, you feel like the taste of the wine is already tight then, this is where the decantation process would come in.
Make sure that you would decant only what you think you or your guest(s) could finish. Don’t leave your wine in the decanter for a long period of time. Once the decanter process is finished, you should put it back in the wine bottle.
Q: What does it mean when one says, “let your wine breathe?”
A: This means that your wine should be exposed to oxygen. This can be achieved with a decanter. If you expose your wine to enough oxygen, it will aerate efficiently.
Aerating your wine is so important to taste the intended flavor of your wine. It also makes your wine more fragrant and removes the sediments from it. It is likewise helpful in softening the tannins which are good for younger wines.
Q: Can I just open the wine bottle to let the air go inside in it?
A: Opening a wine bottle would not be of help but would rather damage the taste of your wine. Take note that letting the wine bottle open for a long period of time would put your wine to waste.
However, some wines are best to keep them from the air. This means that if you let your bottle of wine opened, it won’t affect the quality of your wine. We are referring to an old vintage wine bottle which is recommended to pour in a glass rather than put in on a decanter.
Q: Is there an alternative to decanters?
A: Yes. If you can’t decide to buy a decanter now, you can actually aerate your wine without a decanter. You can do this by simply swirling your wine in your glass. You can often see this process through the bartenders in a restaurant or bar.
Decanting is not only for wine connoisseurs or sommeliers. They’re also for wine lovers like you or someone who simply wanted to add a beautiful decor to their house interior. With a decanter, you can make your house, and even dinner parties elegant and more sophisticated.
A decanter can truly improve the taste of your wine no matter how cheap or expensive it is. It is also a functional tool when serving a glass of wine to your visitors. Whichever reason you have for buying a decanter, it certainly is for everyone who wants to make his day with a glass of wine.