In recent years, wine aerators have become all the rage, but if you have time to spare, there's something to be said for using a decanter to really open up an entire bottle of wine. The best wine decanters not only look elegant, they also elevate the wine itself by exposing it to oxygen and separating out the sediment. In doing so, more nuanced flavors and aromas are revealed, and harsh tannins are softened. But with so many decanters available today, it can be hard knowing how to choose the right decanter for your needs.
First things first, you need to determine the kind of wine you prefer, because that will inform the shape of decanter you need. Younger wines, between the ages of 3 and 10 years, can benefit the most from aeration, according to Scientific American, so choosing a wide-bottomed decanter will provide the most surface area for oxidation. If you're a connoisseur of older wines, the best red wine decanters not only separate out the sediment, but also come with a thin neck to actually limit the aeration, because older wines can deteriorate if exposed to too much oxygen.
Beyond the shape of the decanter, you wan to consider ease of use. Some unique wine decanters might look like total showstoppers, but will end up being harder to clean and more cumbersome to pour. In terms of material, lead-free crystal decanters are the gold standard, but they'll be pricer than glass ones, and may not be dishwasher-safe either. Additionally, wines with extra features, like air-tight stoppers, will help preserve the wine if you don't plan on finishing it in one sitting.
With all that in mind, it's time to shop. Below you'll find five wine decanters, ranging in price and material, but all with high ratings and positive reviews on Amazon.
1. The Best Wine Decanter Overall
When it comes to a high-quality, lead-free crystal decanter, this hand-crafted one from Le Chateau can't be beat. It boasts an impressive 4.7-star rating on Amazon, and more than 800 customer reviews. The vessel is engineered to perfectly hold a standard 750-milliliter bottle, and the wide bottom measures 8.5 inches, ensuring maximum oxygenation of the wine.
There's a small "foot" at the bottom to collect sediment, and the pour spout is slanted to prevent spills and drips.
What fans are saying: "I have purchased or seen other fancy wine decanters. Universally the greater the glassblowing artistry, the harder it is to clean them. This is so straightforward to clean and so functional at such a good price I wrote this review. I normally do not write any reviews."
2. Best U-Shaped Decanter: Thin Neck, Elegant Design
Whether you're looking for a decanter with some "wow factor" for yourself or as a gift, this U-shaped decanter is an elegant — and reasonably priced — choice. It's made from hand-blown, lead-free crystal glass and holds 1.5 liters of wine, the equivalent of a magnum-sized bottle. It features a thin neck, and the pouring spout has a subtle curve to help prevent spills and drips.
The only downside is that it's slightly more difficult to clean than a wide-necked vessel. But for many, the graceful shape is worth the extra care.
What fans are saying: "Really pretty — works great. It is super lightweight. The shape of the decanter is naturally a handle so it's very easy to pour and pass along."
3. A Durable Decanter Designed for Longevity
After a few glasses, who isn't a little less coordinated? That's why this durable decanter, made from extra thick, lead-free crystal from Vintorio, is a smart choice. It's designed for durability and longevity. Featuring a 8.5-inch diameter base, it provides ample surface area for aeration and has an inner aerator "punt" for additional swirling. The indented punt detail also makes for stable pouring since it's an easy grip at the decanter's center of gravity.
It perfectly holds a standard 750-milliliter bottle of wine and thanks to the silicone cap, you can prevent dust from settling in when it's not in use.
What fans are saying: "I'm quite happy with so far. It somehow manages to be light enough to pour from easily, while the glass is still thick and feels solid enough to survive a fall if you've had one too many. Its shape makes your wine swirl around a lot as you're pouring it in or out so it gets plenty of aeration. I also appreciate the clarity of glass which lets you really see the color of your wine."
4. A Spill-Free Option that Double Decants
This highly rated glass carafe from Menu wins points for both form and function. To aerate, all you need to do is press the decanter onto the top of an opened bottle of wine and flip it over so that the wine pours into the decanter. The process looks lovely too as the wine cascades down the decanter walls, providing a wide surface area for oxygenation. From there, you can either serve the wine from the decanter, or flip it back over to return the wine to the original bottle.
The only downside is that if you're transferring the wine back into the bottle, it doesn't do much for separating out sediment. That being said, when you have an impressive bottle, it's fun to show the label while serving.
What fans are saying: "The first time I saw this decanter was at a tasting room in Malibu. I thought it was so cool that they were able to decant a bottle for me and return the wine back to the original bottle for me to take to our dinner that we would be having next door! It essentially decanted it twice and we were able to still show the bottle of wine for our guests to read the label. You cannot go wrong with this decanter!"
5. A Dishwasher-Safe Glass Decanter with Stopper
Made from mouth-blown glass, this Swedish-designed decanter from Sagaform is practical, in the best possible ways. It features a solid oak stopper too to prevent pesky bugs from getting in, and after cleaning, to ensure dust doesn't get in either. It's lead-free, dishwasher-safe, and multi-functional since it can be used to serve any type of cold beverage. It holds a 750-milliliter bottle and is highly rated on Amazon, with a 4.4-star rating and more than 250 reviews.
What fans are saying: "The oak stopper is exactly what we were looking for, gives it a nice rustic look while still looking elegant enough for a dinner party. It fits perfectly with no gaps and keep the gnats out so you can enjoy having wine on the patio!"
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