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.