Wine decanters can range in style from simple to ultra-fancy, and they can also range in price from inexpensive to extremely expensive. However, all wine decanters work in essentially the same way and perform the same function. You use them to remove sediment from aged red wine and to soften and aerate youthful, tannic wines. You have numerous choices for decanters, but some rise above the rest in terms of quality and function.
1. Best Affordable Decanter - BTäT Decanter Set
The decanter in the BTäT set is made from lead-free crystal and only costs $35.00. It has a capacity of 1,800 mL with a wide flat bottom for maximum aeration of the wine. The slim neck is easy to grasp, making the decanter a relatively simple pour. It also comes with everything you need to maintain your decanter in its best condition including a stopper, a washing brush, drying stand, and cleaning beads to help gently remove any sediments from the vessel's interior. It's also attractive and looks like it's more expensive than $35. Amazon users like it, citing its stylish appearance and how easy it is to clean as the features they enjoy the most.
2. Most Interesting Looking Decanter - Riedel Boa Decanter
From Reidel glassware comes an unusual decanter that is not only visually stunning, but uniquely functional. The Riedel Boa Decanter isn't cheap, and it definitely isn't easy to clean, but it makes up for all of that in its unique styling and functionality. Priced at about $600, this decanter is made from 24% lead crystal. It has a capacity of 1,957 mL or 69 ounces, and the coils and twists in the decanter quickly aerate and open up wines. The narrow neck makes pouring the wine back into a glass easy.
3. Best Easy Pour Decanter - Bormioli Rocco Premium Carafe
What makes the Bormioli Rocco carafe unique is how easy it is to pour. With a loop in the middle, it's easy to grasp this decanter and hold it while you pour without worrying about the decanter slipping from your hands. The decanter costs around $30, and it's handmade from soda lime glass. It's also dishwasher safe and has a 50-ounce capacity. Reviewers like it, citing the quality of the decanter at a low price.
4. Best High-Tech Decanter - Breville Sommelier
Technology touches everything these days, including the ancient art of wine decanting. The Breville Sommelier is a decanter that will aerate wine quickly. The glass decanter sits on a stand that pumps 90% pure oxygen into the wine for a set period (wine that would take an hour to aerate in a decanter takes about a minute in the Breville Sommelier). The wine aerates evenly throughout instead of just on the surface as it would in a traditional decanter. The glass decanter then easily lifts and pours perfectly oxygenated wine in just a minute or two. Of course, technology comes at a price. You can expect to pay around $500 for this decanter.
5. Best Two-Wine Decanter - Wine Enthusiast Art Series Duet Double Decanter
Serving two wines but only want to use one decanter? Consider Wine Enthusiast's Art Series Duet Double Decanter. This decanter has a unique circle in a circle design that allows you to keep white wine in one part of the decanter and red in the other. With two pouring spouts, it's as easy as tipping the decanter in the direction of your choice to pour either red or white wine. The outer ring holds 40 ounces, while the inner ring holds 12 ounces. There's even an option to personalize the decanter. Expect to pay between $60 and $80 for this unique decanter.
6. Best Modern Classic - Baccarat Château Decanter
The classics are the classics for a reason, and this Baccarat Château Decanter has a simple elegance that makes it incredibly beautiful. This full-lead crystal decanter is an update on a classic shape, and it's dishwasher safe. It has a 43.3-ounce capacity, and the tapered neck makes it easy to hold and pour. It's a perfect, sophisticated take on a decanter that combines form and function. Cost is around $590.
Tips for Choosing the Perfect Decanter
So how do you choose the right decanter for you? Consider these tips:
- If you're trying to aerate youthful wines, a decanter may not be your best choice. Consider purchasing a wine aerator instead.
- The ideal decanter has both a large surface area for the wine to aerate and an easy pour design, so it needs a neck that is thin enough to grasp and pour.
- Full-bodied and youthful tannic reds need a decanter with a wide base to maximize surface area. For less tannic reds, you can use a smaller decanter.
- Also consider the decanter's weight. Make sure it's something you can lift and pour easily when it contains 750 mL of wine.
- Of course, budget is also a consideration, as are ease of cleaning (is it dishwasher safe?), how easy it is to store safely, and even a style that speaks to you.
While decanting wine isn't always necessary, when you have aged or tannic, youthful red wines, then decanting becomes necessary. Choose a decanter that will meet your needs and budget as well as one that you'll be proud to use to serve wine to guests.