The 8 Best Wine Decanters to Bring Out the Best in Every Bottle
For most meals or casual evenings at home, pouring wine directly from the bottle suffices while having a glass or two. But for dinner parties, brunches, and cocktail attire-worthy soirees, serving wine in a decanter, usually made of glass or crystal, can give your best bottles an added boost. Whether it's a traditional cork or a screw top, using a decanter or carafe for your wine (especially older or tannic reds) can breathe new life into every pour.
According to Food & Wine Executive Editor Ray Isle, there are a few reasons you should decant wine. "If you have older wines, they're full of sediment at the bottom of the bottle, so you pour them into a decanter slowly and that way you don't have to get the sediment in the glass," he explains. The other reason to decant wine is to let the wine breathe and give it as much air and oxygen as possible. "As the wine reacts with the air, the aromas come out, the flavors blossom," Isle says. "It makes the wine more delicious."
So if you want to let a bottle of wine really breathe, the best way to do so is to decant it. Use a confident, heavy-flow pour to expose as much of your wine to the air as possible, as it travels from bottle to decanter. And while any clean vessel that resembles a pitcher and can fit a whole bottle of wine will work for the purposes of getting it properly aerated, here are the best wine decanters you can find that are perfect for the job.
- Best Overall: Richard Brendon Jancis Robinson Young Wine Decanter
- Best Rated: Le Chateau Hand Blown Wine Decanter
- Best Value: HiCoup Red Wine Decanter
- Best Splurge: Baccarat JCB Passion Wine Decanter
- Best for Magnums: Riedel Magnum Decanter
- Best Crystal: Waterford Elegance Carafe
- Best Expert Pick: Riedel Cabernet Decanter
- Best for Young Wines: Riedel Merlot Decanter
One more thing to keep in mind: Although there are plenty of beautiful (and expensive) decanters to choose from, you certainly don't need a pricey one to do the trick. In fact, you can often get the same experience from a more affordable option. Take it from Master of Wine Isabelle Legeron, founder of RAW WINE: "I often double decant, which is when you pour the content of your bottle into an empty bottle, rinse the bottle of any sediment, and then pour it back into the bottle it started off it," she explains. "By the time you have finished your first glass, the rest of the bottle will be ready and waiting. In the end, it's just about mixing the wine with oxygen—however you do it."
Keep reading to learn all about the best decanters from top-rated and expert-approved brands like Riedel, Richard Brendon, and Baccarat.