The Best Wine Decanters for Party Hosts and Wine Lovers

Our editors’ favorite design-forward decanters marry form and function.

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Jennifer Causey / Food Styling by Chelsea Zimmer / Prop Styling by Christine Keely

Wine decanters can be minimalist and sleek or strikingly decorative. But regardless of their style, shape, or size, decanters help to aerate wine, drawing out more of its aromas and flavors. Think of decanters as you would a pair of eyeglasses, designed to help you see the blurrier, more complicated aspects of wine (tannins or acidity) with a bit more clarity. They are also great to use with older wines, making it easier to keep sediment out of your glass. 

Still not sure you need a decanter? 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. Ultimately, it's just about mixing the wine with oxygen — whichever way you do it. Read on for our favorite beautifully designed decanters.

Best Overall

Made In Decanter



Made In is known for chef-quality knives, ceramic baking dishes, and stainless steel pans, and its foray into glassware has been especially exciting. The Austin-based brand also knows a thing or two about making beautiful, durable glasses for drinking everything from water to wine, and its decanter is no exception. Deliberately designed with a small footprint for tighter tables and cabinets, this decanter feels perfect for city apartments with charming yet challenging galley kitchens. Despite its compact size, however, the angled neck makes this decanter easy to grip, and the bowl is still wide enough to properly aerate every bottle.  This decanter is a must-have for the busy host who wants to top off everyone’s glasses without a drip in sight. Pro tip: You can buy the wine glasses and decanter in a set for a wonderful host gift.

Price at time of publish: $90

Best for Wine Collectors

Rabbit Pura Decanting System

Rabbit Pura Decanting System


You’re probably familiar with Rabbit’s iconic original corkscrew, but the Seattle-based wine and barware brand also has an impressive arsenal of stoppers, preservers, and decanters worth adding to your home bar. We love how efficiently the stainless steel strainer in this utilitarian decanter catches any sediment; it’s an especially attractive feature if you’ve got a cellar’s worth of older bottles of Grenache, Zinfandel, or Cabernet Sauvignon. Even though the filter is removable, it stays put while you pour — just remember to hand wash (no dishwashers, here!) after each use to keep the filter in its best possible condition. 

Price at time of publish: $70

Best for Display

Riedel Cabernet Decanter

Riedel Cabernet Decanter


Riedel is a somm-favorite brand that has been making beautiful crystal stemware — think glasses specifically designed for the perfect sip of Champagne or Cabernet Sauvignon — since 1756. At just $55, this is a foolproof starter decanter for the budding wine collector or drinker who cares about pedigree and quality but wants to spend on the wine instead of the glassware. While Riedel markets this decanter as a Cabernet-specific piece, we think it would be just right for a Zinfandel or Grenache, too. The spout is perfectly curved to avoid dripping, and the piece looks beautiful perched on a bar cart or next to your wine fridge. 

Price at time of publish: $55

Best Splurge

Zalto Josephine Decanter

Zalto Josephine Decanter


If you’ve been to a high-end wine bar or Michelin-starred restaurant lately, chances are you’ve enjoyed a sip of wine from a Zalto glass. Josephinenhutte, now headed by creative director Kurt Josef Zalto, is producing some of the most elegant stemware and decanters on the market. The Brilliant decanter is a perfect example of the brand’s craftsmanship. This handmade, paper-thin glass decanter feels incredibly delicate and is pure minimalist chic. While we wouldn’t make a habit of dropping this one, we were pleasantly surprised by how sturdy and durable this decanter felt each time we picked it up for pouring. This decanter is truly an example of how form meets function; the cone-shaped bottom resembles a little mountain top and helps you achieve the perfect swirl to start aerating wine as soon as it’s poured.

Price at time of publish: $170

Best Compact

Riedel Wine Friendly Decanter



Don’t let the petite size of this decanter fool you— we were pleased to find this classic offering from Riedel decanted a big, bold red wine quicker than most of the decanters we’ve tried, and the ribbed glass lip helps trap any drips before they ruin your carpet. It also looked great on display and fits well on a crowded home bar or holiday table spread.

Price at time of publish: $55

Best Design

Ichendorf Milano Alchemy Decanter

Ichendorf Milano Alchemy Decanter


The Alchemy Decanter is the only colored glass decanter on our list. We were truly impressed by the functionality of this statement decanter from the glassware mavens at Ichendorf Milano (if you haven’t checked out their stunning coupes and rocks glasses, run, don’t walk). While the two-toned piece looks beautiful, it also does a fantastic job of allowing the wine to breathe. 

Price at time of publish: $110

Our Favorite

The Made In Decanter checks every box for us, from the ideal size, superior quality, and great appearance to display on any countertop or bar cart. Even better, the brand offers bundles with quality white and red wine glasses, making a smart gift for wine lovers and novices alike.

The Tests

To determine which decanters we liked best, we chose a case of Napa Valley Cabernet Sauvignon, which typically requires some decanting. After tasting the wine un-decanted to get a sense of its aroma and flavor notes, we paid attention to how easy each decanter felt to pour a full 750 ml bottle of wine into and noted any features that complicated or simplified this first process. Then, we tasted the wine at 15-minute intervals over the course of a full hour and determined how (and if) the wine evolved over time. We also paid close attention to any drips or spillage with each tasting and selected decanters that made wine easy to pour in a steady, consistent stream.

Factors to Consider


Decanters come in many shapes and sizes. Some designs are more functional; others are more about aesthetics. In general, the purpose of decanting is to get air into the wine and filter out any sediment from older wines. You want the bowl of the decanter to be wide and shallow to allow that air to improve the wine. A shorter neck allows for easy pouring, and you want a spout that will easily direct wine into glasses without splashing or gushing too fast. Some decanters come with strainer funnels for filtering wine. 


Most decanters are designed to hold one standard bottle or one magnum worth of wine. If you usually decant standard bottles, there’s no reason to buy a large decanter. Only go up a size if you plan to serve magnums often. Many wine experts will decant, wash the original bottles, and return the decanted wine once it has breathed enough back into the bottle to store before service. 


Decanters should be either clear crystal or glass to allow you to see the wine. Crystal will be more expensive, so if price is a concern, there are always glass decanters that work just as well. You should avoid decanters made of other materials as they can affect the flavor of the wine.

Frequently Asked Questions
  • What’s the purpose of a decanter?

    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."

  • How long should you decant wine?

    “It depends on the type of wine, conditions, and age of the wine," says Jonathan Shapiro, founder of Vinedrop.  "Usually, about 30 minutes will do the trick, but sometimes a couple hours might be even better depending on the wine. A fun thing to do is to try the wine immediately upon opening the bottle, then decant it, and continue to try it every 15 to 30 minutes or so and see how the wine evolves with each sip.” Some very old wines, with 20 or more years of bottle age on them, can benefit from several hours or even a whole day of aerating time. When in doubt, contact your local wine merchant and ask for advice on a specific bottle.

  • How do you clean a wine decanter?

    "You'll see various methods and tools to clean wine decanters. There are some great decanter brushes that work well.  Just do not use dish soap, as this leaves residue on the glass and can mess with the flavor and proper experience of your wine," says Shapiro. "Warm to hot (not boiling) water and some white vinegar are a great combo.  Let it sit for 10- to 5 minutes, scrub it, and then rinse with warm to hot water again. Also, the best time to clean your decanter is immediately after using it. The longer you wait to clean it, the harder it will be to clean it. And do not put it in the dishwasher, unless you're in the market for a new decanter!”

Our Expertise

Oset Babür-Winter is the Senior Drinks Editor for Food & Wine, and has completed the level 3 advanced qualification in wine with the Wine and Spirits Education Trust. Lucy Simon is the Editorial Assistant at Food & Wine. Stacey Ballis contributed additional reporting to this piece.

Additional reporting by
Stacey Ballis

Stacey Ballis is a novelist, cookbook author, and food writer with 20 years experience. She has been cooking for over 45 years, and writing in the culinary space has been central to her work. She has published ten novels and one cookbook, and has done ghostwriting, recipe development and recipe testing for chefs. She has had over 1500 articles published since 2016.

Lucy Simon
Portrait of Lucy Simon
Lucy Simon is a New York-based wine, spirits, and food writer has been with Food & Wine since the spring of 2021.
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