There are few things in the world as satisfying as having a good glass of wine. For people who regularly drink red or more expensive wines, you can improve the taste more by using a decanter. Decanters allow you to expose wine to oxygen better. This process softens tannins in the wine and brings out more of the fruit and floral aromas to enhance the flavor.

While it's possible to enjoy wine without a decanter, having one can give you a stylish and practical way to enjoy it even further. When searching for a decanter, though, you have plenty of options available to you. There are different styles, designs, and materials that can all help you bring out the best of your wine. With so many choices out there, we compiled a guide to the best wine decanters available.

6 Best Wine Decanters

To find the best decanter for you, you need to see what's out there first. Through a combination of research, customer insights, pricing, and quality, we've brought together our top picks on the market.

Sale
Le Chateau Wine Decanter - 100% Hand Blown Lead-free Crystal Glass,...
  • 100% LEAD FREE CRYSTAL - Our hand blown lead-free crystal decanters add radiance to any room or kitchen with a modern...
  • PROVIDE YOUR WINE WITH ITS OWN CHATEAU! Free your wine from the grasp of an air restricting bottle by letting it flow...
  • PERFECTLY ENGINEERED FOR A STANDARD 750ML BOTTLE - Don't be tricked by other manufacturers claiming their decanter has a...

This crystal glass decanter is both practical and cost friendly. At under $40, you get a wine decanter that is the perfect fit for a standard 750 mL bottle of wine. With the broad base, you can achieve maximum aeration for your wine without having to portion out how much you put in at once. The crystal is also lead-free and handblown, making the carafe look elegant while being free of contaminants.

The design of this decanter is simple, with a broad, round base and a more focused neck. The top of the decanter is at an angle, making it easy to pour your wine back out once it's full oxygenated and ready to serve. Le Chateau recommends this carafe for merlot, pinot noir, cabernet, and port bottles of wine.

Zalik's wine decanter has a U-shaped horn design that's both attractive and practical to use. This unit is another cost-effective purchasing option, costing $21.99 through Amazon. While the base isn't as broad as some larger decanters, there's still plenty of room to get the full aeration benefits of your wine. A 750 mL bottle will comfortably fit, and there's enough volume for more if you need extra servings.

The U-shaped design means that there are two openings. The larger one has plenty of space to pour your wine inside easily. That larger opening also works as the handle for when it's time to serve, with the smaller, angled spout perfect for distributing wine into glasses for enjoyment. This decanter is also a lead-free crystal model, which can stay durable even in its elegant shape.

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Wine Decanter,WBSEos 1.5L U Shape Classic Wine Carafe,100% Hand Blown...
  • 100% Hand Blown Lead-free Crystal Glass - Hand-blown out of 100% lead free glass, the Webeos's Wine Carafe is designed...
  • EASY POUR SLANTED SPOUT - Avoid spills & drips with our specially designed slanted top.The curved and slanted spout...
  • ADDS AN ELEGANCE TO YOUR HOME BAR - The Webeos's design adds an undeniable elegance to your home bar and/or living room....

Another U-shaped decanter option comes in the form of EBSEos's 1.5-liter carafe. For all practical purposes, this decanter has a lot of the same parameters as Zalik's offering: the openings are different sizes to allow for easy use, you have plenty of room to add wine and let it aerate, and the material is hand-blown and lead-free crystal glass.

However, this unit is worth noting for its slight variation in design, with a thinner pouring opening and a broader area to add the wine. These are subtle changes, but at almost a foot tall, EBSEos's carafe is going to be a decorative piece as much as a practical one. If you know that you want a U-shaped decanter, it can be worthwhile to see if a particular design appeals to you more. This carafe sells for $26.98.

Riedel Cabernet Decanter
  • Give your Cabernet room to breathe in the machine-blown crystal Cabernet decanter.
  • Decant young wines several hours before they are served giving the wine a chance to bloom and decant old wines just a...
  • Beautiful gift item or perfect addition for your home bar collection

While full-bodied red wines need the space and oxygen exposure of larger decanters to aerate thoroughly, light bodies, and white and rosé wines don't need as much time or area. Reidel's cabernet crystal wine decanter is then perfect for those occasions. The simple machine blown design won't be the most eye-catching thing on the table, but the taste it gives your wine is well worth it.

As the name suggests, this product works best with cabernet wines. There's enough space to fit a whole bottle without issue, and you can give newer wines the time they need to aerate or older wines just a few minutes for maximum quality. It's easy to store, if not more expensive than some of our other picks at $54.96. Customers say the design is suitable for pouring the wine back into the bottle without a funnel.

Bormioli Rocco Premium Carafe, 50 6/8 Ounce
  • Hand-Made - Thin Rim and Edges - Ergonomic Handle
  • 50.75 oz Capacity
  • 11.75"H x 4.5" D

Unlike our other picks so far, Bormioli's Rocco Premium Carafe uses a donut hole design. While the shape is reminiscent of classic decanter designs, there's a hole in the center of the unit. This design has two benefits: first, the decanter is easy to handle; second, you can get some extra aeration by pouring your wine directly onto the top of the hole to give it additional exposure to the air.

This carafe is glass rather than crystal, and its soda lime composition is lead-free. That also means you can slip this product into your dishwasher for easy cleaning, though some users report needing a brush due to the unusual shape. There's enough capacity to fit one standard bottle of wine, and the angled opening makes for easy serving after aeration. The cost for the unit is $52.46.

Sommelier Aerating Wine Glasses by Chevalier Collection (Set of 2) -...
  • Set of Two Sommelier Wine Aerating Wine Glasses in Premium Wine Gift Box
  • Wine Immediately Aerates when Pouring - Appealing to the Eye
  • Unique Gift for the Wine Enthusiast - Utility Patented Design (US #8,101,222)

While not a traditional decanter by any means, this set of fountain aerating wine glasses still accomplishes the oxygenation process. The unique design has a smaller "glass" inside the main body, with small holes at the bottom to let the wine through while giving it some extra time exposed to the air. Each glass can aerate 7 ounces of wine per pour—and it looks beautiful in the process.

Aside from the novelty of its approach, these glasses make a perfect option for when you don't have the time to wait for the wine to sit in a decanter but you still want to make the most of its flavor. They're also an excellent option if you only want a single glass and don't want to guess how much to decant or have extras to put back in the bottle. A set costs $59.95 for two aerating wine glasses.

Choosing The Right Decanter

While these choices are some of the best wine decanters on the market, not everyone needs the same decanter. You need to get a size, material, and design that suit your wine preferences and drinking habits.

Size

Most commonly, decanters come in small, medium, and large volumes. Aside from storage needs, the size of the decanter will impact how much exposure your wine has to oxygenation. This exposure is helpful because different wines take different amounts of time to decant fully. When you have a larger decanter, you can better oxygenate the wine. The recommended sizes are:

  • Small decanters work best for light bodies red, rosé, and white wines like Pinot Noir and Beaujolais
  • Medium decanters work best for medium bodied red wines like Merlot, Barbera, Grenache, Dolcetto, Sangiovese
  • Large decanters help you get the most out of full-bodied red wines like Petite Sirah, Monastrell, Cabernet Sauvignon, Tempranillo, and Tannat

Full-bodied wines will still need more time to decant, but having a larger decanter will allow you to do it in less time than you would with a smaller one.

Material

Decanters usually come in standard and crystal glass. Both types work incredibly well, but you still want to pay attention to which material your decanter will be. Standard materials are easier to clean, and it can also go into the dishwasher. However, glass works much better for smaller decanters with thicker walls and simpler shapes.

Instead, if you want a more extensive or more intricate decanter, crystal glass is the optimal material choice. However, if you're picking out a crystal decanter, you need to stay cautious of lead-based crystal. Still, there's little chance of the lead transfer so long as you don't keep your wine in the decanter for more than a week. If you're still concerned, you can find lead-free crystal materials.

Design

Many decanters come in standard, simple designs, but that's not all you have for your options. Swan, cornett, and duck designs don't necessarily impact how well your decanter will expose the wine to oxygen, but you can have more intricate designs that serve as decorative and conversation pieces when you serve drinks to guests.

However, some designs are more practical than others. Intricate shapes may look attractive, but they don't always allow you to pour the wine quickly. Likewise, they can also be difficult to clean. And since crystal is more suitable for larger decanters, you won't be able to run it through the dishwasher. Make sure you have a reliable way to clean it, like a special brush or cleaning beads, before you buy one.

Wrapping Up

There are alternate methods to oxygenating your wine, but a decanter can give you a way to enjoy the craft of wine-making while giving you a form of useful art for your home. Once you identify your decanter needs, you'll be able to pick one of the excellent options on our top picks to get started on enhancing your wine drinking experience.