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Your wedding registry is the perfect opportunity to do away with the mismatched towels and sheets you’ve had since college. And while you’re at it, it’s probably time to upgrade your wine supply, too—and we’re not talking about just that cheap bottle of vino: Also worthy of a prime spot on your registry is a wine decanter, the grown-up piece of drinkware that’ll take your wine-and-cheese nights to the next level.
In case you’re unfamiliar, a decanter can give your wine an instant glow-up by allowing the liquid to properly aerate: Through mingling and interacting with oxygen, a wine’s distinct and more complex flavors can fully bloom, helping you better taste what the winemaker had intended. Plus, if you ever wanted to feel like you’re throwing a real, adult dinner party, just place a decanter full of wine on the table!
Since wine decanters come in a wide range of price points, shapes, and for a variety of wines, we’ve curated our favorite ones, so all you have to do is pour and sip.
Read on for the best wine decanters.
Best Overall: Sobremesa Recycled Glass Decanter With Wood Stopper
There’s so much to love about this decanter: First and foremost is its size that can comfortably hold well over a full bottle of wine. Then, there’s the extra-wide base that’s thoughtfully engineered for optimal aeration, the large surface allowing for optimum oxygen exposure.
It also comes with a wooden stopper for when you’re done with the oxygenation process, and we love that it’s sustainably made from recycled glass by a cooperative of artisans in Guatemala. Plus, that price just can’t be beaten.
Best Budget: Vintorio Citadel Wine Decanter
High-priced-tasting wine at a great budget price? Yup, it’s possible with the help of this wallet-friendly decanter. With a wide-base design, it’ll thoroughly aerate your wine and catch sediment, while the easy-to-grip punt and slanted, no-spill spout is made for easy pouring. We also love that it’s constructed from lead-free and recycled glass and is even dishwasher-safe.
Best Swan-Style Decanter: Waterford Elegance Accent Decanter
For a drip-free pour and an extra dose of style, look to a swan-shaped decanter. We love this uniquely curved version from classic glassware company Waterford: With an elegantly curled neck and tail, this style of wine vessel looks especially refined. Plus, the two openings also allow extra air to permeate the liquid inside.
Best Splurge: Riedel Crystal Mamba Decanter
This architectural marvel may come with a substantial price tag—but isn’t she a beaut?! Inspired by the infamous Black Mamba snake, this decanter boasts a unique and modern shape, making it as much of an art piece as it is a useful drinkware tool: Thanks to a series of air pockets, the coiled design “double decants” the wine for an ultra-fine sipping experience.
Best Electric Decanter: Wine Enthusiast iSommelier Smart Decanter
Another splurge-worthy model, this decanter is like if your Amazon Alexa became a bonafide sommelier. Although not voice-activated, its high-tech capabilities are seriously impressive.
This smart decanter eliminates the wait time that usually comes with decanting, thanks to a molecular air filtration system that aerates wine with highly concentrated purified oxygen and softens tannins to perfect it within minutes. A touch screen allows you to pre-set decanting times and an accompanying app provides suggested decanting times, wine pairings, and more.
Best Wine Aerator Decanter: Rabbit Super-Aerating Decanter System
Did your BFF unexpectedly pop over? Get a bottle of wine ready for sipping in hardly any time at all. Courtesy of Rabbit, this decanter is topped off with an aerator for enhanced oxidation. It filters out sediments before finely cascading the wine down the sides of the decanter where it lands in the wide base, ready to be enjoyed.
Best for Cabernets (and Merlots, too!): Riedel Cabernet Decanter
For full-bodied reds, like cabernets and merlots, snag this pretty piece of glassware from Riedel. The size and angular shape let the proper amount of oxygen mingle with the liquid and balance the full flavors. With a capacity of 38 oz., it’s also dishwasher-safe for easy cleaning after the last drop has been sipped and enjoyed.
Best for Whites: Epicureanist Wine Chilling Decanter
While it’s mostly red wines that largely benefit from being decanted, most wine experts agree that white wines can be decanted, too—although they’re usually ready for sipping much quicker than reds. For this family of wines, look to smaller decanters, like this slim model from Epicureanist. It even comes with a removable ice cup that can be inserted within the decanter’s punt in case you prefer a chilled white wine come summer.
Best Duo Decanter: Rogaska Aurea Expert Duo Decanter
A decanter that pulls double duty? Yes, please! With two separate sections, this decanter allows you to offer your guests both red and white wine. Mouth-blown and hand-crafted, it’s a unique find that’ll look striking on your tabletop. You can even use it for sparkling and flat water on the nights you’re not drinking wine.
Best Decanter with Punt: Ivy Bronx Cifuentes Visual 48 oz. Wine Decanter
Crafted from Polish lead-free crystal, this bountiful vessel can hold up to 48 fluid oz. of your favorite wine and boasts a large punt at the base (similar to the one wine bottles tout, too). This provides a better grip for easy pouring, as well as increased oxygenation and sediment collection.
New to the world of decanters? You can’t go wrong with the Recycled Glass Decanter With Wood Stopper from Food 52. With a stopper, a wide base, sustainable craftsmanship, and affordable price, it pretty much has it all. If you consider yourself somewhat of a wine connoisseur, a high-tech decanter like the Wine Enthusiast iSommelier Smart Decanter might be worth the splurge. And if you're looking for a show-stopping piece that will turn heads at your next dinner party, the Riedel Crystal Mamba Decanter or the Rogaska Aurea Expert Duo Decanter will do the trick. Whatever you choose, way cheers to you and yours!
What is a wine decanter?
A wine decanter is a glass or crystal container in which you can hold and pour wine tableside—but they do far more than just look pretty on your table. Wine decanters expose the beverage to an increased amount of oxygen due to their design. This allows the wine to aerate and spurs on the oxidation process, which often elevates the drink’s flavor profile and softens its tannins (or bitterness). It can also help you avoid serving sediment that may appear in mature red wines. Basically, these nifty vessels may help your wine taste (and look!) better—what not to love?
How to decant wine?
No need to be intimidated! Decanting wine really couldn’t be simpler. Firstly, if you plan to serve an older, more mature blend, it’s best to let the bottle stand upright for at least a full day before opening (this allows any sediment to settle at the bottom). Then, after uncorking, steadily pour the wine into the decanter, holding the bottle below a 45-degree angle. Be sure to watch out for any sediment while pouring: If you spot any, just rotate and re-tilt the bottle to avoid it from entering the decanter. Finally, let the wine sit in the decanter for at least 15 minutes before serving. (Exactly how long to decant a wine depends on the specific blend). Easy enough, right?
Do I need a wine aerator decanter?
Not necessarily! Like decanters, a wine aerator is a device that accelerates the oxidation process by pouring the wine through a dispersing funnel or chamber of pressurized oxygen. A wine aerator decanter basically combines the two, consisting of a decanter with an aerator affixed on top. While a regular decanter can properly aerate your beverage with ease, a wine aerator decanter expedites the process, so they’re great in a pinch. However, they could over oxidate more delicate wines, so use with caution.
Why trust Brides?
Brides contributor Jamie Cuccinelli has several years of experience in the wedding and lifestyle industries, first as an editor of Brides.com and then as a writer for home and lifestyle websites like MyDomaine. Years living in New York City have also taught her how to make the most out of little—from square footage to inexpensive wines (using a decanter is her not-so-secret method for elevating the latter!)