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Let It Breathe: 12 Best Wine Decanters

Photo: Menu Winebreather Carafe

Wine is one of the oldest alcoholic beverages ever created by man. In fact, it’s one of the oldest inventions period, with historical evidence dating back as far as 6,000 BC. That also means that wine experts have centuries upon centuries of practice drinking it and perfecting it. And there’s one thing that everyone seems to agree upon: wine bottles, while an excellent vessel for storage of the drink, are not the best serving option. And that’s for a specific reason. Wine, so it seems, needs to be able to breathe in order to meet its full potential.

It is for this reason that wine decanters exist. Transferring wine from the bottle into one of these receptacles can have a tremendous impact on the overall quality of it and – by proxy – your enjoyment. And, as it turns out, different shapes are beneficial for different wine varieties. While that is certainly something to consider, the truth of the matter is that any decanter is better than no decanter. With that in mind, the following 12 are your best options for wine decanters available today.

Twist Wine Decanter

If you’re a stickler for how well your wine gets aerated, then this is probably the decanter for you. The unique design not only looks good, but it’s an effective way to make sure your wine breathes plenty before it hits your lips. And that’s because the twisting design will aerate it twice – once when you pour in the bottle and as you pour it into your glass of choice. And the metal base will ensure that it stays stable when you’re not actively pouring a drink.

Purchase: $30+

Le Chateau Wine Decanter

Conforming to a more classic and time tested design, this beautiful decanter is an extremely effective and good-looking manner by which to let your wine breathe. It’s also 100% lead-free and blown entirely by hand, so you don’t have to worry about leeching impurities or poor quality of construction due to the use of machines in the process. And the size is ideal for aerating a standard 750ml bottle.

Purchase: $35

Menu Winebreather Carafe

If you’re the type whose eyes are bigger than your stomach or you have a fear of spilling even a drop of one of your favorite beverages, then you’ll likely appreciate the design of this clever decanter. The lid actually functions as a coupling mechanism, joining the decanter and your wine bottle of choice so that you can pour wine easily and without incident. Best of all, if you’re finished drinking and you still have wine left, you can pour it right back into the bottle for safekeeping elsewhere.

Sempli Vaso-Vino Wine Decanter

Looking a bit more like a hollowed-out spinning top than a wine decanter, there is actually a perfectly good reason for the unique format of this vessel. Namely – and unsurprisingly – it was made to spin. Using a gentle motion, spinning this decanter while it is full of wine allows for a more thorough aeration – especially with reds like pinot noir or malbec. And that makes for a more enjoyable drinking experience all around. Plus, we’re sure you’ll find spinning this decanter entertaining in itself.

Purchase: $50

Ravenscroft Crystal Pinnacle Wine Decanter

If sound design is of the utmost importance to you when selecting home goods, then this is the decanter for you. While it still functions as any wine aerating vessel should, the modern and almost architectural design of this decanter is a striking addition to the home of anyone with discerning taste. And the cherry on top of the proverbial cake is the beautiful spherical stopper that fits perfectly into this carafe’s spout.

Purchase: $52

Stemless Fountain Aerating Wine Glass Set

If you want the benefits of aeration – like bringing out the flavors and aromas of your red wine – but you don’t want to transfer an entire bottle into a full-sized decanter, these are a solid alternative. The clever design allows you to aerate your wine one glass at a time – so you can enjoy that bottle at your own pace. And they take up a heck of a lot less space that a bulky full-sized decanter when you’re not using them.

Purchase: $56

Zalto Hand-Blown Wine Decanter

An interesting fact about this decanter: the precise angles of the glass were inspired by the tilt angles of the Earth itself. That incredibly cool design-oriented fact aside, this is a superb vessel for aerating full-bodied red wines. It can also hold up to 64 ounces of liquid – just like a full-sized beer growler – and the stout shape promises to keep it from tipping over for anything other than intentional pouring.

Purchase: $134

Zwiesel 1872 Beaune Wine Decanter

The helpful handle on this wine decanter is not the only thing that makes it worthwhile. It’s also crafted from Tritan crystal, which is a scratch and chip resistant material made from a combination of titanium and zirconium oxide. Did we mention that it’s also thermal shock resistant? Because it is. And it was handmade in Germany and is a superb addition to anyone’s abode.

Purchase: $140

Riedel Duck Wine Decanter

The unique bird shape of this wine decanter makes it ideal for red varietals. And that’s because it offers a tremendous amount of horizontal surface area and, therefore, allows the wine to have more contact with the atmosphere and helps it aerate better. The wide base also makes this decanter far less likely to tip over, if you happen to have a spell of clumsiness. And each of these decanters goes through Riedel’s rigorous testing process to make sure that every one is soundly constructed.

Purchase: $262

Riedel Amadeo Wine Decanter

Featuring a unique ‘swan’ shape, this decanter actually features dual spouts. One is ideal for pouring the wine into the vessel, whereas the other much skinnier spout, is perfect for pouring wine out and into your glass. And the organic shape is as elegant as it comes, which is especially beneficial to anyone with cohesive home design in mind. Best of all: each of these decanters are handblown by accomplished glassblowers in Riedel’s Austria facility.

Purchase: $360

Waterford Black Cut Wine Decanter

Strikingly different in appearance from the others on this list, this offering from Waterford is no less a completely capable wine decanting vessel. This ship-style decanter features high gloss black glass with a diamond cut crystal viewing window toward the base that goes beautifully with the deep red color of full-bodied wines, such as merlot or cabernet sauvignon.

Purchase: $625

Rokos 13° 60° 104° Wine Decanter

Inarguably the most unique wine decanter on this list, this award-winning vessel is also the cream of the crop. It features three surfaces upon which it can be rested at 13, 60, and 104 degrees – each chosen in accordance with how full this wine decanter is. This is to ensure that whether it is full, half empty, or nearly finished, your cabernet sauvignon, pinot noir, merlot, malbec, or otherwise can get all the oxygen it needs to become perfectly balanced and delicious. It’s also offered in two sizes – one for standard 750ml bottles and the other for the much larger magnums.

Purchase: $675