Top Wine Decanter for Aerating All Varieties
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Wine has been one of the world’s most favorite drinks for thousands of years. Though very different from the types we all enjoy today, the earliest known wine was in China, way back in the year 7000 BC. There is a lot of debate over exactly where our beloved western wines originated from, though it is most likely that they came from somewhere in the near east, probably from present day Iran.
The story of wine is an amazing one. The first great leap in wine consumption came at the same time that the foundations of Western civilization were being laid, namely with the rise of the Greek empire. The Greeks fell in love with wine, something which led to the massive cultivation of vines all over their empire. This love for wine would later be passed onto the Romans, who would export their love for wine to the masses throughout most of Western Europe. Today, Western wine is drunk everywhere, including in China, where most western varieties are being drunk alongside the traditional rice wines that date back 9000 years.
With so many people crazy about wine, it comes as quite a surprise that so few people use a decanter to really get the best out of their wine. It has been said that a good decanter can make a $20 bottle of wine taste as good as a $50 one, when used properly. With so many undiscovered flavors in all your favorite bottles of wine, we suggest that you don’t waste another sip until you get yourself one of our top choice wine decanters!
Wine and Wine Decanters
Wine is a living breathing thing. Though the modern wine fermentation process has come forward leaps and bounds from the days of the ancient Greeks, the basic processes and chemical reactions are the same. When it is produced, wine is bottled for distribution and sent out to stores where it ends up on the shelves.
While in the bottle, wine is deprived of the oxygen it needs to breathe and realize its full flavor. Once the wine has been exposed to oxygen, it only has a relatively short time until it reaches its peak taste. If it stays out too long, it over oxidizes and begins to spoil.
Pouring wine from the bottle allows it to aerate as oxygen enters the wine. The problem with pouring it straight into a glass and drinking it is that the amount of oxygen the wine gets is not really sufficient. This prevents the wine from achieving its true potential, and this is where the decanter comes in.
A wine decanter is a vessel or receptacle in which you pour the wine directly from the bottle to separate the sediment and to allow the wine to aerate.
Advantages of decanting
- Makes wine smother
- Makes wines less acidic
- Lowers tannins
- Makes new world wines which are higher in alcohol easier to drink
- Removes sediment from heavier wines such as Rioja
Things to consider when buying a decanter
How much do you plan to use your decanter?
If you plan to use your decanter every day, then you will probably be better off buying one that is more open and narrow. These are more practical to use and clean than a decanter with a wide base.
What is a decanter for older and fuller wines?
Wide based decanters are the preferred choice for both older and fuller wines like Rioja. Because of their wide base, they are more stable and so less likely to fall over resulting in a catastrophe. Their shape also makes them really aesthetically appealing when they are set on the dinner table.
The only downside of wide based decanters comes when using them for older wines. You will need to take care not to over-aerate the wine as these don’t need as much oxygen as younger or full-bodied wines.
Do I need a decanter with a stopper or lid?
Stoppers limit the amount of air that is able to come into contact with the wine. This is useful for both older wines and for those occasions when you might wish to take your time drinking it. If you plan to drink your wine over the course of an afternoon and evening, a stopper will help the wine stay at its best for longer.
What shape decanter should I buy?
Though the decanter shape does have some effect on the level of aeration, what shape you choose should really come down to whatever style you like best. Provided the shape allows for a good level of aeration to take place and is easy to pour from, just pick the decanter you think will look best on your table. One last feature worth noting is that some decanters also have a handle to make handling them a little easier.
A quick guide on how to use a decanter
- Once you have chosen your wine and have your decanter ready, with great care not to shake the bottle, remove the cork from the wine.
- Remembering that older wines have sediment at the bottom, pour the wine slowly into the decanter. If you are dealing with an old wine, handle it with great care. When transporting it, always hold it so that you don’t tip it out of the position that it was stored in. When you are ready to pour, tip the bottle very gently so as not to disturb the sediment
- When it comes to younger wines and fuller wines, they need more decanting, so as you pour, make sure the wine is getting plenty of air. You can do this by pouring it from slightly higher up or in a way that causes it to slosh around a little more as it goes into the decanter. Younger wines usually do not contain any sediment so the bottle can be completely emptied into the decanter.
- Always pour wine slowly into a decanter
- Watch the neck of the decanter until you see sediment start coming through. Expert decanters use a candle so that they can see more clearly inside the bottle
- As soon as you see sediment, stop pouring
- Leave the wine in the decanter for between 30 minutes and 2 hours, depending on the type and age, before gently pouring into your glasses and consuming
Bormioli Rocco Premium Carafe 50 6/8 oz
It is hand-made from good quality soda lime glass and has a respectable 50 ¾ oz. capacity. The design allows for a good level of aeration as the wine is poured in, though if you are drinking heavier wines, you should allow a little more time for them to aerate as the surface area in this decanter is much less than some of the wide base decanters.
The decanter itself feels very sturdy and durable, despite being made from quite thin glass. It is dishwasher proof, but as with any glassware, you should take extra care when washing it with other dishes to prevent the glass from clouding.
Definitely our top choice for all wine drinkers, the Bormioli Rocco Premium Carafe decanter is really hard to find fault with. It aerates well and is really easy to use. Most of all it really looks great. Provided you are not regularly drinking heavier wines, this is definitely the decanter for you.
- Large capacity (50 ¾ oz.)
- Hand-made from soda lime glass
- 11.76 inches by 4.5 inches
- Well-designed handle
- Thin pouring edge for more precise control
- Dishwasher friendly
- Very Durable
- A little heavier than most other decanters on this list
Le Chateau Wine Decanter – 100% Hand Blown Lead-free Crystal Glass, Red Wine Carafe, Wine Gift, Wine Accessories
No sooner than you have poured the wine into this decanter, it will start to release the wine’s best aromas and flavors. You will find that in no time your wine is ready to drink. Do remember though that older wines take less time than younger or fuller wines to be ready.
Its curvy design has been specifically made for the standard 750ml bottle as well as to give a large surface area to allow the best level of aeration. It has an easy pour spout that is gently slanted to help make sure that you don’t spill a drop. It is hard to see how anyone could not fall in love with this stylish decanter, which will complement any sophisticated dinner where wine is being served.
- Beautiful shape
- Excellent Design
- Gives high levels of aeration
- Wide base so very stable
- Good lip for pouring
- Harder to clean due to bulb design
Aria – Wine Decanter
This is another very sophisticated decanter that would not look out of place at even the most extravagant dinner party. It has a really well-designed lip that allows for excellent pour control. We all know that there is nothing worse than pouring your guests a glass of wine only to see drops of wine dripping onto your expensive table cover. This design prevents that, meaning that you can use it with plenty of peace of mind that you will never spill even a drop.
Ideal as an intermediate decanter for people who want to have one that looks good without being quite so difficult to use.
- Gives excellent pour control
- Made from high-quality glass
- Great design
- Easier to clean than wider based decanters
- Glass is thinner than other decanters
Menu Winebreather Carafe
The advantage of this design is that it connects straight onto the bottle and requires only to be inverted for the wine to be transferred. This is not the design to buy if you have a wine with sediment, however, but instead offers a solution for people who want to get the best level of aeration so that they can drink their wine more quickly.
The place where this decanter really comes into its own is that it allows you to flip the whole set over to send the aerated wine back into the bottle. This means that you can then serve the wine directly from the bottle rather than from the decanter, something that will please even the most traditional wine lovers. This is a great decanter for people who value taste over ceremony.
- Innovative design allows one step transfer of wine
- Easiest design to pour
- Allows you to serve the wine from the bottle after decanting is complete
- Not suitable for wines with sediment
Bormioli Rocco Selecta 33-3/4-Ounce Decanter with Stopper
A huge bonus offered by this decanter is that unlike most other designs, it comes with a handy stopper that helps to keep the wine from over aerating. Because of this, it is an ideal decanter for relaxed drinking dinner parties, where you obviously want the wine to keep its peak taste for longer.
- Lots of different designs available
- Made from high-quality Italian glass
- Narrow neck stopper
- Designed as part of a set (other parts sold separately)
- Dishwasher friendly
- Not the best design for aeration