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“As wine ages, it begins to collect sediment at the bottom of the bottle,” explains John Filkins, sommelier and beverage director at Washington DC’s Italian restaurants Officina and Michelin-starred Masseria. “Decanting the wine helps to separate the wine from the sediment. Usually, red wines over ten years old or wines that are bottled unfiltered should be decanted.”
Another reason to add a decanter to your drinkware at home is that it helps certain wines “breathe.” Bolder and more structured reds and whites sometimes need a little air to bring about all the flavors. Filkins usually decants younger Barolo, Super Tuscan, or Cabernet Sauvignon wines an hour before serving to allow them to “open up.”
And let’s face it, decanters make pouring wine a lot easier than straight from the bottle and look so elegant on the dining table.
We've rounded up the best wine decanters, including one designed by European royalty and another produced in France’s oldest fine crystal factory.
Riedel Decanter Black Tie
This extraordinarily beautiful Riedel decanter is mouth-blown from glass crystal in Austria. Its unusual shape will wow your guests and make for the perfect focal point on your dining table.
To buy: $600, riedel.com
Zwiesel 1872 Air Sense Red Wine Decanter
Designed by Swedish design duo Bernadotte & Kylberg (Bernadotte, as in Carl Philip Bernadotte, Prince of Sweden), this sleek hand-made mouth-blown decanter is the epitome of understated elegance. There is a glass sphere at the bottom of it, which helps decantation. And, believe it or not, this decanter is actually dishwasher safe.
To buy: $250, surlatable.com
Schott Zwiesel Pollux Decanter
Serve both your reds and whites in this beautiful decanter, mouth-blown in Poland. It is made using the company’s break, chip, and scratch-resistant technology, which will keep it looking like new for years to come.
To buy: $100, williams-sonoma.com
Puiforcat Sommelier Bottle Decanter
If you are serious about wine, then this French-made decanter is going to help you serve it like a true professional. This decanter is the result of the creative collaboration between Enrico Bernardo, 2004 “World's Best Sommelier,” and designer Michael Anastassiades. It sits on a silver-plated base and has a unique conical shape.
To buy: $1,600, saksfifthavenue.com
Saint Louis Botticelli Wine Decanter
Maison Saint-Louis is the oldest producer of fine crystal in France. This gorgeous decanter is the result of over four decades of know-how. Its design is inspired by the frescoes created during the Italian Renaissance and features colorful crystal flowers.
To buy: $876, saint-louis.com
Large Antique Cut Glass Ships Decanter, circa 1900
If you like antiques, this perfectly preserved Art Deco decanter from the beginning of the last century is the one for you. It features intricately cut floral-inspired shapes and a beautiful diamond-shaped stopper.
To buy: $317, 1stdibs.com
Waterford Elegance Tall Decanter with Round Stopper
The modern shape of this decanter will fit perfectly in a dining room furnished in contemporary style. The metallic ring detailing at the neck and elegant stopper add to its allure.
To buy: $195, bloomingdales.com
Baccarat Oenology Decanter
This beautiful decanter, hand made in France from leaded crystal, dons a sleek, modern design that includes a loop-shaped stopper.
To buy: $800, barneys.com
Christofle Graphik Decanter
Its timeless silhouette and hand-cut detailing will make this decanter an elegant addition to your dinner table.
To buy: $550, barneys.com