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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 using traditional Venetian techniques and another produced in France’s oldest fine crystal factory.
Related: The Best Places to Visit in California Wine Country Right Now
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
Related: The Experts' Guide to Europe’s Hottest Wine Regions
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
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
Saint-Louis Folia Crystal 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. Architect and designer Noé Duchaufour Lawrance took inspiration for it from the leaves of the Moselle forest so he created a delicate motif that now graces the bottom half and stopper of the decanter.
To buy: $895, barneys.com
L'Atelier du Vin Open Cristal Developer Carafe
If decanting helps wine “breathe” and develop its flavors, this sleek L'Atelier du Vin one takes it one step further thanks to its smart design. It is topped off with a stopper that has six groves in it so when you pour wine, it flows slowly along the decanter’s walls which helps with aerating it.
To buy: $150, bloomingdales.com
Juliska Amalia Wine Decanter
Enjoy your reds in style with this classically-shaped decanter handcrafted in the Czech Republic. It flaunts a delicate spiral along its neck and body that adds an elegant touch to it. Since all Juliska pieces are handmade, they are all unique and have a stamp of authenticity that guaranteeing their provenance and quality.
To buy: $168, onekinglane.com
Georg Jensen Wine Carafe
This decanter is designed with function in mind. The beautiful organic shape helps with aeration bringing while the deep dimple makes it easy to pour. The stopper is crafted from sleek stainless steel and silicone that prevents spills.
To buy: $195, saksfifthavenue.com
LSA Glass Wine Carafe
This sleek glass decanter sports a classic, no-frills silhouette that will add a sophisticated touch to your next dinner party. It also makes for a great gift since it has such a stylish shape that will look great in any interior.
To buy: $60, saksfifthavenue.com
Gem Water by VitaJuwel Vino Vial and Wine Decanter
Talking about a work of art! This decanter not only has a unique shape that will instantly add an oomph factor to any room but it also comes with a gemstone vial that improves the wine’s taste in under ten minutes. A blend of amethyst, garnet, and clear quartz soften up the tannic taste of young red wines making them a lot smoother.
To buy: $354, neimanmarcus.com
Nude Beak Wine Decanter
The beak-inspired silhouette of this decanter makes it perfect for a garden party or another outdoor event. Its angular shape looks modern and functional. The decanter is mouthblown from lead-free crystal in Europe and has a capacity of 34 ounces.
To buy: $104, neimanmarcus.com
Vista Alegre Fantasy Wine Decanter
This Portuguese-made decanter really lives up to its name thanks to the whimsical effect of its design. The bottle sports cuts all along its length resulting in luminous reflections and a refined look.
To buy: $195, neimanmarcus.com
Riedel Fatto a Mano Amadeo Decanter
Riedel’s Fatto a Mano collection features glassware pieces crafted using traditional Venetian techniques such as mouth blowing. The unique Amadeo decanter, recommended for mature wines and champagne, is crafted in Austria and features an ornamental line in black and white. It is definitely a statement piece that will elevate any interior.
To buy: $400, barneys.com