Which is best decanter or aerator? A wine decanter if you are a traditionalist or want to impress guests. A wine aerator if you want to quickly oxygenate a glass for yourself.
Best Cheap Wine Decanter – Plaisir de la Cave (Amazon.co.uk)
Best Designed Wine Decanter – Riedel Black Tie Amade (Harrods.com)
Best Wine Decanter Set – Tom Dixon Wine Decanter (Selfridges.com)
Best Wine Aerator – Zazzol Wine Aerator (Amazon.co.uk)
If you are a wine lover, learning how to decant the right wines can be your secret weapon to get the most out of every bottle. In this article, we’ll arm you with all the essential decanting knowledge to become an expert, and buy the right decanter or aerator for your needs.
- 1 The Science behind Wine Decanting
- 2 Most Tannic Wines That Need Decanting
- 3 Plaisir de la Cave Wine Decanter & Accessories
- 4 Lecruset Wine Decanter - Vitesse Crystaline Wine Fountain
- 5 Greggio Tournant Wine Decanter
- 6 Lalique - 100 Points by James Suckling
- 7 Carrs Silver Linear Cut
- 8 Riedel Black Tie Amade
- 9 Tom Dixon Wine Decanter Set
- 10 Penfolds Aevum Limited-Edition Crystal Decanter and Grange 2013 (75cl)
- 11 How to Decant Wine Like a Boss
- 12 Zazzol Wine Aerator
- 13 Savisto Wine Aerator Review
- 14 Rancross Wine Aerator
- 15 FLOW Wine Aerator
- 16 Hotder Wine Aerator Decanter
The Science behind Wine Decanting
When oxygen from the air hits the wine, oxidation takes place – which changes the compounds found in the wine. These changes can make the wine have a smoother and more flavoured taste, but oxidation rates vary greatly between wines.
Decanting is not just about oxygenating your wine, it also releases volatile compounds like carbon dioxide (CO2) and Hydrogen Sulphide (HS). Hydrogen Sulphide is produced as a by product when the yeast ferments.
Decanting wine also creates instant aromas from evaporation, which greatly affect the taste of the wine.
Wine Decanter FAQs
Most frequent questions and answers about wine decanting and aerating
Pouring wine into any container will rapidly allow it to mix with the air, but wine decanters also have a large base to allow a greater surface area of wine to be oxygenated.
Yes, but most consumers do not. Top sommeliers may decant a white wine if it is too cold, it’s a fast way to bring the wine up to room temperature. Like with reds, young white wines can taste better with oxygen and old bold whites like Rieslings, Rhônes and some Chardonnays.
You will get immediate aeration from decanting your wine into the vessel, especially if you swill it around in the decanter. The perfect decanting time is 30 minutes to 1 hours. Leaving the wine too long can cause over decanting, creating vinegar like tastes.
Most Tannic Wines That Need Decanting
Tannins come from the grape and oak barrels during the wine making process. The grapes below produce wines (and wine blends) that are heavily tannic and are recommended to decant.
French wines best to decant:
- Cabernet Sauvignon
- Pinot Noir
Italian wines best to decant:
Spanish & World wines to decant:
Best Wine Decanters 2019
Here we review some of the top wine decanters on the market to suit every budget and design taste. These wine decanters range from budget ones for around £30 to crystal and silver decanters for £1500+
Best cheap wine decanter
This wine decanter is the Amazon choice product and is the perfect low cost decanter with a stopper. The stopper works well in allowing the wine to slowly pour into your glass to aerate it further. The number of times I have tried to slowly pour a glass from a full decanter to find it splashing over the surface (and onto my shirt!).
This wine decanter is made of solid crystal glass, with a solid base – its not going to crack if you bang it down too hard on your kitchen granite if a bit tipsy.
Because wine decanters are notorious to clean, this product comes with its own cleaning kit, comprising of stainless steel beads designed to lift stains from the inside of the glass.
If you own any Lecruset pans, you will know how good the products are – they can last a lifetime. We have a set of hand-me-down pans that must me at least 20 years and perfectly usable, despite being a little faded.
This Lecruset decanter has gorgeous form and pours wonderfully.
The decanter comes with a 10 year warranty, which is unusual for a glass product.
New from Greggio, is an alternative design to the typical free-standing style decanters seen in most homes and restaurants. Greggio is better known as an Italian supplier of fine dining ware for 5-star hotels. Designs range from conservative and practical, to near-unusable yet stunning cutlery. This decanter will aerate a full bottle of wine and look amazing while doing it. Often you will see opulent decanters used in the best restaurants, and it is now possible to own one.
The Tournant’s centre of gravity keeps it safe from tipping over when resting on a table. There is a silver-plated conical stand, by Greggio, available as an extra. The glass tear-drop decanter is perfectly clear, bearing no markings. A silver-plated base protects the decanter and adds depth. The plating on the Tournant makes a real statement on the simple design. The conical shape is ideal for collecting dregs and prevents turbulence when pouring. The spout is a decent size and shape to prevent spillage. This is a beautiful work of art that will add to any wine tasting experience.
- Glass with Silver-Plated Base
- 33 OZ (1000 ml)
Lalique - 100 Points by James Suckling
Lalique is a famous French glassmaker known for exquisite hood ornaments, perfume bottles, and glassware. The brand started in 1888 by Rene Lalique and later, his son Marc. The glassmaker makes a range of products that are all intricate pieces of art almost too perfect to use. Lalique makes fine objects that often relate to animals, real and mythical. This decanter is from the 100-point range, 100 points referring to the top marks a wine can earn from wine-critic Suckling. The 100, designed for a wine-critic, is also capable of decanting a full bottle of wine.
Lalique’s 100 Point range covers all the homeware you need for fine dining, and the decanter forms a major part of this set. Made from the finest crystal, the 100-point decanter has a classic dome to lift the wine away from the dregs. Beautiful patterns of expanding ribbing flow down from the top of the clear decanter. The 100-point decanter comes with a stopper of similar ribbing over a small balloon of glass. A remarkable piece of homeware that will have your guest talking about the 100-point decanter and Lalique for the whole night.
- Full Glass
- 33 OZ (1000 ml)
Carrs is a silverware brand that started in Sheffield UK back in 1976 as an independent family brand. The factory and the business have gone on to become a sought-after brand; they are designers that make wonderful gifts. This is a true lead crystal decanter made with 24% lead, the highest level possible in making the glass. The neck is decorated with a silver collar, giving the decanter a fantastic glimmer. And at the top, a crystal stopper, also made from fine crystal and formed into a near-perfect ball.
The decanter and the stopper are both cut from the base to the neck to resemble the pattern of a snowflake. It looks solid and sturdy; The whole piece looks as if it will last a thousand years. The capacity of this linear cut decanter is near exactly a full bottle of wine, you may be able to perform the decanting in one go, but it is going to be tight. Because of the steeper edges and flat bottom, this decanter may be better suited for display. This would make a great receptacle for storing brandy or port.
- 24% Lead Crystal with Sterling Silver Collar
- 25 OZ (750 ml)
At a point when you thought that designs for a decanter could not get any more radical, Riedel comes out with this. Reidel is a glassware manufacturer from Austria that dates to 1678. Riedel thinks creatively, producing functional art better than most classical designers. The Swarovski family offered the Riedel’s help at the end of World War II after the Nazi’s commandeered their Czechoslovakian factory. After this episode, George Riedel took a different view of how a receptacle should look. Riedel experimented with their vessel to see how the shape affected the notes of fine wine.
Riedel accomplished what he set out to do. The Black Tie Amado looks amazing, and it has a valid reason for being this shape. Pour the wine into the larger of the Amadeo’s neck holes and pour it out via the small spout. The small spout has a downward angle; when you pour the wine will come out in a controlled manner. The larger neck hole also acts as a pressure release. The Amade allows air to flow into the decanter while pouring and reducing turbulence in the wine.
- Full Glass Lead Crystal
- 51 OZ (1500 ml)
Best Wine Decanter Sets
If you are a regular Materialist reader, you will know we are big fans of Tom Dixon, he is one of the UK’s top designers.
As with all Tom Dixon products, his decanter is beautiful. The decanter glass is hand-blown making a solid product with a high-end look. The decanter is also functional, perfectly aerating your wine to make it smooth and moreish.
The lid and the glasses are both hand-painted with copper, a technique he developed with his half orb copper light shades (which we own!).
Penfolds is better known for making high-end wines than crystal bar and dining ware. An Australian company founded 180 years ago, is a respected winemaker. This is by far the most expensive decanting set on the list and one of the most exclusive decanters you can find. Penfolds have included a full bottle of their fine Shiraz-Cabernet 2013 Grange. This a limited-edition decanter designed in collaboration with the award-winning winemaker Penfolds. Saint-Louis is a famous French Crystal producer found outside of Strasbourg, one of the oldest Crystal makers going back to 1586.
Saint-Louis and Penfolds have collaborated to produce this work of art; a hand-blown crystal decanter. Cut with elegant swirls and finished with a silver belt of ‘ Penfolds wine’ wrapped around the vessel. The base of the Penfolds Aevum has a deep inverted conical shape to catch sediments and squares off perfectly on the stand. The solid silver stand for the Aevum is a beautiful piece of work and allows ease of swirling to aerate the wine. Louis will hold a full bottle of wine and will makes a real statement as a gift.
- Glass with Silver Band and Stand
- 25 OZ (750 ml)
- 25 OZ (750 ml) Bottle of Penfolds Grange 2013
How to Decant Wine Like a Boss
Best Wine Aerators 2019
Wine aerators are a great way to quickly get some oxygen into a glass of wine without having to mess about with a decanter. Many of the the aerators we reviewed have almost identical designs, just with different brand names and packaging. Here’s a few of our top picks.
With its’ sleek design and fast oxygenation, you could call the Zazzol the supercar of aerators. Zazzol is devoted to making products that enhance the final stages of a wine’s life; the opening and pouring. Founded in 2013, Zazzol makes FDA certified aerators to the highest of standards, considered the best aerator on the market.
Zazzol has patented its Three Methods of Aeration:
As you pour the wine into the chamber, it is forced it through a nozzle, which then sprays the wine on to a plate. The plate thins out the wine into a sheet to enter one of the 32 holes and drizzle through the system. The final part of the process is a vortex that forces air into the aerated wine that increases oxidization and speeds up the process. This method of oxidization decease tannins in wine faster and more effectively than any other aerator. Zazzol provides you with a stand and a bag to keep the unit clean and undamaged. Zazzol has produced one of the best quick aerators that you can buy.
In the Box:
- Felt Bag
Savisto Wine Aerator Review
Despite having an Italian name Savisto, is in fact, based in the north-east of England. They make several home appliances, including kitchenware, and this wine aerator. The top half of the pourer is made with clear acrylic for you to see the clarity of the wine before it enters the glass. As the wine is aerated, it passes through a filter housed in the base of the unit. The filter in the center of the Savisto is simple to remove and washable. The filter removes any large crystals or clumps or sediment that form at the bottom of vintage wine.
The stand is a nice touch and behaves as a drip catcher. The Savisto Aerator will cut the time of aerating your wine, from hours to seconds. The wine will taste better and smoother after passing through the unit. The Savisto will also help to produce a bouquet from the wine that may otherwise be too faint to notice. The way that you can aerate the wine you intend to drink means that you can recork the bottle for another day. Aerated wine has a shorter shelf life, and this is a good solution for someone that only drinks on occasion.
In the Box:
- Removable Filter
This looks to be a terribly similar design. The pourer comes with a nylon stand to collect drips and to keep the unit organized. The base is also made of black nylon to match the stand. The filter sits on top of the opening, which is made from clear acrylic. This is a great idea since it means that you do not need to pull apart the entire unit to get the filter clean. The filter is easy to remove and rinse between pouring. Even more useful for decanting, delicate, decadent vintages.
After the wine passes through the filter, into the collection chamber, the wine passes through a narrow spout. This spout connects to a horizontal pipe that jets out the side to the Rancross aerator. This is a filtered air spout that injects air in the flow of the wine and releases the aroma of the wine at the same time. In this way, you can control the amount of air flowing into the wine by placing a thumb over the pipe. Built to last and to speed up your consumption of wine, the Rancross is great value for money.
In the Box:
- Removable Filter
The problem of having a party is that you need to go around filling up everyone’s glasses. And if you must hold an aerator at the same time, you risk setting your own glass down and losing it. Flow has solved this problem by making an aerator that plugs into the end of the wine bottle; decanting is now a single-handed task. Because the Flow aerator aerates as it pours, it is possible to oxygenate only the wine that your guest desires. There is also no danger of overflow as there is no chamber to drain.
The simple unit is made from clear acrylic and the stopper with a ribbed rubber seal. The spout is notched and angled to ensure no drops are wasted on their way to your glass. This method of decanting may verge on, a little too impersonal, and frowned upon by enthusiasts. But the unit receives mostly compliments and is perfect for a mid-range bottle of wine that you would buy from the supermarket. There is also no filter on this aerator from flow, so some people may find that the decanting has gone wrong. This device is about oxygenation and getting the aromas flowing.
In the Box:
Looks are often deceiving, and the Hotder looks exactly like the Rancross, but they are subtle differences. The black grip is made of silicone rather than nylon, meaning you will have a better grasp when decanting your wine. The filter is of the same design as the Rancross; it is easy to remove and wash between pouring for guests. The Hotder also comes with a similar-looking black stand with the Hotder logo on the front of it that doubles as a drip catcher. The decanting process also looks remarkably similar.
The Hotder has designed the internal flow shape very differently. The wine chamber leads into a hydrodynamic mixing pipe to encourage the oxidization of your wine. Rather than Hotder using a single airflow pipe, oxygen reaches the wine from several channels. The aerated wine then exits the hydrodynamic pipe and into the glass. This may take a little longer than other aerators as the jetting hole is smaller to allow for better mixing. The process is still much faster than a traditional decanter and has the added advantage of only decanting wine you intend to drink. Well-presented and drowned in adulation, the Hotder is one of the hottest aerators out there.
In the Box:
How to Clean a Wine Decanter
Cleaning your decanter can be tricky depending on its design. If the decanter has a tight neck (too narrow to access the base with your hand), you could consider a dedicated decanter cleaning kit with a long brush.
Many hotels and restaurants use decanter cleaning balls, like these stainless steel ones by Maison & White. You simply add them to the decanter with warm water and they lift the stains off – note these are reusable and just need a clean afterwards.
Alternatives to steel balls can be used such as crushed ice, brown rice and egg shells, all of which can lift red wine stains.
If you have left red wine in the decanter overnight and faced with stubborn stains, there a couple of pro tips from sommeliers. First is to use denture tablets, the second is to use course salt and white wine vinegar.
How to decant wine without a decanter
If you are hosting a dinner party and out to impress, perfect tasting wine is essential. But what happens if you don’t have a decanter? The quickest way is to simply pour the wine between two measuring jugs.
Double decanting. This is a sneaky method to improve your wine without your guests knowing it has been decanted. You pour the wine into a measuring jug to aerate it, then pour it back into the bottle. It is then aerated twice when poured into each glass.
If you want to experiment with maximum oxygenation, try pouring the wine into a measuring jug and blend for 30 seconds with a hand blender. Alternatively, pour the wine into a blender or smoothie maker like the Nutribullet and give it a quick whizz.