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Mark Storer

Professional Wine Expert

Best Decanter & Best Wine Decanter

While it certainly isn’t an original concept, the plain truth is that if you want to decant wine, the best wine decanter in the world is a bucket. At least, the best decanter is any open-air container that provides maximum oxygenation to the wine. Plastic isn’t all that great for wine nor is the wine good for the plastic. It will stain, so I’m not going to recommend that you get a plastic bucket. But if you have a glass bucket, well now that’s another issue.

Decanting wine is necessary only on specific occasions. It can add to the aesthetics of wine, particularly if you have a pretty crystal decanter. However, the purpose of decanting is to add oxygen to the wine. This is necessary in very young wines and very old wines. It’s occasionally useful for wines that need to “breathe” some; that is, the wine needs to open up. It’s often described as tight or wound up. Contrary to popular belief, opening a bottle and letting it sit for a bit won’t do anything. A bottle opening is far too narrow and small to allow for real oxygenation to take place. Therefore, impress your friends by not opening a bottle before you pour. Decanting is all about surface area. Containers should allow the liquid to spread out, find its own level, as liquid does, and “breathe”.

Since the science of decanting is fairly simple and basic then, the very best decanter is the one that you like best. It goes with your décor, your wine glasses, or your table. You like the way it feels in your hand or it adds to the collection of other fine glass or crystal - wear you own. A lot of the best decanters, though, are leaded crystal and that’s not necessarily a good thing, especially if you leave the wine in the container for more than a few hours. The wine can and will pick up some of that lead and you may well ingest it. That’s not a good thing. Avoid leaded crystal, and then choose based on your personal tastes.

Select the best decanter for your wine and other favorite libations. These best wine decanter recommendations feature the best from Waterford and other great names, always at the best price.

Best Wine Decanters by Mark Storer

The Best You Can Get

  • Riedel Amadeo Lyra Decanter

    Mark says: Saying Riedel to a sommelier is like saying BMW to a car enthusiast. It’s the name. But as with most stereotypes, there is some truth in it. The Amadeo is a work of art. Shaped like a Viking horn or a very stylish “U”, it’s a great way to get surface area on the wine while being quite beautiful, especially with .750 mls of wine gracefully sloshing around its sleek interior.

    • Shaped like a Viking horn or a very stylish “U”
  • Waterford Crystal Lismore Ships Decanter

    Mark says: If you think crystal, chances are you’re thinking the fine Irish company, Waterford. This one is leaded crystal, though, so no overnight use, please. Creating some of the best crystal containers for the past hundreds of years, Waterford has become synonymous with fine crystal. Even people who don’t know crystal know the Waterford name. It’s no wonder then that the top of the heap is indeed a Waterford. A wide base, a narrow neck with the typical Celtic flair of engraving the crystal leave this one looking ornate and traditional on the table.

    • Fine crystal
    • Ornate and traditional
  • Riedel Sommelier Decanter

    Mark says: This little beauty has the added advantage of a unique neck design around a wide and open base. The neck is spiraled so that the wine has to travel around the neck many times before it exits the spout. This allows for added oxygenation in the wine so that when it reaches the glass, it’s at its oxygenated best.

    • Unique neck design around a wide and open base
    • Spiral neck allows for added oxygenation
  • Nachtman Celebration Wine Decanter

    Mark says: The Nachtman combines a modern, almost trendy angular shape with the necessary wide base. It’s not as pretty as some of the others, but function can be a beautiful thing. If it is, the Nachtman scores just as high as the rest.

    • Modern angular shape with a wide base
  • Captain Oxford Crystal Wine Decanter

    Mark says: I’m partial to this one because while it’s not Riedel or Waterford, its traditional shape and engraved crystal design are as beautiful as its more expensive counterparts. A wide circular base, topped by a spherical crystal stopper (which, if employed, defeats the whole oxygenation purpose, by the way), the Captain is a great table decoration at a reasonable price.

    • Traditional shape and engraved crystal design

You will be happy with any of these

  • Visual Wine Decanter

    Mark says: The Wine Enthusiast folks are truly wine enthusiasts. They publish a fine magazine, but they also license great products. This one is actually crystal, though obviously not hand-crafted. However, it has in the bottom a dome which allows the wine to move around even more, providing more oxygenation and the ability to see the color of the wine more clearly as when one looks at it, they aren’t looking through the entire decanter, just less than half - thus, the name.

    • Crystal
    • Bottom dome provides more oxygenation and a clearer view of the wine's color
  • Wine Enthusiast Vivid Decanter

    Mark says: The venerable wine publication provides a functional, Spartan and beautiful decanter. Its sturdy glass construction won’t shatter when handled and the wine circular base allows for maximum aeration to your wine. It’s a good bargain manufactured for people who know wine.

    • Sturdy glass construction
    • Circular base allows for maximum aeration
  • WMF Easy Pour Decanter

    Mark says: Like the name says, simple, easy, functional and inexpensive. Wide pouring spout combined with a wide base and a narrower neck, the Easy Pour is truth in advertising. It’s just that simple.

    • Simple, easy, functional, and inexpensive
    • Wide pouring spout
    • Wide base and a narrower neck
  • Cellini Decanter

    Mark says: The Cellini doesn’t hold as much liquid, only 27 ounces. But, that’s enough to use at the dinner table. You can always refill it. Its sturdy wide bottle design looks rather like someone took a wine bottle, reheated it and then stretched it. This achieves the same effect, aerating the wine, without breaking the bank.

    • Sturdy wide bottle design
    • Economical
  • A glass mixing bowl

    Mark says: I couldn’t resist. If you don’t want to spend a lot of money and you simply want to oxygenate your wine, go to the local department store, buy a glass bowl with a pouring spout and clean it out with a little SO2 (sulfur dioxide) which you can buy at any home winemaking or beer shop. Once you do, pour your wine in, let it sit for half an hour and pour into the glass. It won’t be pretty - but it will be just as oxygenated as if you’d bought the Waterford or the Riedel and taste just as good.

    • Economical
    • Simple

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Buying the best decanter at the best price is really easy. Choose the best wine decanter that you like best, whether exquisite Waterford crystal decanters or other dazzling decanters. The best red wine decanter choices look stunning on any table and offer the true wine experience when you let the wine breathe some.