The 6 Best Wine Decanters of 2022, According to Our Tests

We love the Onearf Wine Decanter for its impressive decanting abilities and included accessories.

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Wine Decanters

Real Simple / Will Dickey

A wine decanter is more than just a pretty pitcher—it serves an important function in the wine drinking process. Decanters allow a wine to aerate, which enhances the wine’s aromas and flavors over time. They also help soften tannins and loosen up sediment that may be sitting at the bottom of bottles. Maximilian Riedel, CEO of Riedel, a wine glass company, says the biggest mistake he sees people make with wine is not decanting. “All wines can benefit from aeration and skipping decanting can diminish the full experience of the wine,” he says. 

In addition to talking with Riedel, we also sought the advice of Andrew Fortgang, sommelier and co-owner and wine director of two Portland restaurants, Le Pigeon and Canard. We also did hands-on testing of 14 decanters in our Lab, evaluating them on ease of use, design, ease of cleaning, performance, and value. Our top pick is the Onearf Wine Decanter for its excellent aeration abilities and convenient included accessories, including cleaning tools and a hands-free pouring mechanism.

Read on to learn more about our top picks as well as how to choose the best wine decanter for your home.

Our Top Picks

Best Overall Wine Decanter: Onearf Wine Decanter and Carafe

4.3
 Onearf Wine Decanter, Iceberg Red Wine Breather Carafe

Amazon

Who it’s for: People who want a wine decanter that offers a very easy pour. 

Who it isn’t for: People who want a wine decanter that is dishwasher safe. 

This small wine decanter decanted our wine beautifully during testing. Within just 15 minutes of pouring, our tester noticed a difference in the taste right away. “The original bottle is quite astringent—this decanter immediately brought out the fruity flavor and got rid of a noticeable amount of the astringency,” they said. “It tastes like a more expensive bottle at 15 minutes, with the flavors being more pronounced.” And after 30 minutes of decanting, our tester was surprised that the wine’s taste got even better: “Much more complex, can even taste leather and floral notes.”

Our tester also found this decanter to be “fun to use” overall thanks to its unique punt, which is shaped like an iceberg, and the convenient pouring method. You can pour wine into this decanter the old fashioned way, or affix the wine bottle to the included breathing port and pour it directly into the decanter to avoid any spills or dripping. Other accessories include a stainless steel lid that goes atop the breathing port, so you don’t have to keep the cork for storage, and stainless steel beads, which will help tremendously with cleaning around the iceberg punt. All in all, one of our testers was so pleased with this decanter that they ordered one for themselves after we completed our testing.

Price at time of publish: $43

Product Details:

  • Material: Crystal
  • Capacity: 1200 ml
  • Accessories: Drying stand, cleaning beads, breathing port, removable lid
Best Wine Decanters

Real Simple / Will Dickey

Best Budget Wine Decanter: Vintorio GoodGlassware Wine Decanter

4.5
Vintorio GoodGlassware Wine Decanter

Amazon

Who it’s for: Beginners who want a wine decanter that is extremely easy to use. 

Who it isn’t for: People who want a wine decanter made from crystal.

Our tester called this affordable wine decanter a “great value for the money” that “felt more expensive than it was.” The GoodGlassware Wine Decanter can hold more wine than some of the other pricier decanters we tested at 1300 ml. It was also easy to pour than others, which can be attributed to its wide, slanted spout, and a lot easier to clean (this product is dishwasher safe). 

The performance of this decanter, however, wasn’t as effective as the more expensive models we tested. After about 15 minutes in the decanter, our tester told us our wine was “more fruit-forward, but not very complex.” At 30 minutes, the taste improved, but the change overall was small, with our tester remarking that it tasted “like the same bottle of wine” prior to pouring into our decanter. At our hour mark, our tester told us that it was still very good, “but not noticeably better” than when it peaked at 30 minutes. Still, it’s a great budget pick for beginners.

Price at time of publish: $21

Product Details:

  • Material: Recycled glass
  • Capacity: 1300 ml
  • Accessories: None
Best Wine Decanters

Real Simple / Will Dickey

Best Splurge Wine Decanter: vSpin Wine Aerator

4.2
vSpin Wine Aerator

Amazon

Who it’s for: People who want an automatic wine decanter.

Who it isn’t for: People who don’t want to spend more than $100 on a wine decanter.

This super unique wine decanter is a worthwhile splurge for oenophiles who get frustrated waiting around for their wine to decant. All you have to do with this wine decanter is pour your wine into the bottle, set your time and speed on the electric base, and watch as the vortex created incorporates air into the wine at a rapid pace. This product promises decanted wine in minutes, and during our testing, we found that the brand’s promise held true.

 Our tester was amazed at the difference in taste after only five minutes of decanting, saying that it still tasted like the same bottle but that it was “much better.” After two spins and 15 minutes of time passed, they told us that it “almost became a different bottle.” The flavor actually remained so steady at the 45-minute mark that our tester recommended we forgo our hour-long test altogether. Even though this product worked great, our tester did note that there are some notable downsides. You have to keep the electric bottom charged, and cleaning it is “a process.” And even though they called this device “entertaining” and “fun” to use, our tester said they got the same or better results with other decanters that cost a lot less.

Price at time of publish: $250

Product Details:

  • Material: Crystal
  • Capacity: 750 ml
  • Accessories: Electric bottom to power decanter
Best Wine Decanters

Real Simple / Will Dickey

Best Wine Decanter Set: YouYah Wine Decanter Set

4.3
YouYah Wine Decanter Set

Amazon

Who it’s for: People who don’t want to buy wine decanter accessories separately. 

Who it isn’t for: People who want a decanter that’s easy to pour without dripping. 

Believe it or not, wine decanter accessories make all the difference when owning a wine decanter. The YouYah Wine Decanter Set comes with four useful accessories, including a stand, a stopper, a brush, and stainless steel beads. The beads and the brush are great cleaning tools that can get to hard-to-reach nooks and crannies inside your decanter, while the stand can help dry your decanter or function as a storage vessel. Meanwhile, the circular cork-looking stopper keeps the wine fresh while elevating the decanter’s overall visual appeal.

Our tester appreciated the included accessories and liked the design, saying the lead-free crystal felt “good in the hand” and that overall, the decanter was “pretty with an elegant, sharply angled pour spout.” For the most part we had no problem pouring the wine into the decanter (a little bit of dripping occurred down the sides), and after about 15 minutes of aeration, our tester told us that the YouYah Decanter did its job well. After about 30 minutes, there wasn’t much of a difference in taste: “Maybe a little less astringent. Still nice, bright, and juicy.”

Price at time of publish: $40

Product Details:

  • Material: Crystal
  • Capacity: 1200 ml
  • Accessories: Stopper, brush, cleaning beads, drying stand
Best Wine Decanters

Real Simple / Will Dickey

Best Large Capacity Wine Decanter: Le Chateau Wine Decanter

4.8
Le Chateau Wine Decanter - 100% Hand Blown Lead-free Crystal Glass, Red Wine Carafe, Wine Gift, Wine Accessories

Amazon

Who it’s for: People who frequently host dinner parties and need to decant a lot of wine. 

Who it isn’t for: People who want a wine decanter to come with additional accessories.

If you frequently host dinner parties where you need to have more than one bottle of wine decanted and ready for your guests, this large capacity wine decanter is a great option. The Le Chateau Wine Decanter can hold up to 1800 ml, which translates to about two and a half bottles of wine (if you’re using standard 750 ml bottles). This is made possible due to the large width of the decanter, which allows for ample aeration.

Our testing revealed, though, that the road to reaching peak flavor with this decanter is a long one. Compared to other decanters we tested, this model took 45 minutes to reach peak flavor. At that 45 minute mark, our tester said that the flavor was much more pronounced and there was very little astringency. After about an hour, it became more astringent as the flavor continued to open up. Overall, our tester said it did a good job and that the design boasted “good form and function.” 

Price at time of publish: $63

Product Details:

  • Material: Crystal
  • Capacity: 1800 ml
  • Accessories: None
Best Wine Decanters

Real Simple / Will Dickey

Best Quick Aeration Wine Decanter: HiCoup Wine Decanter

4.2
HiCoup Wine Decanter

Amazon

Who it’s for: People who want a uniquely shaped wine decanter that will stand out on their bar cart.

Who it isn’t for: People who want a wine decanter that is easy to clean.  

Our tester said that out of all the wine decanters we tested, this one aerated the fastest. After 15 minutes in the decanter, the wine reached peak flavor. According to our tester, it tasted “very bright with full flavors” and was “noticeably less astringent.” In addition to its fast aeration, the HiCoup Wine Decanter stands out for its unique shape, which our tester compared to the form of a swan. 

This decanter’s distinct design, however, does come with some drawbacks. First, the narrow spout made it harder to pour in comparison to wider spouts on other decanters we tested. Second, its fragile feel and narrower, unsteady bottom made our tester think that it could easily tip over and break. Third, its shape made it difficult for our tester to both clean and thoroughly dry. It would be especially hard to get wine stains out of the bottom of this decanter. Considering all this, our tester recommends handling this with great care (always use both of your hands during operation).

Price at time of publish: $55

Product Details:

  • Material: Crystal
  • Capacity: 800 ml
  • Accessories: None
Best Wine Decanters

Real Simple / Will Dickey

Final Verdict

Overall, we recommend the Onearf Wine Decanter for its unique and convenient pouring method, as well as its ability to transform wine after just 15 minutes of being decanted and the fact that the flavor held for over an hour. It also comes with helpful cleaning and storage accessories, including a drying stand and cleaning beads.

Our Testing Process

We tested 14 wine decanters in our Lab and assessed them on ease of use, design, ease of cleaning, performance, and value. Our first test involved pouring a standard size 750 ml bottle of wine into the decanter. While pouring, we noted if the spout was wide enough to allow for an easier pour and if any extra care needed to be taken while pouring. After we observed the aeration process, we used the full decanter to pour wine into our glasses, noting the heaviness of the decanter while full and if the decanter allowed for a seamless pour without dripping down the side. We also took into account the base of the decanter and whether or not its width made it more susceptible to being accidentally knocked over.

 For our taste test, we had our testers compare the taste of two glasses of wine: one full of wine that hadn’t been decanted yet and the other full of the decanted wine. The decanted wine sat out for an hour and was checked on every fifteen minutes to see how its flavors and aromas evolved. After tasting, we cleaned the decanters following each manufacturers’ instructions, evaluating how easy the process was and if it included additional accessories to make cleaning easier. We used all of this information to come up with the best wine decanters.

Best Wine Decanters

Real Simple / Fred Hardy

How to Shop for Wine Decanters Like a Pro

Material

Wine decanters are typically made from one of two materials: glass or crystal. According to the wine experts we spoke to, material generally doesn’t affect the performance of the decanter or the flavor of the wine. As such, the material you choose should be based on your lifestyle and budget. Glass is typically the less expensive of the two, is dishwasher safe, and thicker in feel. Crystal, on the other hand, requires handwashing (although this varies between retailers), and is thinner in feel. Crystal is actually more durable than glass, which is why crystal wine glasses and decanters are thinner. If you have a busy household, especially one where pets or kids are prone to knocking into tables, a thicker glass wine decanter may be a better option.

Size

All decanters are designed to be able to hold a standard 750 ml wine bottle. However, some decanters are able to hold more than that, including up to two and a half bottles of wine. If you are someone who frequently entertains guests or throws parties and you need to decant more than one bottle of wine at a time, look for sizes that range from 1300 (more a bottle and a half of wine) to 1800 (two and a half bottles of wine) ml.

For the sake of an easy pour, Fortgang says he prefers decanters that “are big, but not too big.” He explains: “You want one that is open enough to give the wine lots of air, but there are some that are so broad at the bottom, often called a 'captain's decanter,' that it can be hard to pour,” he says. For these, “you need to tip it almost upside down to get the last bit [of wine] out—don't make your life hard!” 

Accessories

Some wine decanters come with additional accessories that actually prove quite helpful in maintaining a wine decanter. These usually include a stopper, which is an essential tool for keeping wine fresh. Stoppers function the same way that corks do—they seal up your wine to protect it from prolonged exposure to oxygen. After opening your bottle, you can put the cork back in or use a stopper. A stopper is better because it hasn’t been punctured in any way, unlike the cork.

 Other accessories typically include a drying rack, cleaning beads, and a cleaning brush that is designed to be able to reach the nooks and crannies in your decanter. Cleaning beads function to get stains out of the bottom of wine decanters that are difficult to reach with traditional cleaning supplies. The friction created from moving the beads around slowly and safely takes the stains out without damaging the glass.

The Best Wine Decanters

Real Simple / Fred Hardy

More Wine Decanters to Consider

Rabbit Pura Decanting System: This decanter is designed to decant only one glass of wine, making it perfect for people who like to slowly sip on a glass of vino at the end of their day. Our wine’s flavor with this decanter peaked after 15 minutes and remained stable after sitting out for an hour.

Waterford Elegance Carafe: If you have the money to spend, by all means splurge on this luxury decanter that our tester called “truly beautiful crystal.” During our taste test, our tester told us that the wine peaked at 45 minutes, developing a “nice complexity as it opened up.” 

Questions You Might Ask

What does a wine decanter do?

Reidel tells us that for younger wines (wines that are three years old or younger), decanters are used to increase aeration. “[This] allows the wine to reveal more complexity, to open up aromas and flavors to soften tannins,” he says. Wine tannins are compounds that come from some of the wine’s ingredients and storage facilities. These are harmless, but can cause a dry sensation in the mouth, otherwise known as astringency. 

For older wines, Riedel says decanting is done more so to reduce sediment that builds up in the bottle overtime. Pouring older wine into a decanter can help dissipate the sediment so it doesn’t show up in someone’s glass. Fortgang says that with really old wines (think: 30-40 plus years), too much aeration can oftentimes be a bad thing. “Sometimes decanting a real old wine exposes it to too much air, because it is so delicate already, and then the time frame to enjoy it in the glass is too short.”

Regardless of the age, Fortgang says a big mistake people make with decanting wine is pouring it into the decanter too fast. “Pour it slowly so that the wine gets more air, and so that if there is sediment, you keep it separated.”

Another mistake is not allowing the wine enough time to decant. “I always recommend pouring your wine and letting it sit in the decanter for about 20-30 minutes prior to serving, allowing a larger surface area of the wine to be exposed to oxygen or any possible sediment to fall,” he says. For older wines, Fortgang recommends having it decant for only about 20 minutes, then start drinking. “If you decant [older wines] and leave it out for a couple hours, you miss their window.” 

The Best Wine Decanters

Real Simple / Fred Hardy

How do you clean a wine decanter?

Although some people say that using soap and water in a wine decanter is a big no no, our two wine experts assured us otherwise. “A little soap is OK, if you are positive you rinsed it all out,” says Fortgang. “My preferred way is right after you use the decanter, rinse it very thoroughly with lots of very hot water from the tap, then turn it upside down and dry it with a towel, turning it in your hands. This spins more water out, so it finishes drier with few to no spots.”

Riedel suggests going a step further to ensure that your decanter is completely dry. “I recommend a tip that the pros use—a hair dryer!,” he says. Riedel finds that this method ensures the removal of smudges or small droplets from your decanter. “If you heat the outside of the decanter with a hair dryer while the inside of the decanter is still moist, this accelerates the evaporation and aids in removing any possible smudging, helping to dry the decanter fully.” 

If you still find that you have wine residue at the bottom of your decanter, Riedel recommends using stainless steel cleaning beads to get that out. These cleaning beads are able to get to the hard-to-reach spots that fingers simply can’t. When mixed with warm water and swished around the bottom of the decanter, these beads can effectively remove wine stains without damaging the bottle. Cleaning beads are widely available and oftentimes are included when buying a wine decanter. 

If you don’t want to spend extra on this accessory, another method worth trying is combining warm water, vinegar, and clean, uncooked rice in lieu of beads. Some decanters are dishwasher-safe (always check your manufacturer’s instructions) but considering the delicacy of the decanter and the harshness of dishwasher detergent, it’s best to wash by hand.

Which wines benefit the most from the decanting process?

According to both of our wine experts, several. “Bigger, tighter, more tannic wines benefit the most,” says Fortgang. These include reds such as Nebbiolo, Cabernet, Syrah, and Tempranillo. “But many others do too, even whites. Anything where you might say, ‘hey, this needs some air’”. For Riedel, there is no wine type he can think of that won’t benefit from a little bit of decanting, including sparkling wines and Champagne.

Take Our Word for It

This article was written by Rachel Center, a product reviews home writer for Real Simple. We researched the best wine decanters and tested 14 of the most popular in our Lab, evaluating them on ease of use, design, ease of cleaning, performance, and value. We also spoke to two wine experts to get their advice on how to choose the best wine decanters, including Andrew Fortgang, sommelier and co-owner and wine director of two Portland restaurants, Le Pigeon and Canard, and Maximilian Riedel, CEO of Riedel.

What Is Real Simple Selects?

Next to each product on this list, you may have noticed a Real Simple Selects seal of approval. Any product appearing alongside that seal has been vetted by our team—put through tests and graded on its performance to earn a spot on our list. Although we buy most of the products we test, sometimes we do get samples from companies if purchasing a product ourselves isn't an option. If that's the case, we test the product just like we test anything we buy, but we also disclose that we received it for free to be as transparent with you as possible. 

 Love our recommendations? Check out more products that have earned the Real Simple Selects, from humidifiers to cordless vacuums.

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