Style: We Tested 14 Popular Wine Decanters—These 6 Served the Best Glasses

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Best Overall

people - 40 Available at Amazon

Best Budget

people - 21 Available at Amazon

Best Splurge

people - 200 Available at Amazon

Best Crystal

people - 50 Available at Amazon

Best Aerating

people - 50 Available at Amazon

Best Decanter Set

people - 45 Available at Amazon

While it's perfectly fine to pour wine straight from the bottle (or drink, if it's been a day), wine decanters allow the wine to open up fully, letting you experience the flavors in high definition without pesky sediment ruining your sip. It's all in the art of the pour, but with the right decanter, you can fully enjoy older bottles and younger varieties like Julianne Hough and Nina Dobrev's Fresh Vine Wine.

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Bringing together a group of wine lovers, we tested 14 of the top wine decanters — decanting, aerating, and tasting wine all day (not all heroes wear capes). They sipped on the wine over the course of an hour, observing how the flavors changed, and comparing that to the wine poured directly from the bottle. After testing, we narrowed the list to six decanters that, through design, aeration, and overall performance, gave the wine a second life. The Onearf Wine Decanter and Carafe is the one we'd choose for our bar cart.

"Wines spend quite a while inside the bottle with no oxygen exposure," Master Sommelier Carlton McCoy Jr. tells PEOPLE. "Aeration expands all the dormant aromas and flavors in your wine by releasing accumulated gasses and softening the tannins." As one of the youngest Master Sommeliers to ever earn the title from the Court of Master Sommeliers and the second of only three Black Master Sommeliers in the world, McCoy offers a word of caution. "Keep in mind, too much oxygen can ruin a good wine. You must always limit the leftover's exposure to the air and keep it cool."

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These were considered the best wine decanters that PEOPLE Tested.

TABLE OF CONTENTS

  1. PEOPLE Tested Winners
    • Best Overall: Onearf Wine Decanter and Carafe
    • Best Budget: Vintorio GoodGlassware Wine Decanter
    • Best Splurge: vSpin Wine Aerator
    • Best Crystal: Le Chateau Wine Decanter
    • Best Aerating: Rabbit Pura Decanting System
    • Best Decanter Set: BTäT Decanter with Stand
    • Things to Consider Before Buying
    • How We Tested
    • What Is People Tested?

Best Overall: Onearf Wine Decanter and Carafe

Buy It! $40; amazon.com best wine decanters © Provided by People best wine decanters

Pros: The Onearf Wine Decanter and Carafe provides swift aeration and a stunning crystal design that decants wine in a stylish and efficient fashion.

Cons: The spout is not slanted, so pouring wine causes drips down the side.

Whether you're hosting a party with lots of wine, or have a vintage bottle that you want to revive, a good wine decanter like the Onearf Wine Decanter and Carafe will remove the sediment and elevate the flavors. "Just fit the breathing port onto the decanter and upend the entire bottle into the decanter," said one tester, noting that you can't let go of the bottle during this process. "It would be an entertaining thing for a party guest to do while the host finishes up with dinner prep," the tester said.

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The design was a hit with our team, especially the iceberg-shaped punt — meaning the dimple or indentation on the underside of a decanter or wine bottle. "The silicone breathing attachment allows you to pour the wine back and forth between the bottle and the decanter to aerate it," said our tester. Other features like a drying stand, cleaning beads, and a metal stopper.

Made of a lead-free crystal, this decanter is quite sturdy, and provides a great grip for pouring. Once used, it's easy to clean — simply use a little dish soap and water before air drying. Our tester said, the "flavor and aroma peaked immediately after three rounds of aeration and pouring from bottle to decanter and back again." For further comparison the team tried a fresh glass directly from the bottle. "The first [decanted] glass was delicious," said our tester, adding that the alcohol smell and taste from the bottle were faint, replaced by notes of berry. Advertised as aerating in three to five minutes, our team said after 15 minutes there was "even more complexity" and that it "tasted like a more expensive bottle of wine."

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The only complaint fell on the non-slanted spout shape which caused drips, but it was a small gripe. Overall, we love this model, and think it's an ideal decanter for many types of occasions.

People / Fred Hardy © Provided by People People / Fred Hardy

Best Budget: Vintorio GoodGlassware Wine Decanter

Also available at Vintorio

Buy It! $21; amazon.com best wine decanters © Provided by People best wine decanters

Pros: This affordable decanter is simple and effective at aerating wine for the best flavors and aromas.

Cons: A standard dish brush won't fit inside the neck.

The low-budget option is the definition of old reliable. This wine decanter has no bells or whistles, it does one job really well: decanting wine. Designed with a "deep punt, and narrow neck that's easy to hold," this decanter was a tester favorite. One tester noticed how the spout "has a sharp angle which makes pouring easier and less messy."

The process itself was one step. "Just pour the wine into the decanter," said the tester, happily noting how little it drips when pouring into the glass. Our team found this model to be easy to clean, though not with a standard dish brush (too big to fit through the narrow neck). Our tester suggested using soap and water, and said the crystal material doesn't feel fragile when washing it.

The overall performance was stellar, and our team noticed that the wine's "flavor and aroma were definitely more fruit-forward after 15 minutes." However, the flavor peaked at 30 minutes, with a noticeably astringent taste afterward. We believe this wine decanter is simple, budget-friendly, and gets the job done.

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Best Splurge: vSpin Wine Aerator

Also available at vSpin and Walmart

Buy It! $200 (was $250); amazon.com best wine decanters © Provided by People best wine decanters

Pros: This high tech wine decanter spins the wine for immediate aeration, bringing out bold flavors and providing entertainment for onlookers.

Cons: It's hard to clean.

Perfect for a party, this spinning wine aerator is an attraction of entertainment. This device spins the decanter to create instant aeration, churning the wine into a vortex while pulling in fresh air. Our tester said it was "entertaining" and that you just "pour and press a button" once the spinner component is in place. The spinner auto sets at five minutes but you can change the time manually as well.

Our tester noticed a difference in flavor right away, and said it "definitely opened up with more juicy fruit after the five-minute spin. And after another spin we tasted even more bright fruit. After 15 more minutes of straight decanting, it got even better with some additional complexity." The lead-free German crystal decanter is sleek in design, with the spinner device being a nondescript black plastic. You do need to charge it ahead of time or plug it in during use.

The only gripe centered on cleaning. "Cleaning this one was a process," our tester said, adding that you have to remove the magnet spinner with a retrieval tool and then wash the glass decanter with soap and water, and let it air dry. Given the tech involved, we understand why the price is a bit higher than other models, but we think the cost is worth the value in this case.

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Best Crystal: Le Chateau Wine Decanter

Buy It! $50 (was $63); amazon.com best wine decanters © Provided by People best wine decanters

Pros: This crystal wine decanter has a slanted spout for easy pouring and classic design.

Cons: Even with the spout there are still some drips when poured.

This is a simple and classic crystal wine decanter that comes assembled and is easy to use. Our tester loved the angled spout, and called it "very sleek," noting that it did drip slightly when poured.

The tester said the crystal material felt "slightly thin and fragile" and had a "wide base" which provides space for the wine to open up. This decanter performed well throughout testing, and after 45 minutes, its wine contents significantly opened up. Our tester said the "flavor is much more pronounced (bright red fruit)" and that very little astringency was detected.

This is a class wine decanter model in both form and function, and we had a hard time finding a flaw. If we have to choose one, it's that it drips slightly more than expected given the slanted spout, but it's still a minimal amount. It also proved easy to clean with a standard dish brush, making this a low-maintenance option as well.

People / Will Dickey © Provided by People People / Will Dickey

Best Aerating: Rabbit Pura Decanting System

Also available at Rabbit

Buy It! $50 (was $60); amazon.com best wine decanters © Provided by People best wine decanters

Pros: This decanter aerates and filters using a special attachment to create a robust and flavorful glass of wine.

Cons: Not as sleek of a design as other decanters.

Made by the same company that brought you the famous Rabbit wine opener, this unique decanter works two functions: aerating wine as you pour it in the decanter, and filtering as you pour it out into a glass. Our testers noted that it pours without many drips, but you have to pour from the bottle slowly due to the filter sitting on top of the decanter.

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After 45 minutes of decanting, our tester found the wine to be much brighter than the glass poured straight from the bottle, and some added complexity in flavors. The performance was evident by the delicious resulting glass of wine, but the design left something to be desired for our tester. "It looks a little like a science beaker. It makes for a nice display when pouring the wine as the liquid comes out of narrow slots. However, the filter stays in the bottle and ultimately takes away from the sleek design," said our tester.

While a brush doesn't fit into the decanter, it's easy to rinse out in the sink. "The filter is really easy to clean — all you need to do is rinse it and make sure you get the rubber stopper because that's what catches all the wine," our tester said. We think this is an effective decanter that catches sediment seamlessly and helps wine open up so you can experience its best flavors.

People / Fred Hardy © Provided by People People / Fred Hardy

Best Decanter Set: BTäT Decanter with Stand

Also available at Brew to a Tea

Buy It! $45 (was $65); amazon.com best wine decanters © Provided by People best wine decanters

Pros: This set comes with everything you'll need to decant wine including a drying stand, cork stopper, cleaning brush and beads.

Cons: It has some drippage when pouring.

For a decanter that comes with all the necessary accessories, consider adding this set to your wine bar. As the decanter comes fully assembled, all you have to do is pour the bottle of wine in. Our tester noticed some drips during this process, but not an outrageous amount.

The tester liked the "classic design with a steep pretty slant to the spout" and said it "feels a bit more substantial than most [decanters]." The set comes with a brush and stainless steel cleaning beads, as well as a handy drying stand for easy maintenance. "The drying rack is really easy to use and is sturdy enough to keep the delicate glass upside down without falling," said our tester.

In terms of performance, this decanter worked its magic. Our tester said the "flavor peaked at 30 minutes, and after that the brightness faded and the wine became less complex." Considering all the gadgets that come with this set and its competitive price compared to other decanters, we think this decanter is a solid value.

People / Will Dickey © Provided by People People / Will Dickey

Things to Consider Before Buying a Wine Decanter

Neck Size

One thing you should consider is the neck size of the decanter you want. A wide neck works best for aeration since it allows more oxygen to reach the wine — not to mention they're easier to clean. A thin neck decanter doesn't allow for as much aeration, but it does filter out sediment better when pouring the wine into a glass from the decanter. Thin necks are also somewhat tricky to clean, so you'll need special cleaning beads for that process.

Volume

Many decanters are designed to hold (at minimum) a 750ml or standard sized bottle of wine. That's the most practical size for regular use, but there are different sizes that can come in handy for special occasions. For instance, if you're having a party or large gathering, you might want a decanter that holds more than one bottle. Conversely, if your household doesn't regularly finish a bottle in one sitting and you want to decant just a glass or two at a time, there are smaller decanters for that purpose.

Ease of Cleaning

While cleaning is the least fun part of decanting wine, it can't go without consideration because if you don't clean the decanter well, residual soap can affect the flavor of future wine you pour. Most decanters are hand wash only — if you can find a dishwasher-safe one, bonus points! — so you'll want to look for a shape that fit a brush easily, or be prepared to buy extra cleaning gadgets such as a decanter brush, cleaning beads, and drying stand to remove any moisture after.

Best Wines for Decanting

Generally, wine decanters are brought out to let older wines breathe (like that old bottle you've been saving for a rainy day!). They help remove sediment that has collected at the bottom of vintage bottles, and allow them to open up to boost the flavor profile. However, as McCoy says, "You can justify decanting almost any wine. At times I will decant champagne if I feel that the aggressive effervescence is interfering with the complex base wine. Generally though red wines benefit most from decanting. They tend to hold the most sediment."

Technique for Decanting

The exact technique will depend on the decanter you buy, but generally there is a standard method to pour wine into a decanter. "The wine should be poured in a gentle consistent stream so as to not disturb any deposits in the bottle. Younger wines will need more time to decant than older more delicate wines," says McCoy, adding that "you can also agitate the wine by shaking the decanter vigorously."

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How We Tested Wine Decanters

Using 750ml bottles of a 2020 California Red Blend to decant, three wine enthusiasts tested 14 of the best wine decanters for use, design, performance, ease of cleaning, and overall value. After some luxurious sipping, our team rated each wine, crafting our list of the best six wine decanters.

To begin, the testers slowly decanted the wine, looking for sediment as the wine poured into the decanter. They considered the volume of the decanter and the spout design. For aeration, some decanters simply require a single pour from the bottle, but others have a more involved process. The testers observed the aeration process for each decanter, as well as the ease of pouring a glass of wine once aerated. The most anticipated part of the test — the taste! — came next. After letting the wine breathe, our team took sips every 15 minutes over the course of an hour to see how well the wine opened up and tasted. Comparing the flavor of a glass poured directly from the bottle to that of a decanted glass, our testers determined if the aerated glass had truly opened up so they could taste each rich note of fruit, spice, and earthy goodness. Finally they cleaned the decanters to judge how simple or difficult the process was.

What Is People Tested?

We created the PEOPLE Tested seal of approval to help you find the very best products for your life. We use our unique methodology to test products in three labs across the country and with our network of home testers to determine their effectiveness, durability, ease of use, and so much more. Based on the results, we rate and recommend products so you can find the right one for your needs.

But we don't stop there: We also regularly re-review the categories in which we've awarded the PEOPLE Tested seal of approval — because the best product of today might not be the best of tomorrow. And by the way, companies can never buy our recommendation: Their products must earn it, fair and square.

In short, PEOPLE Tested provides recommendations you can trust — every day, every purchase.

Want more product recommendations? Check out all of our PEOPLE Tested content.

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I Visited An Actual 'Wine Village' In BC & It's The 'First Of Its Kind In Canada' .
It's like a boozy playground for adults!????Last month, I had the pleasure of visiting this super fun wine village that was pretty much a boozy playground for adults.

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