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Between reaching for the bottle opener and filling the glass with a smooth pour, there is a crucial step that’s easy to forget if you’re eager to get a jumpstart on wine night. Allowing time for your wine to breathe in a decanter is a way to dramatically improve its flavor. Your wine will taste fuller and more like the winemaker intended. And if you have people over, your guests will be impressed not only by your foresight, but by the elegant piece that made such flavor possible.
How Does a Wine Decanter Work?
A wine decanter works by increasing the amount of oxygen exposed to the wine. Aeration is crucial for red wines that are high in tannins, which are responsible for a wine’s bitter taste and the dry sensation experienced in your mouth. When exposed to oxygen, tannins are able to soften, allowing for a more pleasurable flavor and aroma.
While red wines have more tannins than white wines, the length of time your red wine needs to decant may vary depending on the wine’s body, age, and quality. Full-bodied red wines require the most time set aside for this process, ranging anywhere from one to two hours. If your decanter has a wide base, more oxygen will reach the wine at once, which speeds up the process.
Medium-bodied reds require roughly forty minutes, while cheap wines need the least amount of time: only twenty minutes. On the other hand, old red wines will likely need two hours to aerate, regardless of style.
No matter where your preferences fall as a red wine connoisseur, you’ll be able to experience your favorite wine in a new, enhanced way by incorporating this simple tool.
1. Hand-Blown Crystal Glass Wine Decanter
We love this decanter for its drip-free pouring and the ease it brings to the aeration process. Not only is it functional, but its elegant swan-shaped design is sure to catch guests’ eyes. Thanks to its mouth-blown, crystal glass, you won’t want to pack this piece away when wine night’s over. Wine can be swapped out with orange juice, leaving you with a decorative centerpiece for your next brunch too.
Pros: Artisan-made, elegant, versatile.
Cons: Full-bodied wines may take longer to aerate due to the swan shape.
2. Le Chateau Wine Decanter
This decanter’s wide diameter gives your wine a generous breathable surface area, allowing for a quicker aeration process without jeopardizing any flavor. Made of lead-free, hand-blown crystal glass, this pourer is every bit as classy as it is practical. Plus, it’s great for entertaining – this decanter works most efficiently when you pour the whole bottle.
Pros: Excellent for full-bodied wines.
Cons: Wider diameter requires more care when pouring.
3. Bella Vino Wine Decanter
Balla Vino’s decanter brings professional-level aeration to your own table. However, you don’t have to be a sommelier to use it.
The decanter’s design is easy to utilize – even if this is your first time. The slant of its spout helps prevent spills and the curve of its design helps you maintain a comfortable, steady grip. We also love this piece for its sleek design and lead-free crystal glass.
A wide base provides more room for aeration.
Pros: Wide tunnel makes cleaning easier.
Cons: Wider diameter requires more care when pouring. Some found this slightly heavier compare to other models.
4. Brew to a Tea Wine Decanter Kit
This wide-based decanter will help aerate even your oldest red wines. While the model is artfully designed, we especially love this decanter for the added tools that come with it. The kit includes a drying stand, cleaning rope (that reaches to clean each nook and cranny) and a round cork topper – a must for the times when your pour was more generous than you’d planned.
Pros: Multiple bonus accessories.
Cons: If your kitchen is tight on space, you may not need the extras.