Lifestyle Home The 5 Best Wine Decanters of 2023, Tested and Reviewed The Le Chateau Wine Decanter will breathe new life into your bottle By Madison Yauger Madison Yauger Instagram Twitter Website Madison Yauger is commerce writer at PEOPLE. People Editorial Guidelines Updated on May 11, 2023 12:00 PM Share Tweet Pin Email We independently evaluate all recommended products and services. If you click on links we provide, we may receive compensation. Learn more. Photo: People / Fred Hardy 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. "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." 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). We 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 five decanters that, through design, aeration, and overall performance, gave the wine a second life. Read on for the best wine decanters PEOPLE Tested in 2023. These were considered the best wine decanters that PEOPLE Tested. Best Overall: Le Chateau Wine Decanter Amazon Buy on Amazon Buy on Walmart Pros: Has a slanted spout for easy pouringClassic design that holds up to a 750ml bottle of wineMade of 100 percent lead-free crystalLifetime warranty Cons: There are still some drips when pouring the wine This is a simple and classic crystal wine decanter that comes assembled and is easy to use. Our team loved the sleek, angled spout but noted that it did drip slightly when pouring the wine. 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. The flavor was much more pronounced (bright red fruit) after decanting the wine and 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 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. Price at time of publish: $49.99 Volume: 1800 ml | Material: Crystal | Neck Size: Thick | Shape: Classic Decanter | Dishwasher Safe: No | Extra Features: None People / Will Dickey Best Budget: Vintorio GoodGlassware Wine Decanter Amazon Buy on Amazon Buy on Vintorio.com Pros: Is simple and effective at aerating wine for the best flavors and aromasCrystal material is durable when washing itNarrow neck is easy to grip when pouring the wineFully aerated after 15 minutes 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 team favorite. We noticed how the spout has a sharp angle which makes pouring easier and less messy. The process itself was one step — just pouring the wine into the decanter. We noted 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). We suggest using soap and water, but the crystal material doesn't feel fragile at all 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. Price at time of publish: $20.99 Volume: 1300 ml | Material: Lead-free recycled crystal glass | Neck Size: Narrow | Shape: Pear | Dishwasher Safe: Yes | Extra Features: None People / Fred Hardy Best Investment: vSpin Wine Aerator Amazon Buy on Amazon Buy on Vspin.com Pros: Spins the wine for immediate aeration in under five minutes, bringing out bold flavors and providing entertainment for onlookersUser-friendly and operated with just the push of a buttonFully decanted within 15 minutes Cons: Hard to clean because you have to remove the magnet spinner with a retrieval tool and then wash the decanter with soap and water 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 team thought 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. We noticed a difference in flavor right away; 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 because you have to remove the magnet spinner with a retrieval tool, 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. Price at time of publish: $250 Volume: Not listed | Material: Lead-free German crystal | Neck Size: Thick | Shape: Beaker | Dishwasher Safe: No | Extra Features: Spinner used to decant the wine in under five minutes People / Fred Hardy Best Aerating: Rabbit Pura Decanting System Amazon Buy on Amazon Buy on Bloomingdales Buy on Rabbitwine.com Pros: Aerates and filters using a special attachment to create a robust and flavorful glass of wineDecanted wine tasted much brighter and more flavorful than the one that was poured straight from the bottleIt's easy to rinse out in the sink, especially the filterCatches sediment well via the filter Cons: Not as sleek of a design as other decantersBrush doesn't fit into the decanter for cleaning 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. We 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. After 45 minutes of decanting, we found the wine to be much brighter than the glass that was poured straight from the bottle, and it had 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. 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. We think this is an effective decanter that catches sediment seamlessly and helps wine open up so you can experience its best flavors. Price at time of publish: $59.99 Volume: 900 ml | Material: Glass | Neck Size: Thick | Shape: Beaker | Dishwasher Safe: No | Extra Features: Special filter for aerating and filtering the wine People / Fred Hardy Best Decanter Set: BTäT Decanter with Stand Amazon Buy It! $50; brewtoatea.com Pros: Set comes with everything you'll need to decant wine including a drying stand, cork stopper, cleaning brush and beadsFlavor peaked at around 30 minutes with rich, complex taste notes Cons: It has some drippage when pouring the wine 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 team noticed some drips during this process, but not an outrageous amount. We 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. In terms of performance, this decanter worked its magic. 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. Price at time of publish: $49.99 Volume: 1800 ml | Material: Hand blown lead-free crystal glass | Neck Size: Thick | Shape: Classic decanter | Dishwasher Safe: No | Extra Features: Comes with a stopper, drying stand, stainless steel cleaning beads, and brush 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." People / Fred Hardy How We Tested Wine Decanters Using 750ml bottles of a 2020 California Red Blend to decant, our team's 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 wine decanters. To begin, we slowly decanted the wine, looking for sediment as the wine poured into the decanter. We 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. We 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, we determined if the aerated glass had truly opened up so we could taste each rich note of fruit, spice, and earthy goodness. Finally we cleaned the decanters to judge how simple or difficult the process was. FAQs What is the purpose of a wine decanter? Decanting wine allows the wine to breathe, which is particularly important for red wines. By decanting wine, you can also prevent sediment from the bottom of the bottle from getting into your glass. Slowly pour wine from the bottle into a decanter and stop before you reach the residue at the bottom. Does the shape of the decanter matter? Yes, look for a wine decanter with a wide base. This shape allows oxygen to reach more of the wine for better aeration. Do all wines need to be decanted? No, not all wines need to be decanted. While many believe that only red wines need to be decanted, whether or not to decant your wine is also a personal preference. Most whites and rosés don't necessarily require decanting, but some may prefer the taste after these lighter wines are allowed to breathe at room temperature. How long can wine sit in a decanter? As long as your decanter has a stopper with an airtight seal, most wine can sit in a decanter for two to three days. Can you wash a decanter in the dishwasher? Most decanters are fragile and cannot be cleaned in the dishwasher. But we found one that can! The Vintorio GoodGlassware Wine Decanter is the single dishwasher-safe option on our list. Why Trust PEOPLE? Madison Yauger is a senior commerce writer for PEOPLE who's tested hundreds of lifestyle products across all categories. With a background in news and lifestyle journalism, she has a wide network of expert sources and a penchant for accuracy. For this story, she used insights from our lab tests and spoke to Carlton McCoy Jr., a Master Sommelier and star of CNN’s series NOMAD with Carlton McCoy, to determine the best wine decanters of 2023. 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. 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