Buying a new decanter, help me pick one.

I currently have two decanters that i use at home. Both are fairly cheap, one from Spiegelau and one from another relatively unknown brand. Both are also pretty wide bottomed. Personally, i am wary about using them for long decants, i.e. more than 3 hours as im concerned with loosing aromatics.

Curious to know which decanters you would recommend (nothing too expensive, preferably maximum 120$) and how long you are willing to let the wine sit in the vessel without worry of lost aromatics? Specific brands and models is helpful. thanks [cheers.gif]

I use a Reidel that holds a magnum. I think it’s $60 on Amazon, it’s sturdy, and not too wide bottomed. I’ve had it for 6 months with no issues.

Erlenmeyer Flasks!

I have about 10 of this shape, but non lead. Reidel changed the design a few years ago and Target blew them out at $5.00 each. I cleaned about 5 stores out. Ill send you one if you want it. I love the size and the ease of cleaning. PM me your address.

I use glass carafes and my fine decanters sit in a cabinet. I don’t want lead exposure and,
for the Burgundies I drink, I prefer the smaller air-liquid interface so as not to lose aromatics.

What are your needs?


I use a Carlo Rossi 1.5L jug. Works perfectly, plus it has a screw top if the bottle doesn’t get finished.

I have a Riedel Pinot Noir decanter that cost $27. It’s tall and thin with a pour spout that allows me to pour wine back into the bottle easily. And it fits in the fridge easily if I need to rechill something.

the shape of a decanter is far less important than many other things (glasses of course).
I have some 15-18 of very different shapes - for my tastings and home use - never ever have I detected any major differences due to shape.

The wide ones at the bottom are more difficult to serve and handle, but the major influence happens when decanting the wine INTO it … and then the absorbed oxygen does its work anyway …

So just buy what pleases they eye and can be handled comfortably … (need not to be expensive, mine all were 5-10 €)

The magnum size works great for “fast” splash decanting a 750 size bottle. Picked up a nice crystal one with the logo obscured, so who knows what brand it is, at Home Goods/TJMaxx for under $20. Score!

I have several of the Riedel Cabernet decanters - the one that holds the 750ml. They clean well on the lower rack of my dishwasher, are easy to handle, and are small enough to stuff several into a tote to travel with.

Gerhard wrote:

the shape of a decanter is far less important than many other things (glasses of course).

Yes, I couldn’t agree more.
If I were rich, maybe I would buy Riedel glasses, and can understand the premium. But no way I would buy one of their decanters.

Best regards,
Alex R.

M Kelly speaks the truth . . .

Same with us.

We have a couple nice decanters, and a dozen or so $3 glass carafes originally purchased for tasting parties. The carafes are the only decanters that see any wine anymore. They’re easier to handle, easier to clean, close to unbreakable, and they decant wine just fine.

I also use only inexpensive glass carafes, in the unusual circumstance when I might decant (I greatly prefer the slow-O approach, especially with the older Burgs that I am fond of!). Maybe wide-bottomed ones are OK for Port (I have never tried them on Port), but the wide bottom is much more a potentially harmful feature than a good one imo.

Thanks for the great suggestions. I understand that choice of decanter is not the first priority but always good to know the opinions of the board.

I will just go for a more slim, tall decanter without too much widening out at the bottom. How about time in the decanter, what is the maximum you would actually expose it for? If for instance you are decanting a young (relatively) barolo, in the morning, would you just let it sit in the decanter for 12 hours or would you double decant back in to the bottle? Does it matter ?


I don’t know who he is but the one I tend to use is like a giant flask. Easy to use and clean. Plus I believe the shape is most advantageous for Burgundy.

Alex - check out the Spiegeleau glasses - they are nearly identical to the Riedels and cost much less. For the best size, make sure you get the Vino Grande line, either Bordeaux/Cabernet or Burgundy/Pinot Noir.

I just find the Riedel decanter works for me. I pour quite frequently, and the feel in my hand and the ease of pouring is important. I keep them in their original boxes, and they have the date of manufacture stamped on them. Some of mine are marked 2006, so the (at the time) $38 a piece I paid for them has been well worth it!

I’ll echo what others have said about the wide bottom decanters - they are tough to clean and dry, and forget about loading 3 or 4 in the dishwasher.

I do less and less decanting - my experience over several years is that slow oxy works far better, so I use decanting primary for separating from the sediment - and leave only young wines in the caraffe for more than 15-30 min.

Usually I open well in advance (4-6+ hours), let the wine simply breathe standing open - and decant 5-15 min. before serving.

That’s good if you know what you’re going to drink, but I don’t usually think that far ahead. Just stumble into the cellar and pull something out usually.

Mattias - I agree with what everyone said - I’ve used a coffee pot before. The shape of the decanter doesn’t really mean much - it’s just something pretty to put on the table.

However, the ones with really wide bottoms are hard to pour from - the Erlenmeyer flask shape is a lot easier to use.

Second, if you buy more than one, I would buy a few different shapes. That’s because if you decant a few wines, as you might if you want to serve them blind or if you have several that need decanting, you want to be able to tell them apart and it’s really easy if you have different shapes for your decanters.

But don’t spend a lot of money - they’re clumsy and if you break one, you won’t want to cry over it.

This is the best decanter I’ve ever seen and used:

It has a rubber seal, so you can attach the bottle to the decanter, turn it upside down and empty the bottle, take the bottle off and let the wine breath for a few hours, then reattach the bottle and put the wine back in the bottle, all without losing a drop. Or you can just splash into the decanter and right back into the bottle, which I did when we did a Grenache tasting this weekend.