3 Professional Wine Decanters and How to Use Them

How (and why) you should be decanting your wine, as told by Ariel Arce of Niche Niche, Air’s Champagne Parlor, and Tokyo Record Bar

Decanting wine is more than just for show, of course, but the show itself is something to consider when choosing the ideal vessel. Take it from Ariel Arce, owner of Niche Niche, Air’s Champagne Parlor, and Tokyo Record Bar in New York City, a powerhouse of New York’s wine scene. “I like something that is functional and generally beautiful glass––something I can leave on a table that doesn’t take up too much room but still allows the wine to aerate.” she says. There’s something ethereal about an eye-catching, sculptural piece perched atop a table in one of her moody, romantic establishments, bringing the contents of your bottle to life. With the right decanter, it’s easy to emulate this experience at home.

Let’s rewind a bit: why do we aerate? “A wine decanter allows you to expose a wine that needs to breathe to air,” Arce notes. “Older wines that have been cooped up in a bottle have to stretch their legs sometimes, so a decanter is a great way to expedite that. It’s also great for young wines that are ‘tight.’” In short, some wines need a bit of oxygen and movement in order to bring out certain qualities that were hiding before, such as fruit and balance. Sediment-heavy wines can also benefit from decanting as the process helps to prevent solids from winding up in your glass.

When first experimenting with decanting, Arce recommends starting with a relatively young wine that “doesn’t seem to be showing up, or giving you everything you’d hoped for.” She recommends pouring a glass directly from the bottle, then pouring the remainder into a decanter, noting any differences between the two in the first half hour or so.

Shop three of our favorite wine decanters, including a personal recommendation from Arce herself.

Riedel Horn Decanter

Riedel Horn Decanter
A luxurious Riedel decanter with a dramatic edge.Amazon

One of Arce’s preferred decanters on the market, Riedel’s Horn style adds a bit of drama and elegance to any table while aerating wines both young and old. This style was inspired by Mozart’s affinity for the post horns used by Austria’s mail carriers and is made from mouth-blown crystal, accented by a striking black and white stripe along its curve.

Zalto Denk’Art Mystique Decanter

Zalto Denk'Art Mystique Decanter
Zalto’s Mystique Decanter is just the thing for young, powerful full-bodied reds.Amazon

Zalto is one of the most trusted names in glassware, and this fine decanter is among the best options for full bodied young red wines, offering significant surface area to the liquid it holds. Its 64 ounce capacity is ideal for 1.5-liter magnum bottles.

Luigi Bormioli Supremo Decanter

Luigi Bormioli Supremo Decanter
A multi-purpose decanter by Italian glassware brand Luigi Bormioli.Amazon

Italian glassware great Luigi Bormioli’s Supremo design is built for young red and white wines, complete with an anti-drip coating and laser-cut edges. Feel free to use this decanter for other drinks, such as sangria, punches, and water––its wide mouth is designed to accommodate ice cubes, fruit, and the like.