9 Expert Picks for Best Wine Decanter with Stopper [+ How to Decant Wines]
Our Best Picks for Wine Decanter with Stopper include both quality affordable options as well as high-end decanters for those who enjoy collectibles. But we didn’t stop there!
We take you through the “Why” and “How” of decanting all types of wines AND offer top wine recommendations so that you can try your hand at the decanting methods.
In the Bronze Age, wine was stored in what the Greeks referred to as amphorae, tapered clay pots with two handles for carrying. The containers were large and heavy when filled with wine. During the Middle Ages, glass amphorae were used by some vintners.
Amphorae were not practical for a servant to carry to the table. Whereas, the decanter was a much easier means of transporting wine from the cellar to the table. The tradition caught on and now we use decanters for both style and practical reasons.
What does a decanter do?
A wine decanter serves two primary purposes – 1) Aerate wine and 2) Separate sediment.
Knowing which wines to decant is where to begin, and we provide you with that guidance later on in this article.
Let’s start with a Rule of thumb: Young wines need decanting mainly for aeration and old wines mainly for separating the sediment. But this is not a hard and fast rule. The decanting process itself is not complicated but knowing what wines to decant and how is more nuanced.
Should a wine decanter have a stopper?
If you can finish your wine in a single setting, you don’t need a wine decanter with stopper. But it’s more difficult than you think to pour only the amount you will drink.
Plus, situations arise in which you might need to save your wine longer than expected and you need to stop the aeration process.
In any case, a wine decanter with stopper will only keep the wine for two to three days.
If your decanter did not come with a stopper, you can buy one but getting it to fit correctly can be tricky.
Best Wine Decanter with Stopper
Selecting a best overall recommendation can be difficult for a wine decanter with stopper. But that’s a good problem to have. Although choosing a decanter can come down to personal taste and style, the purpose for the decanter should play a major role in the selection criteria.
For this reason, in addition to our Top Pick, we providing other categories of recommendations for a wine decanter with stopper, including:
- Best Decanter with Aerator Stopper,
- Best Decanter with Stopper for Older Wines, and
- Best Decanter for Young Wines
- Best Luxury Wine Decanter with Stopper
- Best Decorative Wine Decanter with Stopper
We end our recommendations with a range of choices in different styles for a wine decanter with stopper.
Best Overall Wine Decanter with Stopper
Our Top Pick for a wine decanter with stopper is handmade by artisans at a 125-year old glass factory in Poland. Ravenscroft Crystal is one of the world’s most conscientious glass manufacturers.
Best Decanter with Stopper for Older Wines
We have a tie for first place when it comes to the best decanter with stopper for older wines. Both options are beautiful in design and perfect for older wines that don’t need a lot of aeration.
The elegant Mature Wine Decanter is the brainchild of a collaboration between world-renown wine critic Jancis Robinson and Richard Brendon, a product designer known internationally for his exquisite tableware. This wine decanter with stopper is perfect for wines that are at least 10 years old.
Why we like it:
- Bottle-shaped design ensures that the wine will not be overly aerated.
- Perfect for removing gritty sediment.
- The stopper helps to stop the older wine from being further aged, which is what happens when you increase aeration.
- Mouth-blown stopper uniquely fitted for each individual decanter.
For more than 200 years, the French Peugeot company has been manufacturing some of the most trusted products for everyday life. Peugeot leveraged its masterful experience in kitchenware to launch into a line of wine accessories that are as beautiful as they are functional.
The gracefully crafted long neck on the Peugeot Ibis Wine Decanter is designed to delicately open up older red and white wines. With older wines, over-oxygenation further ages the wine and causes flavors to decay.
The decanter stands nearly 11 inches in height.
Best Decanter for Young Wines
For a Young Wine Decanter, we return to the power team for wine accessories, Jancis Robinson and Richard Brendon.
Beauty in simplicity and form is the theme of this wine decanter designed specifically for the maximum oxygenation of young wines.
The wide neck and base, which is large enough to accommodate a magnum, allows for a generous aeration process. The neck can be easily gripped for a strong “swishing” action to help accelerate the wine’s aging.
Best Decanter with Aerator Stopper
We also like the YouYah Wine Decanter Set that comes with a drying stand and stainless steel cleaning beads. The Alpha Wine Decanter, available on Houzz, also comes with the waterfall aeration feature and the stainless steel filter to remove sediment.
Best Decorative Wine Decanter with Stopper
The decorative decanter category is inherently difficult to pin down for a Top Pick. Afterall, our styles run the gamut, right! So, we didn’t pick just one. Instead we uncovered three excellent choices to fit a variety of styles.
- The decanter for horse lovers
- The decanter with classic Old World artwork
- The decanter with a pewter duck’s head for a stopper. This one is also in the shape of a duck.
The hand engraved process of the pastoral scene in the Thoroughbred Decanter takes a full 24 hours to complete using a copper-wheel technique developed during the Renaissance.
“Copper-Wheel engraving is considered one of the most difficult art forms known to man as the craft takes 10 years to master,” according to the German company Queen Lace Crystal.
Can a decanter be both whimsical and elegant? It can when it’s created by the Vagabond House, an owned-and-operated family company based in California.
The wine decanter with pewter accents looks like a little duck. It’s another perfect style for mature wines; however, given the broader base (duck’s body), you could decant most any red wine.
Best Luxury Decanter with Stopper
Premium wine deserves a luxurious serving set. Thus, we turned our attention to Italian glassware to find our Top Pick for a luxury decanter with stopper.
The Murano Glass Decanter Set with gold leaf comes with six wine glasses. The decanter is a perfect design for serving mature red wine, but you can also use it for liqueurs and other drinks. The design in this set is based on the Venetian decorative style called “Tre Fuochi” (Three Flames).
Each piece in this set is made by hand in one of the oldest Venetian glass factories.
For this design, “Murano artisans first blow and shape molten glass, then use hot-applique to add enamel and real gold leaf, and finally fire the glass for the third time to solidify the design,” according to Glass of Venice.
Related: For more Italian wine accessories, see our story on the Wide World of Wine Tumblers!
How to aerate young wines
With a splash! Young wines with heavy tannins benefit from a little oxygenation, allowing air molecules to mix with the wine to “soften the tannins and push the fruit forward to intensify the bouquet and delight the palate,” says the former winemaker at Napa Valley’s Spring Mountain Vineyard, who produced this 2016 Cabernet Sauvignon.
In a sense, aeration replaces wine’s aging process, which naturally softens tannins.
Simply pulling the cork out of a wine bottle and allowing it to breathe is not the best way to aerate a wine. The neck of the bottle is too narrow. Instead, pour the amount needed into a glass container with a wide opening, such as a decanter.
You can even pour it back into the wine bottle and then back into the decanter – a process that quickens the oxygenation.
Young tannic wines, not aged more than two years, may benefit from shock decanting. It’s basically a vigorous pore from the bottle into the decanter.
Some experts literally turn the bottle upside down and let it pour into the decanter with force. If you want to go high-tech, you could achieve this effect in a less shocking way – use a wine aerator.
What young wines need to be aerated?
- Caymus Napa Valley Cabernet Sauvignon 2019
- Josh Cellars – Joseph Carr Cabernet Sauvignon 2018
- Doubleback Cabernet Sauvignon 2018
- La Braccesca Vino Nobile di Montepulciano 2016
- Vigneti del Sole Montepulciano d’Abruzzo 2018
- Poliziano Rosso Montepulciano 2019
- Garofoli Rosso Conero Piancarda 2017
- Jaboulet Crozes Hermitage Domaine de Thalabert 2015
- Ramey Sonoma Coast Syrah 2016
- Colgin IX Estate Syrah 2013
- DuMol Wild Mountainside Syrah 2017
- Vietti Barbera d’Asti Tre Vigne 2018
- La Spinetta Barbera d’Asti Ca Di Pian 2017
- Bruno Giacosa Barbera d’Alba 2018
What white wines need decanting?
Most of us wouldn’t think of decanting a white wine, and indeed, most everyday white wines should not be decanted. However, premium white wines that can be allowed to age might benefit from aeration.
You decant white wines for the same reason you decant red wine – to allow the wine to open and allow some aromas to air out. Floral and fruit notes are thus enhanced.
Experimenting with decanting whites can be interesting. Gather a few friends and open two bottles of the same wine. Decant one but not the other. Compare notes.
Here are a few white wine recommendations to get you started:
Older, vintage white wines are too expensive to experiment on for most of us, but well worth the occasional splurge. Here’s a few of our favorites:
How to decant older wines
The only reason to decant an older wine, it at all, is to remove sediment. Wine sediment is a natural byproduct of winemaking. It’s nothing that can harm you, but it can add a bitter taste or gritty texture to a glass of wine.
New technology has all but eliminated most sediment, which is typically tiny bits of seeds, skins or tartrate crystals, but more traditional winemakers leave sediment, arguing that it adds complexity and character to the wine.
Decanting these wines takes more effort than a wine that simply needs to be aerated. Here are the most basic steps to take in decanting an older wine:
- Stand the bottle upright for 24 hours before serving to allow the sediment time to settle on the bottom of the bottle.
- Gently remove the cork and the capsule from around the neck of the bottle. Wipe the lip so that no cork or dust falls into the wine.
- Position the bottle so that a light is shining behind it when you pour. Slowly pour the wine into the decanter as you keep an eye on the bottle neck for the sediment. Sediment isn’t always so obvious. It may appear more like a cloud rather than tiny granules.
- Once you see the sediment approach the neck, stop pouring and set down the bottle. Only half a glass of wine should be left in the bottle.
- Do not decant the wine for more than 30 minutes. Older wines, if decanted too early, can deteriorate quickly.
This is where the wine decanter with stopper comes in handy. You can place the stopper in the decanter so that you don’t leave it open for more than 30 minutes.
Older red wines can be quite expensive, but they don’t have to be. We’ve compiled a list of choices starting with the least expensive and ending with the most costly.
- Bodegas Montecillo Gran Reserva 2009
- La Rioja Alta Vina Ardanza Reserva 2012
- Broadbent 10 Year Verdelho Madeira
- Chateau Talbot 2000
- Chateau Hosanna 2000
- Clos de Tart Grand cru Monopole 1996
How to take care of your wine decanter
Glass makes for a beautiful decanter, but it can also make for difficult cleaning. Specifically, if we don’t thoroughly dry our glass decanters, we’re left with spots and streaks.
The only solution is to dry the wine decanters in such a way as to prevent water from pooling in the bottom or on the sides.
You have two choices: 1) Allow the glass to air dry or 2) Dry the glass immediately after washing. Personally, I opt for air dry and then use a high-quality polishing cloth.
Best ways to dry your wine decanter
Lily’s Home Wine Decanter Drying Stand is rubber coated to prevent scratches and comes with a cleaning brush. The stand holds the decanter upside down for drying to prevent water from pooling. The drying stand fits standard-sized decanters and can double as a display rack. Size: 10.5″ tall, with a 7.5″ diameter bottom base, and a 5″ diameter inside top.
The all-in-one Eisch Glass Cleaner Set is made by a German glass manufacturer that started in 1946. The set comes with reusable cleaning beads, a microfiber dryer cloth, and glass polishing cloth.
The USA-made Brushtec Cleaning Brush Kit comes with 3 brushes that are great for cleaning a range of glassware. The brushes are made of a soft white fiber and are specifically designed for wine decanters, wine glasses, and champagne flutes.
The 5-pack Bottle Brush Cleaner could clean anything, including your kitchen sink! The nylon bristles are stiff but gentle enough for class and the stems are rust proof stainless steel. The longest brush has a bamboo handle.
- Extra Long Length Large Bamboo Handle Bottle Brush (15.5″ x 2.5″)
- Long Bottle (15.5″ x 2.5″) for narrow neck bottle
- Narrow Long ( 15.5″ X 1″)
- Short Baby Bottle Brush (9.8″ x .8″)
- Straw Cleaning Brush
We hope you have found the perfect wine decanter with stopper to add to your collection of wine accessories and learned more about decanting wines of different ages and grape varietals. Although wine decanters help wine taste the way it was intended, ultimately, the decanter of your choice should fit your style and purposes.