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July 11, 2013updated Dec 20, 2023

Wine Decanters: Elegance and Functionality Combined

By Chris Boyle

wine decanterAs any true wine connoisseur worth their salt will tell you, if you are enjoying a bottle during a meal in the home or abroad, it is crucial that everything is done by the person serving it to make sure it tastes as good as it should.

We all know that wine should be stored correctly – in a cellar if possible – and at the right temperature, to ensure it doesn’t either age prematurely or lose its full flavors and bouquet. 

So it’s a wonder why even the most avid vintage enthusiast often fails to consider the value of a high quality wine or champagne decanter. 

Not only is there a beautiful range of exquisite high end decanters currently on the market, but these practical vessels also serve the crucial purpose of separating sediment out of the liquid in the case of vintage wines, while simultaneously oxygenating the wine to allow a quality bottle to reach its full potential.

Sure, popping the cork and leaving the bottle to stand for a while might improve things a little, but it won’t be as effective as pouring the liquid (minus any deposit at the bottom) into one of these beauties, which also add real aesthetic value to fine dining proceedings.

If you are planning on giving decanting a whirl yourself, a bottle of red should be kept upright for a few hours to allow any deposit to settle at the bottom before the process takes place. 

Aeration plays an equally important role; as you will know only too well, wine deprived of oxygen over a long period can began to develop strange and undesirable aromas. Which is why decanting is particularly welcome in the case of full-bodied reds, including, surprisingly, younger reds, and natural wines made with little to no sulphur. 

The ideal shape for any wine decanter is one with a wide base with plenty of room to swirl and there are some truly spectacular creations currently on offer – from vintage and art deco styles to much more modernist and futuristic approaches. 

Heritage crystal house Riedel, who have been in the glassware business for ten generations, recently launched a mischievous new ‘Boa Decanter’ – in the shape of the eponymous venomous snake – and also feature a ‘Flamingo Decanter’ in their range, suitable for champagne. 

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Whatever the individual style of your home or dining space, there’s sure to be a high end decanter that fits the brief to perfection. 

Take a glance at some of Riedel’s sophisticated and playful creations below:

wine decanter

Riedel’s Boa Decanter, About $750

Black Tie Decanter resized

Riedel’s Black Tie Decanter, About $750

2007_1-grau resized

Riedel’s Flamingo Decanter, About $600 (suitable for champagne)

2011-04-S1 Decanter Curly Lifestyle resized

Riedel’s Curly Lifestyle Decanter, About $340

All Riedel decanters are available at:

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