With their penchant for dramatic flair and opulence, it’s easy to think of decanters as decorative, unnecessary or even frivolous bar additions. But their purpose—to separate wine from any solids or sediment that may have formed during aging as well as introduce oxygen into the wine, which releases compounds that impact aroma, flavor and texture—should not be overlooked. And their beauty needn’t overshadow that utility, either.
From classic diamond cuts to more modern and fluid shapes, there’s a perfect decanter for every taste and home décor style. Here’s a cheat sheet to five of our faves, from clean-cut to crazy contemporary.
For the Minimalist: Classic Decanter
Function trumps form here, as this minimal glass decanter serves all basic decanting needs for the right price. It’s a straightforward and practical piece that’s not at all precious, meaning you don’t need to fear passing it around to any and all of your guests, after a glass or three.
For the Functionalist: LSA Wine Carafe
Because sometimes two bottles are better than one, and magnums are fun to pop but a pain to pour, this glass decanter has an 80-ounce capacity, meaning is offers the space to decant a more than two standard 750-ml bottles in one shot. The sleek design will complement virtually any setup or accompanying glassware, and can be used for any occasion from casual consumption to a formal fête.
For the Modernist: Wine Enthusiast Art Series Treble Decanter
Immediately eye-catching, this music-inspired decanter has playful curves and soft, sweeping lines. The pour flow is almost as magnetic to watch, as the wine travels through the twists and turns of the treble and into your glass. It might be the most stylish, sophisticated and mesmerizing decanter you’ll find for under $100.
For the Industrialist: Anna Karlin Handblown Decanter
Perfect for the glass-and-metal, industrial décor lover, this handblown glass decanter features a sleek, bulbous design and a heavy, round brass stopper atop, making it reminiscent of an upside-down light bulb. It’s subtle in construct and appearance, but once observed, it absolutely makes an impression.
For the Traditionalist: Waterford Lismore Ships Decanter
This may initially come off as old-fashioned, but it’s classic for a reason. The elaborate diamond and wedge cutwork on this popular-pattered decanter, named for County Waterford’s 12th-century Lismore Castle, make it an absolute work of art. As beautiful and delicate as it may seem, this crystal decanter actually offers surprising weight and strength in feel, providing you the confidence to allow your guests to actually pour their own glasses from this masterpiece without fear of disaster.