Whether you’re a connoisseur or not, you’ll probably know that if you don’t decant and aerate your wine it’s likely you’re missing out on the full experience.
Although I’m partial to mature Bordeaux, even a “supermarket special” wine can taste better if it’s given some air!
Decanting and aerating your red wine will remove any unpleasant sediments that have built up in the bottle, as well as exposing it to oxygen which softens the tannins and releases deeper flavours and aromas.
It’s a common myth that only red wine is decanted – some finer whites can really benefit from decanting, too (source: Wine Enthusiast) and I’ll discuss that below.
So whether you’re looking for a decanter for yourself or a lucky wine-loving friend, I’ve listed the 5 best wine decanters and aerators available in the UK and answered some commonly asked questions too.
Best All-Round Wine Decanter on the UK Market
Plaisir De La Cave Wine Decanter Set
This decanter by Plaisir De La Cave is made from 100% Carpathian mountain crystal glass, known as Crystalline.
Crystalline is great to look at but also doesn’t contain any lead, unlike lead crystal, so there’s no risk of lead leaching into your wine and causing any potentially harmful side effects.
The decanter itself holds up to 1.8 litres of liquid (that’s almost two and a half standard wine bottles) and the shape means that even if it’s not filled with wine, it would look great as a table decoration, or even just a fancier way to serve your wine!
This set also comes with a box of stainless steel cleaning beads to clean out your decanter after use and prevent any staining.
It has a natural cork stopper, which gives you the ability to decant your wine before serving and avoid any unwanted particles entering your carafe.
You also get a cork mat and 5 cork coasters, to protect your table from any ring stains – a nice feature because they’ve thought about serving as well as decanting.
If you’re thinking of buying this as a gift for someone, it arrives in a beautiful, colourful box along with instructions on how to use it. The carafe is also dishwasher safe.
- Dishwasher safe
- Looks great
- Made of crystalline
- Comes with a cork stopper to prevent dust and flies entering your wine
- Holds 1.8 litres of liquid
- Comes with cleaning beads to prevent stains
- Comes with a cork mat and coasters
- The decanter is fragile, so you’ll have to find a suitable place to store it
Best All-Round Aerator for Wine in the UK
This red wine aerator by Vinturi is the aerator we have at home. I did the usual ‘taste test’ and made my partner try wine straight out of the bottle, then one that had been ‘vinturied’ and the difference was striking.
Aeration is a great way to enhance the natural flavours of red wine. Aerating your wine before you serve softens the tannins and gives it a good glug of oxygen that opens up the flavour.
The more dense your wine is, the more it’ll benefit from being aerated before serving, so if you’re into jammy, heavy-hitting New World reds like a Chilean Merlot or Aussie Shiraz, give it a try.
If you’re someone who hosts a dinner party, but forgets to open the wine early (as I do very often) then this is also a good gadget to have.
This aerator is simple to use, all you have to do is hold it over your empty glass and pour the wine through, into your glass. It is fast and effective, adding an extra depth to the body of your wine.
If you wanted to use a decanter to catch the sediments in your wine as well as aerating it, you can place this over the top of your decanter and pour into that, rather than pouring it into your glass.
A warning, though – it makes a loud gurgling, sucking noise that can be very amusing at dinner parties! Everyone is totally intrigued watching it, too.
- Easy to use
- Enhances the flavour in your wine
- Softens the tannins
- May have spillages if you don’t pour carefully, due to having to hold it in one hand and pour with the other
Best Decanter And Aerator In One
Le Creuset Wine Decanter and Aerator
If you want a decanter and aerator in one, then this one by Le Creuset is ideal. It always gets rave reviews across the board.
You get a plastic aerator that fits on top of your wine bottle and a crystalline glass decanter that has the capacity to hold 2 bottles of wine – perfect for dinner parties where it’s easy to go through multiple bottles.
It has a double chamber to allow for a steady and even stream of air through the liquid as well as controlled wine flow.
The decanter allows for removal of sediment that can discolour the wine and make it taste gritty, whilst the aerator softens the tannins and releases the flavours that you may not normally notice – it’s the best of both worlds.
The decanter looks good too, and the crystalline glass reflects light as it shines through and creates stunning rainbows around your room – so it would work well as a centerpiece even when empty!
- Decanter and aerator in one purchase
- 2 bottle capacity
- Double chamber for perfect amount of aeration
- Aerator fits on to the neck of the bottle, making it easy to use
- Crystalline glass decanter and plastic aerator are both easy to wash
- Hand wash only
Best Red Wine Decanter in the UK
Luxbe Red Wine Decanter
This wine decanter and aerator by Luxbe is great for releasing the rich flavours and aromas in your red wine.
It holds a full bottle of wine and is really easy to pour wine into, the aerator connects to the decanter so that you can pour directly into it, rather than having to attach to the bottle and risk any spillages.
There’s also a lid included so you can store wine in the decanter, rather than having to pour it back into the bottle or waste it.
The use of both a decanter and aerator in one will give you the opportunity to take the famous test by asking your guests if that £10 bottle of red wine taste like a £20 bottle! Get them to guess the price…
It has an innovative design with finger impressions in the glass that makes it really easy to grip and pour – the impressions actually look like a mountain which gives it a really interesting look too!
- Perfect for releasing flavours in your red wine
- Dishwasher safe
- Aerator connects to the decanter
- Innovative design that makes it easy to pour and also looks great
- Holds a full bottle of wine
- Lightweight so can be easy to knock over if you’re not careful
Best Budget Wine Aerator
BOQO Wine Decanter
Going a little lower on price doesn’t always mean that you have to compromise on quality, as proven by this wine decanter by BOQO.
It’s made of hand-blown, lead free crystal and similar to the decanters above, has a wide base that not only provides stability, but allows for aeration of your wine.
It holds 1.8 litres of liquid, which is enough to keep you going for the evening as you won’t have to wait between bottles for the wine to aerate, you can put multiple bottles in at once!
One of my favourite things about this particular decanter is that it has a slanted neck that acts as a spout, making it easier to pour and resulting in less spillage.
It also arrives with a mat to place it on to avoid any damage to your surfaces – and it also looks pretty.
It also comes in a lovely box, which makes it easy to wrap up and gift to a wine-loving friend.
- Lead free crystal
- Holds 1.8 litres
- Slanted neck that acts as a spout
- Comes with decorative mat
- Arrives in an attractive box
- Hand wash only
- Steel balls that are normally used to clean wine decanters can’t be used with this product
How To Aerate Wine With A Decanter
Aged red wine is prone to sediment, and although this isn’t harmful, it certainly isn’t nice to look at and can give your wine a gritty mouthfeel.
Using a decanter can also remove any sediment that may occur. When wine is bottled it’s left without air for however long until it’s opened.
In order to release its full flavour and aroma, it needs to be exposed to air (or more precisely, oxygen) before drinking.
This can be done simply by swirling your wine around in the glass before drinking, but if you consider yourself a wine fan and really want to experience your wine the way it was intended to be experienced, you should aerate it properly.
If you’re unsure on how to do this using a decanter, follow these steps below:
- The day before serving, set your bottle of wine upright so that all the sediment can fall to the bottom.
- Wipe the bottle neck clean and remove the cork or stopper.
- Slowly pour the wine into the decanter, when you reach the bottom half, pour even slower. It can be useful to hold a light underneath the bottle as you do this, such as the torch on your phone, so you can see when you’re nearing the sediment clearly.
- When the sediment reaches the neck of the bottle, stop pouring. Sediment isn’t always obvious, the wine may look cloudier at the bottom or it may look like there’s dust in there.
- Discard the sediment.
- Leave the wine to aerate. The length of time needed depends on the age of the wine, younger red wines (8 years or under) may need anywhere from 1-2 hours, whereas a more mature wine may only need 30 minutes!
If you’re unsure on how long to aerate your wine for, it’s best to ask upon purchasing. Most wine shops are delighted to tell you all about the benefits of decanting!
Do You Decant White Wine?
White wines rarely contain sediment due to the lack of tannins in their mix and although they don’t need aerating in the same way red wines do, there are two reasons to decant some whites:
- My local wine shop reliably tells me that mature whites can be decanted for approximately 30 minutes before serving
- For other whites, you can still decant if you wat to serve wine out of something a bit ‘fancier’ than a wine bottle!
Most white wines will never need longer than 15 minutes to aerate, and I’d say 30 mins tops for a mature bottle.
Pro Tip: Chill the decanter, as well as the white wine bottle! That way, it’ll stay chilled longer at the table.
An important point to make is that you shouldn’t decant a sparkling white wine, as exposure to air will cause the bubbles to fade and the wine will taste flat.
I hope that you’ve found all the information that you were looking for after reading this article. Get ready to experience wines in a way you’ve never experienced them before!