Dining & Bar
Table Linens
Silverware & Flatware
Dining Accessories
Specialty Shops
Shop Brands
Sale & Offers
Learn More
Buy Online, Pick Up In Store
Williams-Sonoma Credit Card. Click Apply Now for Details >
1px-white-dot Registry Checklist >Dream Sweepstakes >

Use Your Wine Decanter to Make The Most of Your Wines

As you enjoy new bottles of wine, the fine art of decanting becomes more important. Using a wine decanter helps refine the taste of your wine. Discover how to make the most of your next bottle of wine with a decanter.

What Is A Wine Decanter?

A wine decanter is a vessel for wine poured from a bottle. The decanter allows air to pass over the wine, which in turn brings out the full flavor of the wine.

  • A standard decanter is shaped like a vase, with a wider bowl at the base and a longer, slimmer neck and mouth.
  • Decanters come in other shapes, too. These shapes mainly change the angle of the bowl or neck or, in the instance of a swan decanter, elongate the neck greatly.
  • The time the wine spends in the decanter varies. A light, everyday wine needs 20 minutes or so, while a full-bodied red can take 2 hours.

Do All Wines Need Decanting?

Not every wine on your rack requires decanting, but the taste of nearly every wine improves with decanting.

Younger wines open up with oxygen. Older wines benefit from a slow pour into a decanter to filter out sediment.

  • Use small decanters for whites and rosés or light-bodied reds, like a Pinot Noir. Lighter whites can decant in the glass.
  • Medium decanters are for medium-bodied wines, like merlots.
  • Full-bodied red wine, like Cabernet Sauvignon, goes in a large decanter with a wide base.

Try Decanting Champagne

One of the best things about Champagne is the bubbles, but a recent trend is to decant Champagne. This is a fun thing to try, particularly if you are a fan of the mousse or foam.

  • This is particularly popular with older Champagnes as the complex aromas become more enticing as the air out in a decanter.
  • For some Champagne enthusiasts, the bubbles of a younger Champagne are too aggressive and they prefer to let them dissipate slightly to fully enjoy the mousse.
  • You can use a special champagne decanter or try it with one you'll use with wine, too.

Experiment with Decanting to Form Your Tastes

Ultimately, how you decant your wine will be determined by your tastes. Play with different decanting times across different vessels. See how different wines taste in the same decanter. Eventually, you'll form your own taste and touch for how to decant.

Related Products
Named for the picturesque county on England's southern ...
Named for the picturesque county on England's southern coast, this hand-blown lead-crystal barware catches and reflects light, thanks to its hand-cut fluting. Notable for their brilliant clarity and superb balance, the pieces give a sparkling presentation to fine wines, ...
Crafted of exceptionally strong DuraClear Tritan , our ...
Crafted of exceptionally strong DuraClear Tritan , our casual drinkware offers the classic look of glass yet it won't crack, shatter, break, cloud or discolor. Ideal for everyday use and outdoor entertaining, these dishwasher-safe double old-fashioned glasses make it ...
Inspired by vibrant Cuba and the tropics, this ...
Inspired by vibrant Cuba and the tropics, this gold-rimmed double old-fashioned glass with hand-applied gold palm trees evokes the natural beauty of the Caribbean in artful detail. The sturdy, clear glass feels comfortable in the hand and looks glamorous ...
Raise spirits with this chic, double old-fashioned glass. ...
Raise spirits with this chic, double old-fashioned glass. A gold pineapple motif and gold rim give it ample style for your most beloved beverage. Crafted of ultra-clear, durable glass and hand-applied decals, it's the perfect vessel for serving summer ...
Simple styling and quality materials make this set ...
Simple styling and quality materials make this set an elegant choice for presenting wine and cheese. Designed in England by a family-run company admired for their modern aesthetic, it's crafted of sustainably sourced ash wood and mouth-blown glass. The ...