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Choosing a Wine Decanter

Fine Cooking Issue 84


I’m in the market for a wine decanter, but I’m not sure what qualities make a good one. What should I look for? 

Augustus Samson, New York, NY


Tim Gaiser replies: Decanters are used to aerate wine. They range in price from $15 to more than $100, but you can find a good, all purpose decanter for between $25 and $50 that will serve you well for years.

Decanters can take a variety of shapes, from simple carafes, to bottle shapes, to those with wider bases. I’d suggest avoiding ones with overly wide bases and lips, as it’s difficult to pour all of the wine from them without spilling. Also, look for decanters made of clear glass without any decorative etching, which can detract from the appearance of  the wine. And though some decanters come with glass stoppers, you shouldn’t store any wine in the decanter long enough to need a stopper.

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