The simple act of transferring wine from bottle to decanter is transformative in nature. Decanting is often discarded as an unnecessary step, but it’s more than an old hat technique favored by Southern gentlemen or Don Draper-types. Decanters have existed since Ancient Rome when they were primarily forged of bronze, silver or gold. Decanting enhances the drinkability of a wine by increasing aeration, releasing more complex aromas and flavors—even with not-so-top-shelf Cabernet Sauvignon. In older varieties, the process also removes sediment and encourages oxidation to elevate. Most tannic reds require two to three hours to realize the full effects of decanting and last 12 to 18 hours after the pour. Decanters also serve to magnify the elegance of the imbibe—bespoke, intricate shapes illuminate the aesthetic of any home bar cart, serving as the perfect backdrop to clinging glasses. By the 18th century, manufacturers traded Roman-era materials in favor of more sophisticated designs made of crystal, which attracted the eyes—and the taste buds—and the material endures as the most popular though the patterns and styles continuously change.
Tap into your inner Tennessee Williams: Tara Decanter by William Yeoward Crystal; $950, Broughton Decanter by Ralph Lauren; $650, Phillida Ships Decanter by William Yeoward Crystal; $695