For millennia, people have used drinks like wine to celebrate, come together, or chase away the winter cold. While not much removed from antique stoneware carafes in terms of function, modern decanter designs bring a touch of refinement to the age-old tradition of sharing a glass of wine or liquor. Created by gifted designers and made by renowned brands, contemporary decanters are – more often than not – as beautiful as they are practical. Here you can discover all about glass decanter designs as well as the differences between a decanter for wine or whiskey. Out curated list includes everything from clean and minimalist designs to imaginative products that double as sculptures. However, before we jump into our selection, let’s talk about decanters.
A simple way to define “decanter” is by using the word “vessel.” Traditionally made from ceramic or glass, decanters and carafes are used to decant and serve wine. The process of decanting allows the sediments from red wine to settle at the bottom of the decanter. At the same time, the wine can “breathe” and develop its aromas further. Decanter also refers to ornamental glass vessels that are used to serve wine and whiskey, with their capacity often matching that of a standard bottle of wine.
When should you decant wine
You should decant red wine, especially if it’s a young wine. As wine evolves with age, it takes a long time for its flavors to develop. However, using a decanter shortens that process by maximizing the flavors of the wine through oxygenation. Aerating the wine softens its tannins, and thus reduces the acidity of the wine and allows mellower flavors to come to the fore. Consequently, an oxygenated wine has a fuller, richer aroma profile that would otherwise take years to develop in a closed bottle. Depending on the age of the wine, a decanting process can take anything from 20 minutes to a few hours. While vintage wines don’t need much aeration, young wines benefit from being left in a decanter for hours, as their flavors develop and bloom. By decanting the wine, you also separate the sediment from the wine that you will eventually pour into glasses.
Decanter for liquor
Unlike red wine, which needs to breathe and also leave sediment at the bottom of the vessel instead of your glass, whiskey doesn’t need to be aerates. A decanter for whiskey thus serves only an aesthetic purpose. Simply put, it looks better on a dining table, especially if you want to serve guests. Luckily, there are plenty of designs to choose from if you want to make a lasting impression with your choice of glass or crystal decanter for liquor, rum, or tequila. More on that below.
Decanter with stopper
If used for whiskey or other liquor, a decanter should have a stopper. However, while red wine decanters don’t need a stopper, it’s practical to buy a decanter with a stopper in the case you want to store unfinished wine. A stopper protects the contents from further oxygenation, but you should also make sure that the vessel is stored in a place shielded from natural light and humidity.
Carafe vs decanter
While carafes and decanters share the same purpose, they do slightly different things. A carafe usually has a tall, long body and larger opening to help the user serve larger quantities of beverages and water. By contrast, a decanter has a wider, often rounded base and a narrow neck with a usually tapered form. The design is specially made for wine and beverages; as a result, a decanter can have a lower capacity than a carafe because it holds a single bottle of wine. Carafes are also used to accompany everyday meals, while a decanter – especially high-quality ones or crystal designs – are best reserved for dinner parties, special occasions, and get-togethers with friends.
How to clean a decanter
If you’re using a wine decanter, you should clean it immediately after use. Left over prolonged periods of time in a vessel, red wine can leave stains on the glass. Red wine stains can also accumulate, so keeping your decanter pristine after each use is important. The good news is that cleaning a decanter is easy. You’ll need a solution of vinegar and warm to hot water to fill your decanter. Leave the solution inside for a few minutes and then rinse the decanter carefully with warm water. Keep in mind that you should never use boiling or ice-cold water to wash a decanter, as the glass may crack.
The best decanter is the one that is designed with both function and aesthetics in mind. Whether you need a decanter for wine or for whiskey, it’s best to choose a quality product that you’ll be able to use for a long time and many celebrations to come. Depending on its purpose, a decanter may have a wider or a narrower neck, which helps to either increase or minimize oxygenation. Likewise, some decanters have an extra-wide base that allows the wine to breathe more efficiently and thus develop its aroma profile
Decanters for wine
Made for wine, these decanters ensure that you can make the most of red wines, from vintage ones to young wines. The design of these products ensures a superior wine drinking experience as the wine can be poured without sediment into the glass and its flavor profiles are fully developed. Each one of these products is one of a kind. Here you can find decanters with classic or distinctly contemporary designs, as well as imaginative decanters that look like decorative objects.
A modern decanter with stylish copper accents.
Designed by award-winning designer Tom Dixon, Tank is not your usual wine decanter. The sculptural vessel draws inspiration from scientific glassware and features a wide base and a long neck that ends with a tapered top. Perfect for the most sophisticated of home bars, Tank boasts a hand-painted copper base as well as a spherical stopper completed with a copper finish. While it looks compact, this decanter has a larger capacity than standard products and can hold more than a bottle of wine, at 1L. Love this design but want a whiskey decanter? Keep reading and you’ll be pleasantly surprised.
A spherical design for better oxygenation.
Specially designed to accentuate the flavors of red wine, this decanter from Danish brand Eva Solo has an eye-catching spherical shape that maximizes oxygenation. This product also features a stainless steel funnel that helps to aerate the wine further and ensures a drip-free pour at the same time. Like other Eva Solo products, the Decanter Carafe is high-quality and durable as it’s made from mouth-blown glass and stainless steel. With the capacity to hold an entire wine bottle, this product is a great choice for wine lovers who appreciate the elegant simplicity of Scandinavian design.
Red Wine Carafe with Oak Stopper
An elegant design that doubles as a carafe.
For a more refined wine drinking experience, you can’t go wrong with the Red Wine Carafe from Sagaform. Inspired by the classic beauty of a glass carafe, this wine decanter is as stylish as it is practical. The mouth-blown glass vessel features a wide rounded base that helps to aerate the wine and a spherical oak wood stopper that helps to keep wine fresh for longer. Ideal for red wine, this product is also perfect for white wine and other alcoholic or non-alcoholic beverages. This product is part of the Nature collection that also includes carafes for water and other glassware.
Álvaro Siza Decanter
A design created by a prestigious architect.
The elegantly simple Álvaro Siza Decanter from the Vista Alegre collection features an almost organic silhouette with flowing and graceful curves. Designed by renowned, Pritzker Prize-winning architect Álvaro Siza Vieira, it features a specific shape that aims to provide the perfect aeration for Port wine. However, the design suits any type of red wine and doubles as a carafe for white wine or other beverages. Boasting a rounded base that widens to expose more wine to oxygen, the glass decanter also features a long and narrow neck. Every product is handmade from quality crystal.
Riedel Boa Decanter
A twist on the classic glass carafe.
With the Riedel Boa Decanter, you can bring a dramatic twist to the wine serving ritual. The design draws inspiration from nature, or more specifically from the coiling bodies of boa snakes as they kill their prey. Here, the sculptural silhouette has an aesthetic and functional purpose. As wine travels through the twists and turns of the glass vessel, it aerates efficiently and thus allows the full flavor profile to develop. Any sediment also remains on the bottom of the glass decanter. This design ensures that the oxygenation process can be achieved in seconds or minutes instead of hours. Made from 24% lead crystal, the Boa Decanter has a large capacity of 1,957ml or 69 oz.
13° 60° 104°
A creative decanter with a dynamic design.
The 13° 60° 104° decanter from Rokos makes every wine serving more fun and enhances the wine’s flavors more efficiently. That’s because the glass features three different indentations that allow the decanter to become “tipsier” as the drinking progresses. The name refers to the three possible angles of the decanter, at 13 degrees, 60 degrees, and 104 degrees. Formed by hand and mouth-blown without the use of any molds, this decanter is also made from more durable borosilicate glass. Due to the complex nature of the manufacturing process, the company produces the 13° 60° 104° design in extra-limited runs of only 20 pieces, only two times per year. Each decanter is hand-engraved with a unique number and also comes with a Certificate of Origin. This product has received the prestigious Red Dot Design Award.
Balance Wine Decanter
A beautifully balanced design.
Aptly named Balance, this glass decanter for wine has an asymmetric base that nevertheless keeps the vessel in perfect balance. The design is part of the NUDE Balance collection, which comprises glassware with an angled silhouette. Ideal for wine, the handmade lead-free crystal decanter allows the wine to oxygenate easily thanks to a wider base and dynamic design that allows the user to easily position the decanter at different angles. A wider neck provides a convenient way to pour in the wine for decanting and makes serving wine more practical and easy at the same time. Balance comes with a wooden base that provides perfect support.
A versatile vessel that suits various uses.
Created by Nina Jobs, a product designer with a background in graphic design, Fia is as expressive as it is stylish. This carafe is part of the Design House Stockholm collection. Versatile and practical as well as minimalist, this design reminds of laboratory glassware with its tapered body and clean lines. At the top, a crystal sphere acts as a stopper. While perfect for red wine, Fia also suits other uses. For example, it can double as a carafe for water or other beverages. A smaller version of the design is ideally suited for oil or vinegar. Like other products from our list, the Fia Carafe is high-quality and made from mouth-blown glass.
Anna Karlin Decanter
A minimalist vessel with a glam accent.
If you like minimalist design, chances are you’ll love this decanter from the Anna Karlin collection. Simple and modern, the vessel boasts a spherical shape with a cylindrical neck. At the top, a brass sphere works as an efficient stopper. At the same time, the golden finish and polish of the brass ball adds a touch of glamour to the otherwise understated design. Made from hand-blown glass, this decanter is ideal for wine but can also be used for other beverages and even water.
The Mature Wine Decanter
A clever design specially made for mature wines.
The Mature Wine Decanter is specially made for more mature and vintage wines, making it a must-have for any wine lover. The design is cleverly simple yet also elegant and modern. Created in a collaboration between celebrated designer Richard Brendon and renowned wine expert Jancis Robinson, the Mature Wine Decanter decants wine while minimizing oxygenation. Vintage wines don’t require aeration as young wines do, so this product features a mouth-blown stopper that limits aeration. Every decanter from this collection is made by hand by master craftspeople in Slovenia. Furthermore, the decanter is made from lead-free crystal that is incredibly light, clear and bright.
A product made in collaboration with expert sommeliers.
Part of the Bormioli Rocco collection, the Gamma Premium decanter was specially designed in collaboration with the Italian Association of Sommeliers, or AIS. As a result, the product has a perfected design that focuses on making the most of each bottle of wine but also boasts a distinctive silhouette. Slanted with a sinuous body that reaches forward across the table, the decanter brings a touch of Italian style to the wine drinking experience. Each decanter is handmade from innovative Star Glass, which is clearer and brighter than standard glass.
A decanter inspired by a water drop.
Designed by Patrik Illo for Moser, Oneo is an elegant decanter for wine that will take pride of place at any dining table. The design draws inspiration from the shape of a water drop. Extra-wide at the base and narrow at the neck, this glass decanter opens with a tapered top and a funnel that allows the user to easily pour in the wine to aerate it. Similarly to other decanters from our selection, this product was created to fulfill the high demands of professional sommeliers. Handmade from lead-free Czech crystal, the decanter is thin and extra-clear as well as colorless and beautifully crafted. Each product is hand-blown from environmentally-friendly crystal, hand-cut, and then polished to achieve a high-gloss finish.
Ludlow Wine Decanter
An elegant decanter with a walnut base.
Inspired by 16th century glassblowing techniques that used wooden molds, the Ludlow collection from Simon Pearce features custom-made wooden details. The Ludlow wine decanter is no exception. Handmade by the company’s expert glassblowers who use age-old techniques, this glass decanter has an elegant and simple design with a generous base and a narrow neck. The bespoke walnut support features a natural finish that lets the dark colors and rich textures of solid wood shine. While it provides support to the carafe and elevates it for serving, the base also adds a rustic accent to the modern glass silhouette. Finally, every Ludlow decanter is crafted in the US.
Verso Wine Carafe
A simple carafe designed with two hand-cut decorations.
A cut (or two) above classic decanters, the Verso carafe from LSA features two hand-cut decorations that adorn its curved body. To create the decorations, skilled engravers cut the glass by hand using a diamond wheel. For the perfect finishing touch, they polish the cuts, a process that is also completed by hand. More than just a beautiful design, this mouth-blown decanter boasts a wide base that maximizes the surface of the wine for optimal aeration. A tall and slim neck offers a comfortable way to serve the wine. The simple design makes this product ideal for either classic or modern glasses.
An unusual silhouette.
For those who love imaginative designs, the Genesis wine decanter might be the perfect choice. Made by Vista Alegre, this decanter features an asymmetric design that puts red wine – or any wine – in the best light. The wider base ensures optimal oxygenation while the tubular stopper helps you stop the aeration process and store the wine. Like other products from the Genesis line, this decanter for wine is handmade from crystal. With a content of 30% lead, the crystal is clearer and brighter as well as heavier than standard glass.
A minimalist decanter with a versatile design.
Part of Vista Alegre’s Lybra collection that explores the beauty of simplicity, Lybra is a modern and minimalist decanter that looks at home on any dining table, living room, or home bar. The design is versatile as well as efficient. Made with a generous base, this carafe aerates wine to enhance its flavors and allows you to serve guests in style. This decanter also features a glass stopper that makes it easy to keep wine for longer if you have any remaining. Crafted by hand from 30% lead glass, Lybra has an extra-bright and pure surface that highlights the natural colors of red wine further.
A slanted silhouette that puts red wine in a new light.
Creatively designed decanters help to improve the flavors of wine but also add a stylish accent to a home bar and double as decorative objects. The Vista Alegre Oz decanter is a perfect example. Featuring an angled design, the glass vessel creates a focal point at any dining table setting, especially when filled with red wine. This contemporary design has received a special mention at the German Design Awards 2018. Made by hand, each decanter is manufactured from fine 30% crystal and has a capacity of 800 ml.
An elegant decanter for wine.
Made by German brand Zwiesel Glas, a company with a history of 150 years of glassware manufacturing, Air Sense is as beautiful as it is high-quality. This handmade decanter was designed by Swedish design duo Bernadotte & Kylberg. It features a decanting sphere on the base of the glass vessel, which has an aesthetic and functional purpose. Perfect for red wine, Air Sense boasts a rounded silhouette with a wide base and an elegant spout. This design complements both more classic and contemporary wine glasses.
Decanters for whiskey
Decanters offer an elegant solution to enjoy whiskey, whether you want to drink a glass on your own at the end of a long day or want to serve guests at a dinner party. These crystal and glass decanters are varied, ranging from understated and simple to intricate and highly creative. Regardless of their aesthetics, all of them bring a refined contemporary accent to a home bar and table setting.
A sophisticated design that is also versatile.
Created by Italian studio fferrone design, the Boyd decanter is as stylish as it is modern. It features elegant fluting on the interior of the glass, completed in a pattern that adds a striking texture to the body of the decanter. Handcrafted in the Czech Republic by skilled craftspeople, this decanter for whiskey is made from durable borosilicate glass. A stopper ensures that the contents remain protected from further oxygenation for storage. While ideal for whiskey, this decanter also suits cognac and other spirits, wine, and even water. Plus, this collection also includes matching glasses.
A stylish decanter with modern fluting patterns.
Another design from Felicia Ferrone’s studio, the Margot collection re-imagines traditional hand-cut glassware as contemporary, maximalist products. The Margo decanter is bold and refined at the same time. Featuring a sculptural silhouette, the vessel also boasts handmade fluting on the interior of the glass. As a result, the exterior has a smooth surface. Crafted by master glassblowers in the Czech Republic, this product is also made from borosilicate glass that is stronger than standard glass or crystal. Thanks to its creative design, Margot will add a focal point to any dining table and home bar. Pair this decanter with glasses from the same collection to co-ordinate the set.
Tank Whiskey Decanter
A glass decanter with hand-painted metallic accents.
Part of the same series as the wine decanter we mentioned earlier, Tank is a modern decanter that doesn’t blend into the background at a dinner table or in a living room. That’s because it’s created by award-winning designer Tom Dixon. Inspired by scientific and laboratory glassware, the Tank whiskey decanter features a rounded body and a tall neck that offers the perfect grip. Like other designs from the same range, this product features hand-painted copper detailing on both the body and the stopper. Made from mouth-blown glass, this decanter is beautifully crafted and designed to last.
Rolling Decanter with Lid
A fun and dynamic design.
Contemporary as well as creative, the Rolling Decanter from Ichendorf Milano offers a great solution to bring more fun to your whiskey serving rituals. The decanter has a triangular base that makes the vessel stay in a slanted position. Perfect for both whiskey and cognac, the decanter has a capacity of 430 ml. Like other high-end decanters, this product is handmade with care. This design perfectly matches angled tumblers and more creatively designed whiskey glasses but it also complements any minimalist glassware.
Diamond Whiskey Decanter – Low
A glamorous take on the classic decanter.
If you want to bring an opulent accent to your home bar, this decanter for whiskey is the perfect choice. Designed and handmade by Seattle-based studio DeCicio Artisan Glass, the Diamond Whiskey Decanter brings together diamonds and gold in a stylish way. The body of the glass bottle boasts a diamond texture while the stopper features a 24-karat gold leaf finish. Thanks to the smoke color, the decanter makes amber colored spirits look darker and more intense. This version has a capacity of 750 ml, which suits a standard bottle of whiskey or liquor.
A contemporary design with a classic soul.
Designed by London-based Richard Brendon, the Diamond collection of glassware blends traditional craftsmanship and contemporary design. This decanter boasts the range’s signature diamond pattern on the lower third of its body. Hand-cut by master craftspeople, the mouth-blown glass decanter features precise lines in a clean and eye-catching pattern. A glass stopper with a tapered shape completes the elegant design. Stylish and versatile, the Diamond Decanter complements both classic glasses with a matching diamond pattern and more contemporary designs in equal measure.
A glass decanter with modern geometric patterns.
Another product from Italian brand Bormioli Rocco, Cassiopea offers a refined way to serve glasses of whiskey, cognac, or other spirits. Blending style and function, this decanter features geometric patterns that create striking color and light effects when the bottle is filled with amber-hued and darker liquids. A rounded stopper provides an easy way to keep the whiskey and other spirits safe from aeration. Made from quality glass, the Cassiopea decanter is conveniently dishwasher-safe.
A work of art in hand-cut crystal.
Designed in the 1930s by Rudolf Eschler for Moser’s Bar collection, the Bar Carafe looks better than ever. The design plays with geometric forms and curved lines to create an optical illusion of melting ice cubes. A hefty square base provides excellent stability to this work of art. Finally, the stopper blends rectangular and curved elements. Hand-blown from environmentally-friendly, lead-free crystal, this carafe is also hand-cut and polished to a high sheen. Moser offers this design in Clear or a Rosaline color, with custom platinum or gold accents also available as an option.
Woodbury Glass Decanter
A blend of tradition and contemporary design.
Inspired by classic decanters, the Simon Pearce Woodbury glass decanter is nevertheless clearly modern. The decanter features a rectangular body with curving corners and a perfectly fitted stopper with a rounded shape. Handmade by skilled glassblowers who use centuries-old techniques, the Woodbury decanter is as high-quality as it is elegant and versatile. This product suits anything from whiskey to vodka, gin, and any other spirit you want to serve in style. Every decanter is made in the US and has a capacity of 48 ounces.
Cask Whiskey Rectangle Decanter
A minimalist design with a rectangular shape.
Designed by LSA International, Cask offers a refined contemporary take on traditional decanters. The minimalist design boasts simple rectangular forms with elegant rounded corners. Rectangular in cross section, the decanter features a straight-sided shape achieved by expert artisans who use mouth-blowing techniques and metal molds. Likewise, the stopper is finished by hand. More specifically, it’s ground carefully to fit the neck of the bottle perfectly and keep spirits fresh. This decanter for whiskey has a capacity of 1L.
A design inspired by brutalist architecture.
Brutalist architecture lovers, the Metropole Kiev Decanter is specially designed for you. Referencing the geometry of concrete brutalist buildings, this whiskey decanter features a bold silhouette with a rectangular body and a disc-shaped, cylindrical block as a support. The minimal design with clean lines enhances the clarity and purity of the mouth-blown glass. Finally, craftspeople ground every stopper by hand to ensure that it creates a perfect fit with the vessel’s neck. Larger than standard decanters, this product has a capacity of 1.8L, or around 60 oz.
Alba Whiskey Decanter
A sophisticated design with a marble stopper.
Marble and crystal come together in the Alba decanter from the Nude Glass collection. Inspired by Scotland, this whiskey decanter features a creative design. The name gives a nod to the country that created whiskey, as Alba is the Scottish Gaelic name for Scotland. The lead-free crystal boasts hand-engraved details that “deconstruct” a traditional Scottish tartan pattern. Furthermore, this product comes with an unconventional stopper. Instead of glass, it’s crafted from marble, giving a sophisticated, high-end look to the design. The shape of the bottle helps to preserve the flavors and freshness of spirits, with a heavy bottom and rounded body with a tapered brim.
Blues Whiskey Decanter
A decanter inspired by 1050s designs.
Few things go better together than whiskey and blues. That’s the concept behind the Blues collection. Designed by Hugo Amado for Vista Alegre, Blues draws inspiration from 1950s retro designs but features a stylish contemporary design. The decanter has an elegant, spherical shape with an angled position and a long neck. A rounded stopper completes the modern minimalist aesthetics. Handmade from crystal, this decanter is ultra-clear and bright, putting whiskey, cognac, and other warm-hued spirits in the best light.
A playful design for modern home bars.
Created by Italian designer Alessandro Lenarda, the Vista Alegre Zanzibar collection brings more playfulness to contemporary glassware design. This decanter has a dynamic silhouette with a slanted shape that highlights the colors of whiskey. Clean lines, curved forms, and tilted elements make this decanter look both elegant and eye-catching. Crafted with care from 30% lead glass, this whiskey decanter has a clear, bright surface as well as a weighty feel at 70 oz. A great accompaniment to modern glasses with equally creative or more understated designs.
An elegant decanter with a striped pattern.
Classic yet modern at the same time, the Harmonie collection from Baccarat provides an elegant way to serve whiskey and other spirits. This decanter boasts the collections stripe pattern created by cutting fine lines on the surface of the clear crystal. As a result, the glass has a beautiful textural quality and gives more visual depth to the whiskey. A taller than usual stopper features the same pattern and emphasizes the clean silhouette and streamlined look of the design. If you like this product, rest assured that you can create a complete serving set as the Harmonie line also includes matching tumblers and highball glasses.
Glamorous Whiskey Carafe
A glam interpretation of a classic carafe.
Heritage German brand Zwiesel Glas has 150 years of glassware manufacturing experience, which shows in the Glamorous collection. Blending traditional techniques and contemporary design, this carafe is as beautifully crafted as it is sophisticated. The body of the decanter boasts cut patterns that resemble crystal jewelry, giving a chic finishing touch to the design. Stepping away from tradition, a black stopper add a contrasting accent to the carafe. Handmade from crystal, the Glamorous carafe is ideal for whiskey and other spirits.
A timeless design from France.
Made by Lalique, a French company founded in the 1920s, the Wingen collection pays homage to tradition via elegant design. The name of the series celebrates the village where René Lalique opened the company’s first glass-making workshop and factory. The Wingen Decanter features fine, graphic line patterns across its tapered body. A cylindrical stopper completes the design. To make this product, Lalique used their signature satin-finished crystal. Handcrafted in France, the decanter is a testament to the timeless elegance and expert craftsmanship of Lalique glassware.