Appears in

Oxford Companion to Wine

Oxford Companion to Wine

By Jancis Robinson

Published 2006

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decanters, vessels, usually glass and stoppered, into which wine is poured during decanting.

The decanter as we know it today has changed form very little in the last 250 years, in that it is a handleless clear glass bottle with a capacity of about 1 l and, normally, a stopper. Stopperless decanters are known as carafes. The shape and the decoration have changed in line with fashion and as technology has allowed. Since the capacity is noticeably more than that of a standard 75-cl/27-fl oz bottle, it allows the wine to ‘breathe’ and develop (see aeration).