Fun and easy to use
Delivers good results
Pouring is a little messy
Some wines may need to decant for longer
Must be gentle when washing
If you’re a red wine drinker, you probably know that allowing your wine to oxygenate is crucial. The process of decanting mellows out the bitterness and bite of tannins, and it separates out fine sediment. If you already know all of this, though, you probably also know that wine can take a couple of hours to properly decant.
If you’re too impatient to prep your bottle hours ahead of time, check out the Rabbit Aerating Decanter System. The all-in-one tool is engineered to both oxygenate your wine and separate sediment immediately upon pouring your wine into its three-part system. As wine lovers for whom patience is not a virtue, we were curious to learn whether the Rabbit lived up to its hype. Read on for our testing results.
Design: Easy to assemble
The Rabbit Aerating Decanter System is comprised of three parts: a hand-blown crystal decanter, a spray funnel, and a super-fine sediment screen. These three parts join forces to immediately do the work that would take a traditional decanter a couple of hours to achieve—to oxygenate the wine and separate the sediment from the liquid.
First, the super-fine sediment screen filters out yeast cells as well as grape pulp, skin, and seeds. The crystal funnel’s stem is pricked with five tiny holes, which then spray the wine down the sides of the decanter in a process that quickly aerates it. Lastly, the decanter acts as the vessel for the newly oxygenated wine.
Because it doesn’t have a slanted mouth, the wine inevitably dripped quite a bit upon serving.
We tend to be purists when it comes to our decanters, and we’ll admit that we were a little hesitant about being confronted with several objects where, in our opinion, only a decanter was needed. We also noticed that the decanter’s glass wasn’t as clear, brilliant, or sturdy as other crystal decanters in our collection.
As it turns out, though, the 8 x 8 x 12-inch system is incredibly simple to put together. First, you just fit the stem of the crystal wine spray funnel (which acts as the system’s aerator) into the mouth of the lead-free crystal decanter. Then, you slot the super-find sediment screen (which looks like a metal bowl) inside the aerator. And voila: You have a functional aerating decanter system.
Performance: Good results, but a little messy
We first tested the Rabbit with a red Côtes du Rhône. According to the tasting notes, this wine features hints of juicy red fruits, blackcurrant, and spices, and the tannins should be mild and smooth. When we tasted the wine pre-aeration, we tasted a hint of currant, but we couldn’t make out much of the wine’s spice or other fruit flavors beneath the hit of acid and bitterness of the tannins. All told, this was a wine in want of a good airing-out.
We were excited to give the Rabbit a go, and we made sure to pour our wine into the sediment screen as slowly as possible so the metal bowl wouldn’t overfill as it gradually filtered out insoluble ingredients. Its unusual spray funnel helped the wine particles quickly pick up oxygen, negating the need to let the wine sit for hours. And we have to say—in addition to placating your drinking buddies as soon as they request a glass, this decanter system makes the otherwise rote task of pouring a bottle of wine into a decanter into something of a spectacle, too. You’ll be enthralled, soothed, or at least more intrigued than usual to watch the liquid gently waterfall down the sides of its crystal carafe.
We were happy to find that the Rabbit Aerating Decanter System did a good job of opening up our wine; now, we could taste more of the wine’s rich fruit flavors.
The wine poured from the decanter into our glass easily. When we finished pouring out the bottle, we removed the sediment screen and crystal funnel to prevent the few bits of remaining wine in the funnel’s stem from dripping across our countertop. Because it doesn’t have a slanted mouth, the wine inevitably dripped quite a bit upon serving. We were happy to find that the Rabbit Aerating Decanter System did a good job of opening up our wine; now, we could taste more of the wine’s rich fruit flavors. Although we’re fairly sensitive to tannins, we felt that the taste still had a bit of a bite to it. We left the remaining wine in the decanter for fifteen minutes, and found that that extra aeration time worked well to mellow out that last hit of bitterness.
Care: Be gentle
When we initially opened our decanter system, we found that the decanter and the crystal funnel were cloudy with residue from the packaging. We also found a note from the manufacturer recommending that you wash all parts before use, as is recommended with any glassware product.
The manufacturer also notes that both the crystal funnel and the super-fine sediment screen are dishwasher-safe, and some reviewers say they’ve also put their decanter in the dishwasher. We decided to follow the manufacturer’s instructions and hand-wash the carafe with hot, soapy water. To be on the extra-safe side, we followed suit with the spray funnel and sediment screen. It’s important to note that the crystal spray funnel is quite fragile, so we’d recommend taking extra care when cleaning this part, whether you do so manually or in a dishwasher.
We decided to follow the manufacturer’s instructions and hand-wash the carafe with hot, soapy water.
After handwashing, we gently dried the smaller parts and the decanter’s exterior with a soft cloth and let the decanter’s interior air dry. Thanks to this decanter’s carafe-like shape, the interior dried more quickly than our traditionally shaped decanter, which tends to trap large water droplets. We did notice that the interior of the glass still looked a little cloudy, though, so the next time we washed it, we used a flexible brush to wipe away lingering moisture.
The decanter cleaned just as smoothly after using it on our red wine, though some reviewers say that the crystal can stain if you let your wine sit overnight. To stay on the safe side, we’d recommend pouring any remaining wine back into the bottle after a few hours and cleaning the decanter immediately.
Price: Expensive, but for greater functionality
With a list price of $65, the Rabbit Aerating Decanter System is a little pricier than traditional wine decanters which go for $15 and up. We do think the price is justified though since you’re paying for an all-in-one design that’s speedy and efficient.
Rabbit Aerating Decanter System vs. Le Chateau Wine Decanter
The comparably priced Le Chateau Wine Decanter (view on Amazon), is one of our favorite old-school decanters. Based on design alone, the Le Chateau wins for its elegant shape and clear, high-quality glass. Its diagonal-cut spout also makes serving a bit easier.
That being said, the Le Chateau decanter won’t provide you that unique waterfall display that the Rabbit Aerating Decanter System famously can. And, being a traditional decanter, you’ll have to wait up to a couple of hours for the Le Chateau to do what the Rabbit can do in a matter of minutes. So unless you’re a decanting purist, we’d have to name the Rabbit the winner by a hair for its speed, ease, and entertainment value. But if you’re on a slightly tighter budget, we’d nix the Rabbit in favor of the ever-reliable $50 Le Chateau decanter.
Well worth your consideration.
Whether you’re impatient by nature or just a fan of efficiency, the Rabbit Aerating Decanter System will make a fun and useful addition to your bar cart. Although the quality of the glassware isn’t quite as luxurious as other crystal decanters we’ve used—and we thought the wine needed a little extra bit of aeration time, we give the Rabbit props for its ease of use and good performance.
- Product Name Rabbit
- Product Brand Aerating Decanter System
- MPN W6600
- Price $65.00
- Product Dimensions 8 x 8 x 12 in.
- Material Crystal and metal