Many wine shops and department stores carry glass and leaded crystal decanters that come in a variety of shapes. The shape of each has certain attributes that suit the needs for...

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Many wine shops and department stores carry glass and leaded crystal decanters that come in a variety of shapes. The shape of each has certain attributes that suit the needs for decanting particular wines.

All can be used to decant a wine or port to separate it from sediments that have accumulated in the bottle.

Some are made to allow maximum wine-to-air surface exposure for younger, full-bodied wines, while others are intended for older wines that need little or no oxygen exposure to bring out flavors and aromas.

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The former — called extreme decanters — typically have flask-like wide bottoms, necks about twice the diameter of a bottle and funnel-shaped openings.

This design allows the entire contents of a bottle to rest in the bottom few inches of a decanter, permitting the greatest amount of exposure to air.

The latter are not much bigger than a wine bottle, with a slightly broader belly and a straight or slightly tapered neck that comes with a glass stopper to prevent airflow.

Pike & Western’s selection, made by Reidel Glas of Austria, ranges from about $25 to more than $200, the latter for an extreme decanter that resembles the form of a duck floating on a pond.

Ravenscroft and Spiegelau are among other popular decanter makers.

The www.decanters.com Web site shows a range of decanters made by different manufacturers.