A cut glass decanter is usually used for storing scotch or other types of alcohol, but it is generally not used for storing wine as many other decanters are designed to do. Choosing the best cut glass decanter for you is a matter of choosing one that is the appropriate size, within your budget for purchase, and in a style and shape that is visually appealing to you. You may want to consider a decanter set as well, which will include serving glasses as well. The stopper is an important part of the decanter and you should consider this carefully before purchasing.
The style of the cut glass decanter is a decision based on your own personal preferences. Some are tall and skinny, while others are fatter at the base than they are at the top. Liquor decanters are usually tall and thin, and they are large enough to hold a bottle of liquor, depending on the size of the bottle. Determine what your storage capacity needs will be to determine the right size of cut glass decanter. It may be wise to choose a decanter that is easy to handle during pouring; this may mean choosing one with a thinner neck than the rest of the bottle, or that has a handle.
Think carefully about the stopper included with the cut glass decanter. The point of a stopper is to prevent oxygen from entering the bottle, thereby changing the flavor of the liquor contained inside. When the decanter is not in use, a stopper can go a long way toward preserving the flavor of the liquor inside. Stoppers can be made of cork, which is a good material for keeping oxygen out of the bottle, but it is not an exceptionally durable material for this purpose. Glass decanters often feature glass stoppers with or without a rubber lining. These are good choices if the stopper is made to fit well in the neck of the decanter. The rubber can help form a tighter seal.
If you are considering a cut glass decanter for wine, be sure to choose a model that does not overly distort the view of the wine inside the decanter. One of the biggest advantages of a wine decanter is the ability to show off the tone and color of the wine inside, so too elaborate of a design can prevent one from getting a good view of the wine as it decants.