The best wine glasses
The size, shape, construction, and style of a wine glass can dramatically alter how the wine will taste.
The best overall wine glass for everyday use is the Libbey 4 Piece Signature Kentfield Grande Wine Set.
I remember the first time I bought wine glasses. I was 25 years old, had just moved into my own Manhattan studio, and truly believed that this purchase marked my arrival as a full-fledged adult. I selected a set of six wide-bowled glasses at Crate & Barrel for one reason: I thought they were beautiful.
That set served me well. I remember one of them breaking dramatically during a party that first year, but several of them lasted for more than a decade. Into these glasses, I poured red and white wine, as well as the occasional champagne toast. Since then I have learned a great deal more about wine, as well as the importance of using different glasses for different wines. And it’s not just about etiquette. The size, shape, and construction of a wine glass can dramatically alter the tasting experience.
There are dozens of different specialized wine glasses, but most glasses are grouped into one of two categories: red or white wine glasses.
In general, red wine glasses are taller and have a bigger bowl than white wine glasses. There are several reasons for this, but mostly, the wider opening of the glass allows red wines to breathe or to oxidate – and ultimately taste smoother. Red wine glasses can be held by the bowl or the stem. White wines, on the other hand, do better in a glass with a smaller bowl and narrower rim because it helps to preserve the cooler temperature.
How to choose a wine glass
There are several different design and construction elements to consider when choosing a glass. According to Williams-Sonoma, some of the most important are the size and shape of the bowl, the stem, the rim and whether it is made of crystal or glass.
- The Bowl: A wider bowl increases the surface area of the wine that’s exposed to air and encourages alcohol evaporation. This creates what’s known as the wine’s aroma, which can drastically alter its taste. Wide bowls are best for red wines. Lighter, white wines are served in narrower, taller bowls because it preserves the chill and the delicate bouquet.
- The Stem: Holding a wine glass by its stem helps to keep the heat of your hand away from the wine, which is important because your hand may affect the wine’s temperature. Stemless wine glasses, also called wine tumblers, are less formal than stemmed glasses and are perfect for everyday use or casual entertaining.
- The Rim: A tapered shape suspends the wine’s aroma at the top of the glass and prevents it from wafting away when the wine is swirled. A glass with a rim that tapers and then flares slightly still effectively holds the wine’s aroma, while directing the flow of wine toward the front palate, highlighting rich fruit flavors while tempering acidity.
- The Material: Crystal is glass that contains lead oxide. Beyond its beautiful sparkle, crystal is a good choice for wine glasses because it’s stronger than plain glass and therefore more easily made into more delicate designs. The surface of crystal is also microscopically coarser than glass so wines develop more intense aromas when they’re swirled in crystal stemware. If you’re looking for dishwasher-safe stemware, glass is a better choice than crystal. Shaped by a skilled glassblower, glass stemware can be every bit as delicate and beautiful as crystal stemware.
Types of red wine glasses
- Standard red wine glass: Mostly used for Cabernet, Merlot, Bordeaux, or similar varietals, this tall glass has a full sized bowl that tapers a little bit at the top.
- Pinot or Burgundy glass: Not as tall as the Cabernet glass, this one has a wide bowl.
- Shiraz glass: This is the tallest of all red wine glasses, with a distinct taper towards the top.
- Port glass: These are short and much smaller than other red wine glasses.
Types of white wine glasses
- Standard white wine glass: Mostly used for Chardonnay, these glasses have a similar shape to standard red wine glasses, but they’re a bit smaller.
- Sauvignon Blanc/Pino Grigio glass: Designed to bring out the acidity in these wines, the glasses are shorter and have a smaller bowl than the Chardonnay glasses.
- Montrachet/White Burgundy glass: These wine glasses are short with a wide bowl.
We’ve selected wine glasses that will work with any wine you choose – red or white- as well as specialty glasses for both red and white wines. Read on to learn more about our wine glass picks.
Here are the best wine glasses you can buy:
- Best wine glasses overall: Libbey 4 Piece Signature Kentfield Grande Wine Set
- Best white wine glasses: Riedel Vivant 4 Piece White Wine Glass Set
- Best red wine glasses: 2 Piece Riedel Veritas Cabernet/Merlot Glass Set
- Best stemless wine glasses: Zeppoli 4 Piece Royal Stemless Wine Glass Set
Updated by Caitlin Petreycik on 11/11/2019: Updated prices, links, and formatting.
Find all the best offers at our Coupons page.
Disclosure: This post is brought to you by the Insider Picks team. We highlight products and services you might find interesting. If you buy them, we get a small share of the revenue from the sale from our commerce partners. We frequently receive products free of charge from manufacturers to test. This does not drive our decision as to whether or not a product is featured or recommended. We operate independently from our advertising sales team. We welcome your feedback. Email us at [email protected]
The best wine glasses overall
The best white wine glasses
The best red wine glasses
The best stemless wine glasses
(the headline, this story has not been published by Important India News staff and is published from a syndicated feed.)