Drinking Wines From The Best Wine Glass
We are here to help you make an informed decision when purchasing wine glasses. We will guide you while considering factors like design, functionality, and suitability for different types of wines. This article provides expert opinions and reviews to help readers choose the right wine glasses for their preferences and occasions.
The following wine glass buying guide will provide all the necessary information to choose the wine glasses that fit your needs.
If you prefer a quick and thoughtful recommendation, we suggest you buy a set of these wine glasses and be done. Otherwise, read on!
Table Of Contents
- Understanding Wine Glass Parts
- Our Top Picks
- What Makes a Great Wine Glass
- Wine Glass Styles
- Wine Glasses By Material Type
- Alternative Wine Glasses
- What are the best wine glass brands?
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First, let's start with a brief overview of the wine glass. Knowing the wine glass "parts" is important before diving into the various wine glass types.
This is the base of the glass. This sits at the stem's end unless you use a stemless glass.
The long, tapered piece of glass extends from the bowl to the foot of the glass. This is where you hold the glass.
This is where the good stuff goes. The bowl is the rounded opening that holds your wine.
This is the top of the bowl. This is where your mouth contacts the wine glass and the wine. The quality of the rim can make a huge difference in your enjoyment of your wine.
1. Gabriel-Glas StandArt Crystal Wine Glasses
Best Classic Universal Wine Glass: Featuring an old-school design, understated elegance, and everyday durability, this Austrian crystal glass, the Gabriel-Glas, distinguishes itself. Its seamless construction and bell shape, perfect for swirling, make it an all-encompassing choice that gracefully handles various wines. Renowned for its balance and deceivingly lightweight feel, the Gabriel-Glas set earns praise from experts and wine enthusiasts.
Click here to see prices on Amazon.
2. Spiegelau Red Wine Glass
Perfect For Your First Wine Glass: Recommended by one of the World's foremost sommeliers, Aldo Sohm, this is the perfect starter glass for wine lovers. The thin rim and generous bowl size will enhance your enjoyment of red and white wines. It is an affordable and versatile choice in the high-end wine glass category.
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3. Josephinenhütte Josephine No. 2
Connoisseur's Wine Glass: The Josephine No. 2 glass is a head-turner for serious wine enthusiasts with a unique and thoughtful design. Crafted by renowned glassware designer Kurt Zalto, this hand-finished, mouth-blown glass undergoes a meticulous two-day process in Europe. Experts praise its excellence in bringing out aromatics in reds, flavors in whites, and effervescence in sparkling wines. While an investment, the Josephine No. 2 is considered one of the best universal glasses in the market.
Click here to see it on Amazon.
4. Zalto Denk'Art Universal
Best High-End Wine Glass: The Zalto Denk'Art is a showstopper in wine glasses. With a Michelin-quality crystal stem and bowl, it boasts an impossibly thin and beadless rim. Recognized as a prestige brand, the Zalto is celebrated for its lightness, versatility, and the perfect ratio from base to bowl. Sommeliers appreciate its ability to allow complex aromas to bloom, making it an ideal investment for serious wine drinkers and collectors. Wine writer and critic Alice Feiring praised Zalto glasses, calling them precision instruments that border on spiritual.
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Best Value Universal Wine Glass: Glasvin Universal wine glass offers versatility at an affordable price. Its delicate design, long legs, and thin-lipped structure make it a top choice for reds and whites. Despite its thinner stem, this glass provides a satisfying drinking experience, with experts commending its comfort and smooth lip. It is a worthwhile purchase that outperforms many universal glasses in its category.
Click here to see it on the Glasvin site.
6. Wine Enthusiast Somm Pinot Noir
Best for Red Wine: The Wine Enthusiast Somm Pinot Noir glass is hailed as visually striking and ideal for enthusiasts. Its bowl shape facilitates aggressive swirling, making it suitable for bolder or older wines requiring open-up. Experts note its versatility, catering to various red varietals, and praise its stunning design, perfect for special occasions and everyday use.
Click here to see it on Wine Enthusiast.
7. Josephinenhütte Josephine No. 3 Red Wine Glass
Best High-End Red Wine Glass: Considered a splurge for discerning red wine drinkers, the Josephine No. 3 boasts a large bowl that effortlessly aerates the wine. Its unique shape brings out the full spectrum of aromas and flavors in reds, rivaling top-tier glasses like Zalto. While not for everyone due to its price and specialized style, it's a luxury set perfect for intimate settings and serious wine enthusiasts.
Click here to see it on Amazon.
8. Richard Brendon x Jancis Robinson The Perfect Wine Glass
Best For A Bottle Of White Wine: Tailored for white and sparkling wine lovers, this glass by Richard Brendon and wine expert Jancis Robinson features a traditional shape with a narrow bowl. Made with durable lead-free crystal, it provides a balanced and delicate feel. While not as nuanced as some high-end options, it offers an excellent choice for those favoring white and sparkling varieties.
Click here to see it on Food52.
A wine glass with a large bowl and a small rim can enhance wine enjoyment by allowing ample aeration due to the expansive bowl. The smaller rim then directs the aroma to your nose. This design combines the benefits of aeration with controlled exposure to the nose, capturing and delivering the nuanced aromas of the wine to the drinker for a more refined tasting experience.
Stemmed or Stemless
The stem is more critical than most people realize. Holding your glass by the stem keeps it at the correct temperature. The heat from your hand transfers to the glass when you hold the bowl. We like the look of stemless glasses, but we don't recommend them in most cases. You could make a case for their convenience if you plan to drink outside.
Red or White
The larger bowl of a red wine glass enhances aeration, unlocking complex aromas and flavors, which is particularly beneficial for bold red wines. In contrast, the narrower bowl of a white wine glass preserves cooler temperatures. It accentuates the nuances of delicate white and sparkling wines, ensuring each varietal is enjoyed fully.
A versatile wine glass, often labeled as "universal" or "all-purpose," accommodates a broad range of wine types, eliminating the need for separate glasses for reds and whites. This adaptability is crucial for individuals with limited storage space or those seeking a practical, cost-effective solution for enjoying various wines. The versatility of such glasses simplifies the wine-drinking experience, making it accessible and enjoyable for casual enthusiasts without compromising the appreciation of different varietals.
If you consider yourself an aspiring wine connoisseur, you should know all about different wine glass styles. Unique wine glasses exist for almost all types of wine available today. The glass style is designed to concentrate the aromas of the wine in every sip. The different styles can be generally categorized by the type of wine they are designed to hold.
Burgundy Wine Glasses
Here are a few facts about Burgundy wine glasses. They have a sleek profile with a sizable bowl that traps and enhances all the subtle Burgundy aromas. These glasses feature a slim, tall stem and a wider bowl when compared to Bordeaux glasses. The reason for the tall stem is so that you can swirl the wine with ease.
Swirling provides sufficient air to bring to life all the flavor nuances of Burgundy wines. The Burgundy taste starts at the tip of your tongue and spreads throughout the mouth. These glasses feature a thin lip to enhance your drinking experience further. It keeps the wine close to your tongue and makes drinking from these glasses a breeze.
Bordeaux Wine Glasses
Unlike Burgundy wine glasses, Bordeaux glasses are designed to send the wine to the back of your mouth. Bordeaux stemware is the tallest wine glass and sports a tiny bowl. They are also suitable for Cabernet and Merlot - full-bodied wines that benefit from the tall stem and small bowl. We feel the Bordeaux style is the best wine glass for general use if you don't own a universal wine glass.
Sipping from these glasses sends the wine to the back of your mouth for an explosion of flavors. Bordeaux wine glasses accent all the palatable aromas without making the wine taste bitter. These glasses are also quite suitable for young wines that haven't reached a mature aroma.
Dessert Wine Glasses
Dessert wine glasses are designed to accent the flavors of dessert wines. These glasses are generally much smaller. They have a short stem and narrow bowl and rim. Each design element brings the dessert wine aroma closer to your mouth and nose.
Wines like Port, Marsala, or Orange Muscat are very sweet and contain more alcohol than red or white table wines. The small size and narrow rim direct the wine to the back of your mouth to avoid the overwhelming sweetness. The small size also lets you consume just the right amount of sweet wine in a single glass to prevent overwhelming your other senses or consuming too much alcohol.
Besides selecting the right glass, the general advice would be to go for a wine that is a bit sweeter than your dessert. And don't worry if your hands warm the dessert wine because they are supposed to. It is another thing that brings out all the flavors of dessert wine.
To see our choice for a perfect dessert wine glass, click this link.
This article will deal with stemless glasses in a separate section, but balloon, flute, and aerating glasses each feature a specific purpose. Flute glasses are tall and skinny, making them the best wine glasses for bubbly wines, while balloon glasses are the most versatile ones. The aerating ones, however, allow you to drink wine straight from the glass without aerating it first.
There are a few different materials used to produce wine glasses. The most expensive wine glasses are made using crystal—crystal's unique properties help enhance the wine-drinking experience. The ultra-thin lip of the crystal wine glass perfectly directs the wine to the optimal part of your mouth. However, it's a fact that crystal wine glasses can be expensive and difficult to maintain. Crystal is also heavier weight than traditional glass. These are the best wine glasses for special occasions because they are thin and elegant.
Blown glass is the most common material used to make wine glasses. These wine glasses are less likely to break, but they are as elegant as crystal. Plastic wine glasses have their uses. If you are going to be outside, near a pool, or have young children, plastic wine glasses are an excellent alternative. Below, we go into more detail and provide some good options for each wine glass type.
Whether for Burgundy, Bordeaux, dessert, or any other wine, you may want to aim for crystal wine glasses. Traditionally, crystal wine glasses have been the go-to option for all respectable wine connoisseurs for the material’s ability to bring out the best flavors and aromas from a wine.
These wine glasses usually contain a certain lead oxide level, though some premium crystal glasses are lead-free. Either way, the material has a much stronger structure than regular glasses, making creating intricate designs on crystal glasses easier. Looking at a crystal wine glass under a microscope, you will see that the crystals are very coarse. The coarse crystalline structure affects the aroma of the wine in these glasses.
The different smells and textures of the wine hit you with all the seduction when you swirl it in a crystal wine glass. However, the one downside of crystal wine glasses is that they shouldn't be washed in a dishwasher.
Plastic Wine Glasses
Plastic wine glasses are affordable and exceptionally durable, and they have recently gained a lot of following, especially among the younger crowds. They do not provide the same wine-tasting experience as their crystal or glass counterparts. But top-notch plastic wine glasses don’t look and feel cheap, either.
Nowadays, there are a lot of plastic blends that can be perfectly suitable for wine glasses. These wine glasses are usually shatterproof, unbreakable, and dishwasher-safe. Plastic wine glasses are great for large outdoor parties and events, where it would be difficult to use your high-end wine glass set. However, if you go for more expensive plastic wine glasses, they won’t look out of place at a fancy dinner table either.
You can see our plastic wine glass choice by clicking here.
Making wine glasses can be an art if done with care. There are a few global wine glass manufacturers who elevate their wine glass production to an art form. We will cover those top wine glass brands here.
The Riedel name is synonymous with wine glass quality and bowl shape innovation. The company pays special attention to the shape because they believe a wine glass is a tool that delivers the wine's message. Riedel backs each of its distinct glass shapes with scientific explanations.
These wine glasses are designed to deliver the best of the four sensations that come with each wine. The company's stemware ensures you get the bouquet, texture, flavor, and finish characteristic of each vintage. The Riedel wine glass shape is also made to accent the characteristics of each grape variety.
Moreover, Riedel has the most extensive history of exclusive glassmaking worldwide. The first set of Riedel luxury glassware came out in the late 17th century, and the company has been the leading authority ever since.
To add a Riedel set to your collection of wine accessories, go to this page.
This German glassmaker is known for its extraordinary attention to detail in manufacturing, with over 140 years of experience crafting premium quality crystal products. They are the maker of our favorite general-purpose wine glass. You can see that glass here.
Schott Zwiesel continues to innovate despite its long history. They offer a line of products made of Tritan Crystal Glass. This elegant yet durable material allows them to produce razor-thin glass that can withstand rough handling.
They produce a line of traditional and stemless wine glasses, decanters, and specialty glasses.
Josephinenhütte is known for producing glassware with meticulous attention to detail, making each piece a work of art. Wine enthusiasts and collectors appreciate the brand for its dedication to creating glasses that not only showcase the beauty of the wine but also contribute to the overall enjoyment of the drinking ritual. The exclusivity and limited availability of Josephinenhütte glasses further add to their allure, making them a coveted choice among those who value aesthetics and functionality in their wine accessories.
You can browse their wine glasses here.
Gabriel-Glas takes a different approach to the wine glass market. Where many companies produce a wide range of sizes and qualities, Gabriel-Glas only makes two. This has allowed them to perfect the design of their all-purpose wine glasses. We love the idea of universal wine glasses as long as they live up to their promise. Gabriel-Glas has done that.
The StandArt and the Gold Edition share a similar design. A broad bowl that tapers up to the rim. This allows your wine to get lots of air contact and then directs the aroma to your nose. The Gold Edition is the more elegant, with the StandArt as a wine glass workhorse. These are the best wine glasses for anyone who wants to own only one glass style.
You can purchase the Gabriel-Glas glasses by clicking here.
Some of the top wine glasses fill a particular need. There are some excellent choices, whether you are looking for a glass to go poolside, recyclable wine glasses for a party, or just a glass that will not break in the sink. Some of these glasses may fit the bill as your go-to weeknight drinking glass. We enjoy having a set of indestructible stemless glasses around for just that purpose because they are easy to clean and store.
Stemless Wine Glasses
Some diehard wine connoisseurs believe stemless wine glasses belong only in sorority houses, but this is far from the truth. These glasses have become very popular recently because of their versatility and unique aesthetic appeal. In addition, without the stem, these glasses have fewer chances of breaking. It means you don’t have to be extra careful, especially after a glass or two of your favorite Bordeaux.
But there are some potential downsides that you should be aware of. As the name suggests, these wine glasses come without a stem, so you must hold them by the bowl. But holding the bowl can warm your wine - the thing to avoid if you desire the best taste and aroma. Therefore, it is advisable to hold stemless wine glasses near the rim, preferably with your thumb and index finger only.
For the best Riedel stemless wine glasses, follow this link.
Unbreakable Wine Glasses
Unbreakable wine glasses have recently become quite popular. Technological breakthroughs in super-resistant materials have made these glasses more available. The most common materials for unbreakable glasses are plastic and glass.
Plastic unbreakable glasses are also one of the most budget-friendly options. They are great if you’d like to organize large parties without worrying about something happening to your stemware. These glasses also come in any imaginable shape, size, and color to suit your wine preference.
On the other hand, the glass in unbreakable wine glasses is not glass. It is usually a type of copolyester closer to acrylic than crystal or glass. But this doesn't mean these wine glasses are inferior in style or usability. They can fit your dining table as well as the poolside.
For more information about unbreakable wine glasses, click here.
You can see a list of the best wine tumblers here.
Disposable wine glasses are pretty versatile and convenient. They are usually made of inferior plastics to the ones used in unbreakable wine glasses. These glasses also come in various shapes and sizes, making them perfect for any occasion.
They are an excellent solution for birthday parties, festivals, and other occasions involving many people. Some eco-friendly disposable wine glasses are easily recyclable and perhaps made of recycled materials.
Admittedly, these glasses don't provide the connoisseur wine experience but serve their intended purpose well.
To learn more about the best disposable wine glasses, follow this link
Choosing the right one might be difficult since there are many different wine glass options. Usually, a wine connoisseur would select a wine glass set according to individual needs and preferences.
However, it is always helpful to stay informed about all of the available options. Remember that a quality wine glass set can elevate your wine-tasting experience. If you are a true connoisseur, consider investing in the best wine glasses to match your wine collection. Are you buying wine glasses as a gift? Check out our list of great gifts for wine lovers.
As a reminder, you can click this link for the number one wine glass for all occasions and wine types.
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