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When it comes to wine, the glassware you choose to serve it in can really make a difference. Glasses specifically designed for reds, whites, and more showcase the wine’s nuances and helps it be enjoyed to its fullest capacity. That goes for the occasion too. On your wedding day or anniversary, you may want to pull out special toasting flutes. But you wouldn’t use that same crystal for a rowdy Saturday night party. To help you navigate the world of wine glassware, we’re here to help you select the right glass for the type of vino and occasion in which to drink it.
There are lots of differences in material, production, and design details to sort through, and it can get overwhelming—especially if you’re registering for other tabletop and household items at the same time! When you’re looking at glassware, remember that most wine glasses—except for stemless—feature four parts. The bowl is where you pour the liquid, and its size and shape will affect how the wine will taste and smell.
The lip is the edge of the bowl where you sip the wine. This plays a role in the aroma of the wine, with a more flared lip enhancing the nose of aromatic blends. The stem is the long piece of glass that attaches to the bowl. This is where you place your hand to hold the glass, so it should not only look pretty but feel good to the fingers. Finally, there is the foot, the base of the glass. It should provide stability for the glass on a table. The perfect glass for you is one that marries style with function—and fits with your lifestyle.
Read on for the best wine glasses.
Best Overall: Libbey Signature Kentfield Estate All-Purpose Wine Glass Set
This tried-and-true set of glassware is both affordable and classic. The lightly-tapered shape is designed to accommodate a range of varietals, from crisp whites to full-bodied reds. An all-purpose style is a perfect choice if you don’t have a ton of space in your cabinets for all the varietal-specific glasses.
Sturdy enough to be used for your nightly vino, this glass still feels elegant enough to bring out for a dinner party—and at a great price point, you won’t have to worry if one gets broken.
Best White Wine Glass: Riedel Viognier/Chardonnay Glass Set
A leader in the wine glass industry, the iconic brand Riedel doesn’t have a shortage of grape-specific glasses. The Vinum series Viognier/Chardonnay glass is the ideal vessel for all types of white wines and works with everything from Sauvignon Blanc and Chardonnay to obscure indigenous grapes like Aligoté and Marsanne.
The key to this glass is the shape of the bowl. It evens out the acidity and the flavors so that every sip feels balanced and maximizes deliciousness.
Best Red Wine Glass: Schott Zwiesel Tritan Cabernet Glass
Designed to enhance the flavors of Cabernet Sauvignon-based wines, this lead-free crystal glass works just as well with most red wines. The glass’s open is just wide enough to allow air in to help open the wine and soothe harsh tannins.
It’s also large enough to really stick your nose in and get a whiff of the dark fruit and earthy aromas of your favorite reds. The simple elegance of the glass looks fantastic on any dinner table, and we love that you can toss it in the dishwasher for quick cleanup.
Best Stemless Glass: Riedel “O” Stemless Viognier/Chardonnay White Wine Tumbler
This stemless wine glass is one of the most versatile—and spill-proof—wine glasses you can find. The 111.3-ounce glass is a great size for any type of wine as well as the grip of your hand. The fact you hold the bowl in your hand is what makes wine connoisseurs turn up their noses to this style. Your body heat from your hand can warm up the temperature of the wine.
However, we feel like the pros outweigh any cons this glass may have. The lack of stem makes it harder to knock it over and therefore, the perfect choice for game night, cocktail parties, or other time you foresee “energetic guests.” Plus, these glasses are a great value—if one goes flying during a game of charades, you won’t be so sad about it.
Best Rosé Wine Glass: Schott Zwiesel Rosé Glass
One of the beauties of drinking pink wine is the color. The other? The delicate floral aromas. The flared lip of Schott Zwiesel’s rosé glass accents this detail, allowing the aromas to play a prominent role in your enjoyment of the wine.
The titanium lead-free crystal is extremely clear, meaning that the pink hue will shine through. It’s also more durable against scratches and breakage than you might think.
Best Sparkling Wine Glass: Luigi Bormioli Prosecco Sparkling Wine Glasses
When drinking sparkling wine, it’s ideal to use a tall, narrow shape to keep the effervescence going (too much of a flat surface means that the bubbles won’t last). A delicate curve enhances the nose of the wine while maintaining the classic flute shape, so the rising bubbles of sparkling varietals like Champagne, Prosecco, and Cava can be enjoyed.
Made of lead-free crystal glass and manufactured using modern technology, this budget-friendly glass is extra-strong and resistant to breakage. Cheers!
Best Toasting Glass: Baccarat Massena Champagne Flute Set
World-renowned crystal company Baccarat is no stranger to barware, especially when it comes to wine glasses. Their Massena collection includes a standout pair of toasting flutes with deep orgue bevel cuts etched directly into the clear crystal.
The intricate detailing, which is especially gorgeous on the foot of the glass, does up the price, but that’s why these are your new special occasion glasses. Just pull out the vintage Champagne and enjoy!.
Best Set: Gabriel Glas Gift Box Set
Gabriel Glas produces an excellent universal glass— and with gorgeous, upscale packaging, this set makes for a perfect gift. The lead-free crystal glass from Austria is machine-molded, bringing the price-per-glass down compared to hand-blown glassware. It still offers plenty of the design advantages of pricer goblets and feels fancy enough for a special dinner party.
Best Value Glass: Spiegelau Wine Lovers Wine Glass Collection
Reidel’s lower-priced brand, Spiegelau, offers great value per dollar. The crystal glasses are produced, as they always have, in Germany, but are now made by machines instead of hand. This drops the price significantly without sacrificing the design they are known for.
Wine from these glasses looks and tastes as great as many more expensive glasses, making these our pick for the best value glass.
What to look for in wine glasses
Whether on a budget and looking for an affordable molded glass or ready to splurge on the finest crystal, the material will come into play. In general, hand-blown crystal is the thinnest material, but that also comes with increased fragility.
Think about your lifestyle and how you’re planning to use the glassware. Are you wine connoisseurs who want the perfect proportions for that vintage Cabernet? Or are you big entertainers and need durable glasses for a crowd?
If you enjoy a wide variety of wines (or have limited storage space), a universal glass will do the trick. If you have room to spare, it’s worth it to invest in the specific shapes for different types of wine—your taste buds will reward you.
Remember the four parts of a wine glass—the bowl, the lip, the stem, and the foot. No matter what the material of the glass might is, you should make sure that it feels stable. The last thing you need is red wine on your new white sofa!
You’ll be able to serve about five glasses from a standard bottle of wine,
There are about five fluid ounces in a standard glass of wine.
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Contributing writer Stephanie Cain is a journalist and content strategist in the lifestyle space, with a focus on weddings, food, and travel. She is also a wine expert and sommelier accredited by the Court of Master Sommeliers.