Selecting the Best Wine Glass for Every Grape Variety: Expert Recommendations

Choose the perfect glasses to make the most of your wine-drinking experience.

Selecting the right wines with care, storing them in ideal conditions, and pairing them skillfully with complementary dishes are all crucial steps in creating an exceptional wine-drinking experience. However, the final, and perhaps most critical, step is serving the wine in the perfect glass. The shape and style of your wine glasses not only enhance the visual appeal of the experience but can also significantly elevate the taste and aroma of the wine.

With a vast array of wine glasses available in the market, it can be a daunting task to pick the perfect one. To simplify your decision, we sought advice from seasoned experts to understand the key features that differentiate wine glasses, and whether distinct glasses are required for red and white wines. Below, you’ll find a curated selection of the finest wine glasses for various occasions and wine varieties, handpicked by those in the know.

Top Selections of Wine Glasses by Category

Best Overall Glasses: Riedel VINUM Zinfandel/Riesling/Chianti Glasses

Where to Buy: Amazon
Why It’s Great: Versatile and suitable for a variety of wines, these glasses are a reliable choice for both casual and formal wine-drinking occasions.

Best Value Glasses: Libbey Vineyard Reserve 12-Piece Wine Glass Party Set

Where to Buy: Amazon
Why It’s Great: An affordable set that doesn’t compromise on quality, perfect for gatherings and parties.

Best for Red Glasses: Made In Red Wine Glasses

Where to Buy: Amazon
Why It’s Great: These glasses are designed to bring out the full-bodied flavors and aromas of red wines.

Best for White Glasses: Riedel Veritas Oaked Chardonnay Glasses

Where to Buy: Amazon
Why It’s Great: Expertly crafted to enhance the crisp and complex notes of white wines.

Best Stemless Glasses: Schott Zwiesel Tritan Forte Universal Tumbler

Where to Buy: Amazon
Why It’s Great: A modern and casual option that’s durable and easy to handle.

Best Crystal Glasses: Waterford Lismore Essence Goblet

Where to Buy: Amazon
Why It’s Great: These exquisite crystal goblets add a touch of elegance to any wine-drinking occasion.

Best for Champagne Glasses: Riedel Performance Champagne Glass

Where to Buy: Amazon
Why It’s Great: Designed to enhance the effervescence and aromas of champagne, making every sip a celebration.

Best Expert Glasses Pick: Jancis Robinson The Perfect Wine Glass

Where to Buy: Food52
Why It’s Great: Endorsed by renowned wine critic Jancis Robinson, these glasses are crafted to perfection for the ultimate wine-tasting experience.

Best Splurge Glasses: Zalto Denk’Art Burgundy Wine Glass

Where to Buy: Wine Enthusiast
Why It’s Great: A luxurious choice that offers an unparalleled wine-drinking experience, making it worth the investment.

Best Looking Glasses: Josephinenhütte Josephine No. 2 Universal Wine Glass

Where to Buy: Amazon
Why It’s Great: These glasses offer a distinctive and contemporary design that accelerates the wine’s aeration process.

Best Budget Glasses: Gabriel-Glas StandArt Crystal Wine Glass

Where to Buy: Amazon
Why It’s Great: These glasses present an attractive blend of affordability and sophistication.

 

1. Best Overall - Riedel VINUM Zinfandel/Riesling/Chianti Glasses

Pros: These glasses offer a versatile and sophisticated design that elevates the quality of your wine.
Cons: They are fragile, requiring careful handling and cleaning.

Riedel’s wine glass set stands out for its elegant and universal design. Suitable for a range of wines, from rich Chianti to aromatic Riesling, these glasses accentuate your wine’s flavors and aromas. Despite being shorter than others on our list, their comfortable grip and compact storage make them ideal for smaller spaces. While slightly expensive, these expert-approved glasses significantly enhance your wine-tasting experience.

Price at time of publish: $75
Material: Crystal
Capacity: 14.1 ounces
Height: 8.27 inches
Dishwasher-safe: Yes

2. Best Value - Libbey Vineyard Reserve 12-Piece Wine Glass Party Set

Pros: This affordable set of six each for white and red wines is ideal for starter bars and fits most kitchen styles.
Cons: The glass is less durable than higher-end options, and adding to the set requires purchasing another full set.

For budget-conscious shoppers, Libbey offers a set of 12 wine glasses, suitable for various red and white wines. Trusted by restaurant and hotel owners, this brand is known for its affordable yet reliable glassware. At under $4 per glass, this set offers exceptional value for those setting up their first apartment or hosting wine-tasting events.

Price at time of publish: $50
Material: Glass
Capacity: 18 ounces; 19.7 ounces
Height: 10.25 inches
Dishwasher-safe: Yes

3. Best for Reds - Made In Red Wine Glasses (Set of 4)

Pros: Lightweight and large enough for swirling full-bodied red wines.
Cons: Handmade variations and a size that might be too large for some tastes.

Made In’s glasses are hand-blown in Italy and free of heavy metals. The titanium-treated stems resist breakage, and these dishwasher-friendly glasses are perfect for dinner parties and cocktail events. Their elegant appearance complements any setting, from casual evenings to holiday dinners. With a 23-ounce capacity, there’s ample room for swirling, while the slightly narrowed top enhances wine aromatics as you sip.

Price at time of publish: $69
Material: Titanium-reinforced glass
Capacity: 23.75 ounces
Height: 9.75 inches
Dishwasher-safe: Yes

4. Best for Whites - Riedel Veritas Oaked Chardonnay Wine Glasses

Pros: Lightweight and type-specific glasses to enhance your favorite wines.
Cons: Best suited for homes with ample space or specific grape preferences, as they are not universal.

While universal wine glasses are sufficient for most white wines, enthusiasts of specific varieties may prefer Riedel’s varietal-specific glasses. This collection includes high-quality glasses designed for oaked Chardonnay, Sauvignon Blanc, Riesling, and more. Each lightweight glass feels as light as a feather in the hand. However, F&W Executive Wine Editor Ray Isle notes that most people don’t need different glasses for every grape variety.

Price at time of publish: $79
Material: Crystal glass
Capacity: 21 ounces
Height: 8.54 inches
Dishwasher-safe: Yes

5. Best Stemless - Schott Zwiesel Tritan Forte Universal Tumbler

Pros: This stemless set combines high-end aesthetics with practicality, making it perfect for casual gatherings.
Cons: The thin glass is prone to breakage, and some wine enthusiasts may prefer a stemmed glass.

While universal wine glasses are sufficient for most white wines, enthusiasts of specific varieties may prefer Riedel’s varietal-specific glasses. This collection includes high-quality glasses designed for oaked Chardonnay, Sauvignon Blanc, Riesling, and more. Each lightweight glass feels as light as a feather in the hand. However, F&W Executive Wine Editor Ray Isle notes that most people don’t need different glasses for every grape variety.

Price at time of publish: $79
Material: Crystal glass
Capacity: 21 ounces
Height: 8.54 inches
Dishwasher-safe: Yes

6. Best Crystal - Waterford Lismore Essence Goblet

Pros: An elegant and quality design from a renowned brand with a historical style.
Cons: Requires hand-washing and is heavier than other wine glasses.

For top-notch crystal, consider Waterford’s exquisite wine glasses. As Isle observes, “Waterford produces lovely crystal glasses, albeit at a higher price.” The glasses feature the brand’s iconic Lismore pattern, introduced in 1952, and their rounder bowl and slender stem update the traditional Waterford style. The hand-cut, leaded glass adds a touch of sophistication to any table setting.

Price at time of publish: $160
Material: Leaded crystal glass
Capacity: 19 ounces
Height: 10 inches
Dishwasher-safe: No

7. Best for Champagne - Riedel Performance Champagne Glass

Pros: Durable fine crystal and a shape designed to enhance the aromatics of sparkling wines.
Cons: More expensive and less versatile than other styles.

Traditional champagne flutes are not ideal for experiencing the full aromatics of sparkling wines, according to Ian Cauble, master sommelier and founder of SommSelect. He recommends the Riedel Champagne stem for its egg-shaped design and durability. The fine crystal enhances the aromatic experience, making these glasses a treasure for sparkling wine lovers.

Price at time of publish: $79
Material: Fine crystal
Capacity: 13 ounces
Height: 9.65 inches
Dishwasher-safe: Yes

8. Best Expert Pick - Jancis Robinson The Perfect Wine Glass

Pros: Versatile shape suitable for multiple grape varieties, with dishwasher cleaning recommended.
Cons: Expensive, more fragile than other glasses, and less storage-friendly due to height.

Designed in collaboration with renowned wine critic Jancis Robinson, these glasses have a distinct silhouette perfect for enhancing the characteristics of both red and white wines. With a tulip-shaped bowl that promotes aromatic development, they are ideal for wine enthusiasts seeking versatile glasses. However, their fragility, tall height, and higher cost make them less suitable for households with limited storage or those seeking everyday glassware.

Price at time of publish: $100
Material: Leaded crystal glass
Capacity: 14.4 ounces
Height: 9 inches
Dishwasher-safe: Yes

9. Best Splurge - Zalto Denk'Art Burgundy Wine Glass

Pros: Handcrafted with attention to detail, enhancing the wine’s aromatic experience.
Cons: Requires hand-washing, and is more expensive and fragile than other glasses.

Zalto’s wine glasses are hand-blown in Austria and the quality is evident in their refined craftsmanship. The specific bowl shape enhances the wine’s aroma and taste, and the thinness of the glass allows for maximum appreciation. Ideal for the connoisseur who values the sensory experience of wine tasting.

Price at time of publish: $120
Material: Leaded crystal glass
Capacity: 23 ounces
Height: 9.5 inches
Dishwasher-safe: No

10. Best Looking - Josephinenhütte Josephine No. 2 Universal Wine Glass

Pros: Accelerates the wine’s aeration process, resulting in a rich bouquet of aromas. Modern curves showcase the wine glass’s aesthetic appeal.
Cons: The price point might be a significant deterrent for many potential buyers.

The Josephinenhütte Josephine No. 2 Universal Wine Glass offers a distinctive and contemporary design that accelerates the wine’s aeration process. Its exquisite construction ensures both durability and delicacy. This glass is a solid choice for those seeking a modern and functional design that enhances the wine’s aromas. However, the price and unique shape are points to consider before making a purchase decision.

Price at time of publish: $90
Material: Crystal
Capacity: 18.6 ounces
Height: 9.45 inches
Dishwasher-safe: Yes

11. Best Budget - Gabriel-Glas StandArt Crystal Wine Glasses Set

Pros: Captures every nuance of the wine, even during vigorous swirling. Preserves sparkling wine’s bubbles almost as effectively as a flute.
Cons: The slightly heavy and imbalanced base detracts from the overall elegance of the glass.

The Gabriel-Glas StandArt Crystal Wine Glasses Set presents an attractive blend of affordability and sophistication. Its unique tulip shape and wide bowl contribute to an enhanced wine-tasting experience by capturing the wine’s complexities. Remarkably, it manages to retain the effervescence of sparkling wines nearly as effectively as traditional flutes. The standout feature is the budget-friendly price point, making these glasses accessible to a broader audience.

Price at time of publish: $68
Material: Crystal
Capacity: 16 ounces
Height: 9 inches
Dishwasher-safe: Yes

OUR TAKEAWAYS

After thorough research and consideration, we’ve concluded that there is a wine glass for every preference, whether you value aesthetics, practicality, or the sensory experience. We hope our expert recommendations help you select the perfect wine glasses for your next gathering or wine-tasting adventure.

Cheers to the perfect sip!

*Prices and availability may vary.

The Right Wine Glass

The eight wine glasses featured in this list offer something for everyone, from versatile universal glasses to those designed for specific wine varietals. Selecting the right wine glass for your needs not only showcases the wine's qualities but also adds an element of sophistication and elegance to your table. So, take the time to choose the perfect wine glass and enjoy the enhanced experience it brings to every sip. Consider these key factors when shopping for wine glasses:

Size Matters

Wine glasses come in various sizes, from small ones under two ounces for dessert and fortified wines to large balloons holding almost an entire bottle. You should aim for glasses with enough room to aerate the wine. A standard pour is about 3-5 ounces, filling the bottom third of a tulip-shaped glass or the bottom quarter of a balloon-shaped glass. Non-varietal-specific glasses should have an 8-ounce capacity for white wines and 10- to 12-ounce for reds to provide the necessary airspace. Also, consider dishwasher compatibility, ensuring the stems fit comfortably.

Stemmed vs. Stemless

Stems on wine glasses serve to keep your warm hands away from the bowl, preventing the wine from heating. Stemless glasses, though compact and less breakable, may not be ideal for premium wines due to the warmth from your hands. Stemless glasses are great for casual occasions or homes with children and pets, while stemmed glasses are preferred for enjoying high-quality wines.

Red or White

Non-varietal red wine glasses typically have a wider bowl, enabling the wine to breathe and develop its flavors. White wine glasses, on the other hand, feature taller, narrower bowls that help maintain a cooler temperature. If you're looking to buy a single set, consider a universal style glass with a bowl size between standard white and traditional red glasses.

Versatility

If you often stick to one type of wine, investing in red- or white-specific glasses might be worthwhile. However, for those seeking flexibility or on a budget, multipurpose wine glasses that work with both red and white wines are recommended. Joel Gott, founder of Joel Gott Wines, suggests universal or all-purpose wine glasses as a smart choice for wine enthusiasts, particularly if you're new to wine, have limited storage, or wish to save money. While specific glasses may enhance the flavor of certain wines, ultimately, the best glass is one that brings out the taste you enjoy.

Style

The world of wine glasses presents an array of shapes and sizes that significantly influence the tasting experience. Your choice should harmonize with personal preferences and the specific varietals you plan to enjoy. For red wines, opt for a glass with a generous bowl, enhancing oxygen exposure to unlock intricate aromas. A gracefully tapered, tulip-shaped rim channels aromas upward, elevating every scent and flavor. The Riedel Veloce Cabernet glass embodies style and substance for red wine connoisseurs.

Care and Cleaning

Extending the life of your wine glasses relies on proper care. Delicate glasses, often the most exquisite, underscore the need for mindful maintenance. While some are dishwasher-safe, placement matters. Invest time in handwashing for delicate, lightweight refinement. Seek sturdier glasses for everyday use, enduring dishwashers after busy days.

Weight and Balance

The interplay of balance and weight defines the ideal wine glass. Lightweight glasses exude elegance, facilitating delicate sips and swirls. Beyond overall weight, assess base, stem, and bowl balance. Equilibrium orchestrates a seamless experience. Top-heavy glasses risk mishaps, while bottom-heavy ones challenge tilting and swirling. Whether favoring delicate grace or enduring robustness, equilibrium from base to rim ensures a harmonious journey from pour to palate.

Enhance your wine-drinking experience by choosing the right wine glass, taking into account size, stem style, wine type, and versatility. Ultimately, the best choice is a glass that accentuates the flavors you enjoy and complements your lifestyle.

FAQ Edition

The Guide to Best Wine Glasses

The perfect wine glass can elevate your wine-tasting experience, but with so many options out there, how do you choose the right one? Here are some frequently asked questions to help you navigate the world of wine glasses.

1. Are wine glasses dishwasher-safe?

The answer depends on the wine glasses you have and the dishwasher you're using. Some dishwashers are equipped with features for washing delicate stemware, but it's always safer to hand wash expensive or thin wine glasses to prevent breakage or chipping.

2. Why are thin wine glasses better?

Thin wine glasses can provide a better wine-drinking experience. They give a more accurate appreciation of the wine's color and bubbles, contribute less to premature warming, and provide a better mouthfeel on the first sip. However, they are more fragile and can be easily broken, so handle them with care.

3. How do you hold a wine glass?

Hold a wine glass by the stem to avoid transferring heat from your hand to the wine or smudging the bowl with fingerprints. This enhances the visual appeal of the wine and the overall wine-drinking experience.

4. Do crystal glasses contain lead?

Not necessarily. Although crystal glasses once contained lead, many brands now offer lead-free crystal wine glasses. The main difference between crystal and glass is cost. While some enthusiasts argue that crystal glasses can enhance the taste of wine, there is no scientific proof that the material of the glass affects the taste.

5. How should you store wine glasses?

Storing wine glasses upright is the best option to prevent chipping at the rim. If you have expensive glasses, you can also store them in their original box or in specialized wine storage boxes.

6. Does the shape of the wine glass matter?

Yes, the shape of the wine glass can impact the aroma and taste of the wine. Certain shapes are designed to emphasize the characteristics of specific wine types. For example, a wide-bowled glass is suitable for red wines, as it allows the wine to breathe and enhances the flavors. Meanwhile, a narrow glass is better for white wines, as it concentrates the aromas and keeps the wine cooler.

7. What is the ideal size for a wine glass?

The ideal size of a wine glass depends on the type of wine you're drinking and your personal preference. However, a good rule of thumb is to choose a glass that can hold at least 12-14 ounces. This allows you to pour a decent amount of wine while leaving enough room to swirl it without spilling.

8. What is the purpose of the stem on a wine glass?

The stem of a wine glass serves two main purposes. First, it allows you to hold the glass without warming the wine with your hand. Second, it prevents fingerprints from smudging the bowl of the glass, maintaining the wine's visual appeal.

9. Why do some wine glasses have a thicker rim?

The thickness of the rim can impact the wine-tasting experience. A thinner rim is less intrusive and allows the wine to flow smoothly into your mouth, enhancing the overall experience. However, glasses with thicker rims are usually more durable and less prone to chipping or breaking.

10. Is it okay to use the same glass for different wines?

It's okay to use the same glass for different wines, especially if you're not a wine connoisseur. However, if you're hosting a wine-tasting event or want to fully appreciate the nuances of each wine, it's better to use different glasses. This prevents the flavors from mixing and allows you to enjoy each wine to the fullest.

11. How many wine glasses should I have?

It depends on your preferences, how often you drink wine, and your entertaining frequency. For frequent hosts, a set like the Schott Zwiesel Tritan Crystal Glass Red Wine Glass works well. If you live alone or with a partner, a few quality glasses per person suffice. Opting for versatile glasses can streamline storage and avoid clutter from separate glasses for different wines.

12. Do expensive wine glasses make a difference?

Just as with any kitchen or home item, it's vital to match your needs before splurging. Luxury glassware parallels other opulent goods, often involving intricate craftsmanship or precious materials. Its appeal could lie in packaging or brand prestige. These elements escalate the price, appealing to those aligned with their preferences. Avid wine enthusiasts seeking heightened tasting experiences might benefit from pricier, well-balanced glasses with ample breathing space. Occasional drinkers looking for durable, practical glasses may skip the investment.

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Madalena Vidigal WIA Ambassador  Portugal   Madalena Vidigal has a degree in Hotel Management and a postgraduate degree in Wine Tourism, Digital Marketing and Viticulture. She is a wine producer in Alentejo, the south of Portugal. She has two great passions that are present in everything she does: wine and travel!. For 10…

Vuk Štefanović WIA Ambassador Serbia Vuk Štefanović is an economist by profession and a sommelier by fact and choice. He has been in the hospitality industry since he was 16 years old. Vuk fell in love with the the hospitality industry and everything it brings early in his career .…

Ian Green WIA Ambassador UK Located in the heart of the beautiful English wine region of Sussex, Ian Green is a wine enthusiast and content creator whose mission is to break down the barriers to wine and to make it more approachable and accessible to all. . Ian’s passion for…

Veronica Accossato WIA Ambassador France & Italy Veronica Accossato is a 26 years-old sommelier and wine enthusiast from Piedmont, Italy. She graduated in linguistic mediation before starting the AIS (Italian Sommeliers Association), where she obtained the 2nd level. At that time Veronica was working at the Michelin starred restaurant Combal.Zero…

Riccardo Fabbio WIA Ambassador Italy Riccardo Fabbio is a wine enthusiast and sommelier from Venice, Italy. He has worked in the hospitality sector for almost ten years in various hotels in Venice. He has a degree in psychology, with a master’s degree in HR management and yj one in coaching,…

David Martínez WIA Ambassador Spain David Martínez is a Sommelier from Sitges, Barcelona, Spain. He has been in the wine business for the last 20 years. He started his job as sommelier in a gastronomic restaurant, combining it with wine reviews in magazines, wine contests and traveling around to…

Teri Wheeler van Aalst WIA Ambassador Australia Teri Wheeler is a seasoned storyteller with a profound connection to the world of wine, embarking on remarkable journeys through her narratives. Hailing from Adelaide, the heart of Australia’s wine culture, Teri blends her deep passion for wines with her accomplished background in…

Martha Cisneros WIA Ambassador USA Martha Cisneros is the Wine Blogger, Content Creator, and Sommelier in the works behind WineDivaa.com. She earned her nickname ‘WineDivaa’ in College, where her friends used to ask for wine recommendations. She graduated from Tec de Monterrey, one of only 45 universities in the World…

Zelda Molenaar WIA Ambassador Netherlands Zelda’s goal is to share the knowledge and joy of wine. Connect beautiful stories to beautiful wines. After working in the restaurant business for 10 years, she wanted to share her passion and knowledge with the world. In this day and age, we can…

Michelle Carlín WIA Ambassador Mexico Wine Educator Michelle Carlín is a Wine Writer and Wine Content Creator for Social Media. She is an IWC Mexico Ambassador, Judge at Global Wine El Conocedor Magazine, Board Member and Member of the Mexican Sommelier Association, Sommelier at DO Ribera del Duero and Wine…

Kirsty Woodgate WIA Ambassador UK Kirsty Woodgate DipWSET is a wine expert and communications professional from England, UK. She works as a Wine Writer, Wine Judge and Content Creator, and regularly hosts interactive wine tastings in her home county. . Wine ties together her passions, skills, qualifications and abilities. Her…

Francesca Piemontese WIA Ambassador Italy Francesca Piemontese is an Italian living in France (Cannes) since 2015. She is a sommelier with the diploma Sommelier Caviste Ambassador in Gastronomie and diploma Sommelier Coach one. She is also a top wine-influencer on Instagram and TikTok. . Francesca’s life is divided between the…

Alexia Hupin DipWSET WIA Ambassador France Alexia Hupin DipWSET is a French wine educator, blogger, community manager and copywriter living in Provence, the land of rosé. She has always been passionate about wine, memorizing regions and appellations during family gatherings. She worked in hospitality events for 5 years but she decided to…

 Micaela Lopez  WIA Ambassador  Argentina & Uruguay Micaela Lopez is 29 years old, she was born in Argentina and lives in Uruguay. She is the country manager in Uruguay for an Argentina company that produces, markets and imports prestigious wineries from around the world.   Micaela is currently studying for a career as a sommelier. In…

 Marisol de la Fuente    WIA Ambassador    Argentina Marisol de la Fuente is an International Sommelier of the EAS graduated from the Argentine School of Sommeliers and Bartender at the International Center for Cocktail bar. She communicates about the world of wine and drinks with the aim of bringing it closer to…

Mariana Gil Juncal WIA Ambassador Argentina Mariana Gil Juncal is a Spaniard born in Argentina who lives in Buenos Aires, the daughter of a Galician father and a Buenos Aires mother. She is a specialist in social communication, journalist, and Certified Sommelier by the Court of Master Sommeliers.…

Daria Kholodilina WIA Ambassador Georgia Daria Kholodilina is a Georgia-based wine tourism specialist, and a big friend and promoter of Georgian wine – with a WSET 2 certificate. Being born in Ukraine, Daria moved to Georgia in 2013 because she fell in love with the country. She participated in developing…

Judith Ramírez WIA Ambassador Chile Judith is a sommelier expert in Wine Tourism. She is a communicator and professor of Chilean wine giving classes to Chilean and foreign students with her own teaching methodology called: “̈Sensorial Wine Workshop ̈ with the goal to show the art of pairing wine in…

Olga Sofia Schiaffino WIA Ambassador Italy Olga was elected the Best Sommelier of Liguria and received the WSET level 3. Her story with wine started in 2011 when she enrolled in a course to become a sommelier, because she wanted to understand what was in her glass: she is curious…

STAR GUIDE LAtin america

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Viapiana Awarded By: Fabiana Aguinsky Viapiana Flores da…

Família Salton Winery Star Wine Leaders’ Choice Awarded…

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Narbona Winery Star Wine Leaders’ Choice Carmelo, Uruguay…

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