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It doesn’t really matter how you drink wine as long as you enjoy it, but there’s no doubt that the flavor and aroma of any wine can be enhanced with the correct type of glass.
This is especially true of higher-end wines with, perhaps, more subtle flavors and aromas.
But the price of your wine doesn’t have to translate to a high-priced wine glass. If the shape of the glass is correct, it doesn’t matter how much you spend.
In this guide, we’re going to walk you through pairing the most common wines with the best wine glasses to serve them in.
Think: red, white, and champagne.
What we’re not going to do is recommend a different glass for every single type of wine on earth. That would result in a couple dozen recommendations, and we think most people don’t really have the space for that many wine glasses.
We’ll leave that kind of stock to restaurants and wine bars.
The good news is that choosing the right wine glass is actually pretty simple. Here’s what wine experts recommend:
- Red wines: A wider, deeper bowl with a narrower opening.
- White wines: A taller, narrower glass.
- Champagne and other sparkling wines: A tall, narrow flute or small, bowl-shaped coupe.
Keep in mind, there are no hard and fast rules. If you want to drink your white wine out of a red wine glass, or vice versa, you do you. We won’t tell – as long as you share.
Here are the types of wines and glasses that we’ll look at in this review:
Find the Right Glass for Your Wine
- The Best Red Wine Glasses
- The Best White Wine Glasses
- The Best Champagne and Sparkling Wine Glasses
Read on for our recommendations of the best glasses for any type of wine.
The Best Red Wine Glasses
In general, if you’re looking for a glass for red wines, you want a larger, wider, deeper bowl. This increases the exposed surface area of the wine, and helps to aerate the it, which releases more flavor and aroma.
This is important, because aroma is a significant factor in the taste of a red wine.
The taller, wider bowl also is a nice shape for “swirling” the wine to increase its access to oxygen (no, those red wine drinkers aren’t doing that just to be show-offs).
Red wines to drink with these glasses include Beaujolais, Bordeaux, Burgundy, Cabernet Franc, Cabernet Sauvignon, Chianti, Malbec, Merlot, Petite Sirah, Pinot Noir, Rose, Shiraz, and Zinfandel.
An Everyday Glass: Luigi Bormioli Atelier Cabernet/Merlot Wine Glass
The Luigi Bormioli Atelier Cabernet/Merlot Wine Glass is both elegant and affordable. Made from a proprietary SON.hyx blown, lead-free crystal, it’s less breakable than traditional crystal.
The stems are thin and elegant, but also resist breakage thanks to a titanium reinforcement.
These glasses are even dishwasher safe.
Their capacity is 23 3/4 fluid ounces, and the wider bowl and tapered opening is the perfect shape for getting the best flavors and aromas out of your reds.
They come six to a pack, making them a great value.
A Higher End Option: Riedel VINUM Bordeaux/Merlot/Cabernet Wine Glasses
They’re more expensive, but the Riedel VINUM Bordeaux/Merlot/Cabernet Wine Glasses are machine made and specifically designed to maximize the interaction of the glass with the grape.
These are a nice choice for anyone who prefers something a bit more high-end for small gatherings and romantic dinners, or just to heighten your wine experience every day.
These would also make a lovely gift, paired with a Martha Stewart Wine Co. subscription, with a selection of bottles delivered throughout the year.
Riedel glasses are made of lead-free crystal and are dishwasher safe. These hold 21 1/2 ounces of your favorite liquid.
The Splurge: Waterford Elegance Crystal Stemmed Wine Glass
We love the wide bowl and generous, 27-ounce capacity of the Waterford Elegance Crystal Stemmed Wine Glass.
Waterford is a revered name in crystal glassware, and the Elegance wine glass is handmade from lead-free crystal. It will feel like you’re treating yourself every time you take a sip.
This large, beautifully tapered glass is particularly well-suited for “big” wines, like a rich, full-bodied Burgundy, but will enhance the flavor of any type of red.
The Best White Wine Glasses
Unlike the larger, wider bowl found in glasses for red wines, for white wines you want a taller, narrower glass. This protects the subtler, more delicate aromas of white wine.
Since white wine is served chilled, this shape helps preserve its temperature longer, so even if you tend to be a slow drinker, it will be good to the last sip. (Be sure to hold it by the stem!)
You’ll want to use these glasses for these white wines: Chardonnay, Chenin Blanc, Pinot Gris, Riesling, Sauvignon Blanc, Viognier, White Burgundy, and White Bordeaux. You can also use white wine glasses to drink a light rosé, preferably out in the sunshine.
An Everyday Option: Schott Zwiesel Forte White Wine Glasses
Schott Zwiesel wine glasses are often recommended by sommeliers because they’re affordable, high quality glassware. Specifically for white wine, the Schott Zwiesel Forte White Wine Glasses are a popular option. They hold 13.6 fluid ounces.
These glasses have a very traditional white wine shape, with a slightly rounded bowl that curves slightly up to narrow at the opening. Made from Tritan-reinforced crystal, they’re also very durable and are dishwasher-safe.
Some complain that these glasses are so thin that they seem very fragile. However, that thinness is intentional, so as not to detract from the wine drinking experience like a thicker glass can.
With an attractive price, you can afford to replace them if they do break.
You can find them on Amazon.
A Casual, Stemless Glass: Riedel O Wine Tumbler
Most wine experts dislike stemless wine glasses, saying that they affect the temperature of the wine, since you’re touching the bowl the liquid is in every time you take a sip.
But we love them for casual get-togethers, and the Riedel O Wine Tumbler is a quality choice that won’t make it seem like you’re drinking from a tumbler.
Made of lead-free crystal, these glasses offer a sturdier, more stable option than a stemmed glass, and they’re more durable since there is no stem to break (I don’t know about you, but the only thing I’ve ever broken on my wine glasses is the stem).
You can also use them as water glasses to accompany a stemmed glass when you’re hosting a more formal dinner.
These have a 10.8-ounce capacity and are dishwasher safe.
The Splurge: Nambé Vie Chardonnay Stemmed Wine Glass
We are in love with the shape of the Nambé Vie Chardonnay Stemmed Wine Glass.
The bottom of the glass bowl dips into the stem, resulting in a lovely, almost tulip-shaped profile. We can see these helping to turn any dinner into a romantic dinner.
They’re made from lead-free crystal and hold 18 fluid ounces.
The Best Champagne and Sparkling Wine Glasses
Yes, technically, these are white wines, but their carbonation is best preserved in a glass that is narrower and more upright, rather than curved.
These are also a very nice choice to serve a sparkling, non-alcoholic beverage in, for the non-drinkers in your life, or just to class up your own sparkling NA beverage.
Our Favorite Flute: Lenox Tuscany Classics Flute Champagne Glass
This is the most traditional glass for champagne: a tall, narrow glass on a thin, elegant stem. For a good quality product at an equally good price, we recommend the Lenox Tuscany Classics Flute Champagne Glass .
These are made with non-leaded European crystal, and are break resistant and dishwasher safe. Lenox also offers a lifetime replacement policy.
These glasses have a classic, classy look, and Lenox has a stellar reputation for their glassware. There is nothing fancy about these, but when it comes to champagne, you want the bubbly to be the star.
Our Favorite Coupe: Southport Glass Coupe
Another popular type of champagne glass is the coupe. It’s a small glass bowl on a stem, with a fifties throwback vibe that feels very sophisticated.
Even better, coupe glasses are very versatile, and are a nice choice for serving martinis and other mixed cocktails where the focus is on the mix, the presentation, and the flavor – not the quantity.
Some people even use them for presenting small servings of rich desserts.
They tend to cost about twice as much as the Lenox Tuscany flutes, but we couldn’t help but be taken by the attractive, upscale appearance of the Southport Glass Coupe, a Wayfair exclusive through their Mint Pantry line.
These are slightly more bell-shaped than most coupe glasses, but what makes them really stand out is the copper-hued stem that gives them a modern feel that most coupe glasses lack. Your guests will be as impressed with these glasses as they will with anything you put in them.
They hold 8 fluid ounces and come with a 30-day return policy.
Something a Little Different: Chambong Champagne Shooters
When we put together this list, there was no way for us to ignore the growing popularity of the Chambong Champagne Shooters.
Yes, you read that correctly: this is a device for quickly imbibing bubbly beverages.
It’s also one of the highest-rated champagne “glasses” by consumer reviewers that we found.
As the name implies, it’s highly recommended for parties, but people really like them for everyday champagne drinking as well, saying they’re fun and unique.
That they are.
The Chambong is modeled after, well, a tobacco water pipe. But instead of putting a smokable product in a tiny bowl, you pour champagne into a 6-ounce, flute-shaped bowl. Then you drink from the attached tube.
This sounds déclassé, we know, but these are really nice-looking champagne conveyance devices. They’re made from hand blown glass, with a pretty gold rim, and are stamped with the Chambong logo: the company name below an elephant.
Of course, you can’t set these down, but you’re not meant to. That may not be super convenient, but if you’re drinking only one glass, who cares?
One comment we saw repeatedly: these make a unique gift, and they come nicely packaged in an attractive box. Two are included.
The Right Glass Will Enhance Your Enjoyment
We hope this guide has been helpful in guiding you in your journey to pair the right wine with the right glass, something many experts feel is just as important as pairing the right wine with your food.
Although we do agree with that, in general, we also think it doesn’t have to be rocket science, and that there’s a great pick for any budget.
And don’t forget, you need more than just the right glass for the best wine experience. Be sure to store your wine properly, either with a good wine rack or wine cooler. And avoid shredded corks by checking out our recommendations for the best wine openers and corkscrews.
© Ask the Experts, LLC. ALL RIGHTS RESERVED. See our TOS for more details. Product photos via Luigi Bormioli, Riegel, Waterford, Schott Zwiesel, Lenox, Mint Pantry, and Chambong. Uncredited photos: Shutterstock. Originally published by Lynne Jaques and updated on January 28, 2016. Last updated: July 16, 2020 at 23:23 pm.
About Kelly Burgess
Kelly Burgess is a product review specialist who loves food, kitchen gadgets, gardening, and writing. She was born and raised in Southern California, raised her kids in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, and now lives in Spokane, Washington with her husband and three cats. When she’s not cooking, eating or writing, Kelly likes to read, hang out with friends, hike, and explore the great Northwest.