Did you know that the flavour of wine is influenced by the type of glass you drink from? The shape and design will affect how much air comes into contact with your beverage, which then changes both its taste and scent. The stem (or lack of, if it's stemless!) on a glass can also significantly impact your drinking experience, and you may prefer one material over another - so you'll want to think about all of these things before you start shopping.
To help you out with this tricky task, we've compiled a buying guide that covers the key considerations. Plus, we'll run through our top 10 favourites from Amazon, eBay, and John Lewis, with a range of options suitable for white, red, or all varieties of wine. Whether you're looking to purchase a long-stemmed goblet for your Pinot, a non-breakable plastic pair, or a fancy crystal set to impress your dinner guests, we'll help you to find the perfect product!
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Table of Contents
Let's start by looking at the wine glass basics: which material to go for, the best shape for each type of wine, and whether to opt for stemmed or stemless. Plus, you'll want to think about how many glasses you require and if they're suitable to pop into the dishwasher.
When it comes to materials, you might be surprised to learn that there are quite a few different types of glass that can be used to make a wine cup. Take a look at what's on offer whilst bearing in mind how often you'll use them, your budget, and your lifestyle preferences.
For everyday use, machine-made soda lime glass (made up of sand, soda ash, and lime) is a versatile and inexpensive choice. However, glasses made from this material do tend to be on the thicker side.
Another option for regular use is crystal glass, which contains minerals that strengthen it and allow it to be spun much thinner than soda lime glass. As a result, it produces a much more delicate and sophisticated-looking product that's still affordable.
For special occasions like dinner parties, you might want to invest in lead crystal glass, which is heavier and has a much higher index of refraction than normal glass, making it extra sparkly.
If you prefer to avoid lead for ethical reasons though, opt for Luxion® - a crystal material that's still sparkly, but that's also 100% recyclable and is produced using eco-friendly electric furnaces.
Lastly, if you're worried about tipsy party guests, why not try shatterproof plastic wine glasses instead? As you can imagine, plastic is considerably cheaper than crystal, plus it's durable so will prevent any nasty accidents from occurring!
Steel is another non-breakable option that lends itself to being easily transported, as it's similarly sturdy and long-lasting. Furthermore, it's great for keeping liquids cool even on a hot day, such as when out picnicking. It's also a good eco alternative for those who are attempting to cut down on plastic.
A glass that isn't too wide or too narrow is the most versatile option for casual drinkers who don't have a favourite type of wine. But if you're particularly fond of either red, white, or rosé, then choosing the right shape will be the key to an enhanced drinking experience.
To get the most out of their drink, red wine lovers should opt for a larger glass with a wide bowl that will aerate the liquid.
As red wine tends to contain more volatile compounds than other types, it requires space in which to "breathe" and react to oxygen. A wider bowl will help to release the rich flavour much more quickly than if you were using a narrow glass.
In comparison to red, white and rosé wines are best served in a medium-sized, taller glass which will allow their buttery, sweet flavour to shine through.
A taller cup exposes less wine to oxygen and pushes it to the back of your tongue first, so you'll be able to better taste the delicate notes that might otherwise become lost.
When deciding between stemmed and stemless glasses, it often comes down to your personal taste and what kind of occasion they're going to be used for. Stemmed glasses like goblets have a more formal look, so are perfect for fancy dinner parties or a luxurious wedding gift. In comparison, stemless glasses are more casual so are ideal for relaxing after work.
However, there are also practical reasons that may sway you towards one or the other. As a result of directly holding the bowl of a stemless glass, the warmth of your hand can affect the temperature of the liquid inside - which is great for releasing the aromas of red wine, but may be not so desirable for a well-chilled glass of white.
Next, are you looking for something to sip from while solo, or are you planning on hosting a gathering for friends and family?
If it's the latter, you'll want to keep an eye out for a multipack so you can keep all of your guests entertained (and it won't matter if the odd glass breaks, because you'll have plenty more).
For those who prefer a quiet night in though, a single goblet or a set of just two or four glasses will do the trick - plus they're cheaper!
Once you've enjoyed your glass of wine, you'll need to think about cleaning it up, so it's ready for the next time you uncork your favourite bottle.
Although you might assume that it's best to hand wash delicate glassware, it's actually safer to pop most into the dishwasher where there's less of a risk of breakages. Machine washing also guarantees a sparkling clean finish every time.
Some handmade products might not be dishwasher-proof though, so always check the instructions on the label.
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Large White Wine Glasses
Classic, Durable, and Suitable for Any Occasion
The Kitchen Gift Company
It's Wine O'Clock Glass in Gift Tube
The Perfect Gift for a Wine Lover
Wine Tasting Glass
A Party-Proof Plastic Set
Bolero Wine Glasses
Beautiful Colours That Will Wow Your Guests
Twist Crystal Red Wine Glasses
Timeless Elegance for Less Than £20
High Quality Plastic Wine Glasses
Great for a Picnic With Your Pals
Lismore Essence Cut Lead Crystal Goblets
A Luxurious Lead Choice
'O' Stemless Viognier/Chardonnay White Wine Glass
Minimalist and Made for White Wine
Stainless Steel Wine Glasses
Designed for Cool, Easy Sipping
This versatile set by Krosno is made from durable, top quality crystal glass. Although it specifies white wine in the product name, we actually think that the shape of these glasses will work with a variety of wines. Plus, the minimalist design means they're suitable for any occasion.
When it's time to clean up, these robust glasses can be put straight into the dishwasher and will come out looking good as new. It's no surprise, then, that this sparkling set is our top pick!
This humorous goblet by The Kitchen Gift Company is bound to bring a smile to the recipient's face! It comes in a stylish gift box too, so will make a fantastic present for a vino-loving friend. The slender stem sits comfortably in the hand, and the large bowl will complement the flavour of red wine in particular.
Considering it's made from gorgeous crystal glass, this is an inexpensive option - and since it's always wine o'clock somewhere in the world, this cup will never go out of style!
Made from the highest quality shatterproof polycarbonate, this set of tasting glasses by RBDRINKS is a brilliant choice for events! As they're more on the wide side when it comes to shape, they're best suited to red wine - but don't let that stop you from filling them with anything you like!
If you're looking for party-proof glasses that are affordable without compromising on quality, we definitely recommend this set. No-one will be able to tell that they aren't real glass!
The four goblets in this set by LSA International are made from sturdy soda lime glass. Each one is a different colour but the shades complement each other beautifully and will be sure to impress your dinner guests.
As these glasses are hand-painted, they're not suitable for dishwasher use and extra care should be taken when cleaning them. They don't come cheap, but we think they're definitely worth spending a bit more on!
Made in Italy, this elegant set of Luxion® glasses by RCR has lots of sparkle! Plus, the timeless twist shape means they'll look good in any setting. To keep them shining, just pop them into the dishwasher when you're done drinking.
We love that these glasses look much more expensive than they actually are. A great choice if you're on a budget but still want to add a little luxury to your kitchenware collection.
These plastic goblets by Bell'O have a distinctive dimpled pattern and are ideal for a casual evening at home in front of the TV - or perhaps a picnic in the park with your pals! As they have a tall bowl, they work especially well with delicate white and rosé wines.
The only downside to these glasses is that they don't look much like real glass. However, considering they cost less than a tenner, we can't really complain about this small flaw!
Aren't these goblets by Waterford Crystal stunning? Made with lead crystal and decorated with an exquisite diamond cut, this set would make a wonderful wedding present or house-warming gift.
Considering the careful workmanship that's gone into making these glasses, it's only natural that they're on the expensive side. If you're looking for excellent quality though, we think they're worth every penny!
This stemless set from Riedel is designed to work perfectly with the aromas of white wine. Made from crystal glass, each cup is durable and dishwasher-safe. Best of all, the classic style means that they'll suit any dining room decor!
We think this set is quite expensive for just two glasses, but we love their minimalist design and how sturdy they are.
When it comes to keeping your drink cool, these stainless steel tumblers by Tru Blu will certainly do the trick! Plus, the ergonomic design fits in your hand effortlessly and has been crafted for easy sipping.
However, these cups are perhaps not as aesthetically pleasing as some of our other recommendations, so they won't appeal to everyone. They're also quite pricey, but are a solid investment if you're looking for something unbreakable and portable.
Now that you've decided which glasses to purchase, why not pick out a bottle of wine to celebrate? Have a read through our detailed product guides for expert advice on the best-tasting red and white wines that money can buy!
Whether you're looking for something stylish for everyday use or a practical set that can withstand a lively party, we hope you've found our guide to wine glasses useful. Now all that's left to do is crack open a bottle of your favourite tipple!
Author: Nicola McClements
No. 1: Krosno｜Large White Wine Glasses
No. 2: The Kitchen Gift Company｜It's Wine O'Clock Glass in Gift Tube
No. 3: RBDRINKS｜Wine Tasting Glass
No. 4: LSA International ｜Bolero Wine Glasses
No. 5: RCR｜Twist Crystal Red Wine Glasses
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