Drinking and collecting wine is remarkably rewarding.
If you’re new to the discipline, you’ll soon discover you can get away with surprisingly little equipment.
To get started, you’ll need an effective corkscrew or electric bottle opener. Both work equally well, so opt with what works best for you.
For red wine lovers, you’ll need to allow your wine to breathe. You can achieve this by pouring it into a wine decanter and waiting a while, or by using a wine aerator for near-instant results. Decanters are traditional, tried, and true, but for anyone always crunched for time, there’s no substitute for the best wine aerator.
However you achieve aeration, introducing oxygen to your red wine enhances the flavor, aroma, and bouquet, while at the same time softening the tannins. In plain English, it makes the wine more drinkable.
Wine storage presents its own set of challenges. For lovers of mixed wine, a dual-zone wine cooler gives you the convenience of split-zone cooling to store both types of wine optimally and simultaneously. If you drink exclusively reds or whites, you can get away with a single-zone cooler. Whatever you do, avoid the temptation to store wine in the kitchen refrigerator. The temperature and humidity levels are wrong, there is too much light, and there’s also too much vibration.
With these weapons in your armory, all you’ll need now is the best wine glasses and, of course, a bottle of wine.
Paying a little more for glassware will often yield dividends with a set of glasses that last for years.
Broadly speaking, white wine is best consumed from glasses with narrow bowls. This design maximizes both flavor and aroma. Red wines, by contrast, respond better when poured into glasses featuring oversized, bulbous bowls. This promotes aeration while intensifying the flavor and the bouquet of the wine.
Now for the good news. Beyond that simple rule of thumb, there are not too many things you need to consider when you’re comparing wine glasses. Focus on the following and you’ll encounter no problems at all.
With that framework in place, you’re ready to explore out curated list of the best wine glasses on the market.
The 12 Best Wine Glasses
1. Our #1 Pick: Schott Zwiesel Tritan Crystal Glasses
First in line and our overall favorite wine glasses, these versatile flutes from Schott Zwiesel are ideal for a variety of wines.
The shape of the bowl and the design of the stem make these glasses a neat fit for either full-bodied whites or young reds. For older red wines, we would recommend some of the red-specific glasses on our shortlist.
The Tritan crystal is a composition of zirconium oxide and titanium oxide that’s used to great effect worldwide for producing glassware.
Unlike many wine glasses claiming to be dishwasher-safe, these truly are. As long as you resist the temptation to jam the glasses into the prongs of the rack, you’ll enjoy hands-free cleaning with no worries.
These glasses are break-resistant and they also shimmer with a brilliant clarity that belies the keen pricing.
While you get a robust build, this means these glasses feel reasonably heavy in your hand. If you don’t object to a little extra weight and you enjoy drinking mainly white wines, these are some of the best wine glasses you can find. Even better? They don’t cost the earth either.
2. Zalto Denk’Art Hand-Blown Wine Glasses
If you have deep pockets and demanding tastes, this set of a half-dozen wine glasses from Zalto Denk’Art is must. While these glasses are certainly not cheap, you’ll get a quality and intricacy not found in cheaper glassware.
The six glasses are constructed from hand-blown European crystal, giving you enviable clarity and a glimmering brilliance.
Designed to bring out the best in most wines, the glasses work equally well with crisp whites or powerhouse reds. So, while the price might initially make you recoil, you’ll save by only needing one set of glasses for all your wines.
The lip of the glass is wafer-thin. You’ll feel like there’s nothing coming between you and your preferred tipple.
The trade-off you need to make for this delicacy is wine glasses that are susceptible to breaking if they are not handled with extreme care.
Lead-free, the glasses are safe to clean in the dishwasher, meaning you won’t waste your time scouring away red wine stains.
If you don’t mind the stiff price tag, you’ll be rewarded with some of the very best wine glasses on the market if you place your trust in Zalto’s Denk’Art line.
3. Riedel Veritas Chardonnay Glasses
Riedel is a household name in the glassware space with good reason. They offer these chardonnay glasses as a set of two, so curl up with your loved one, a bottle of your favorite white wine, and these outstanding glasses to bring out the best in that wine.
The machine-made glassware gives you the consistency only this method delivers. You’ll enjoy a flawless finish without sacrificing the character or the aesthetics of hand-blown glassware.
Lightweight and a pleasure to hold, these decadent glasses make for great daily drinking, so don’t hide them away for guests. Many people make the mistake of investing in decent glassware then refusing to use it in case they break the glass. Don’t fall for this trap. Wine glasses are there to be used and enjoyed not stored away out of sight.
The 22oz capacity gives you ample space for a generous serving, and once you’re done, you can slip these glasses in the dishwasher fuss-free.
4. Gabriel-Glas Wine Glasses
Gabriel-Glas manufactures some outstanding machine-made glassware that replicates the best qualities of hand-blown crystal without any of the inconsistencies.
The gift box gives you a ready-made present for any wine lover in your life. All you’ll need to do is resist the temptation to keep these glasses for yourself. If you want to make that gift even more special, you can opt for the custom engraving package to personalize the glasses further.
You get a set of six glasses giving you something for all the family and guests.
The design child of famous wine critic, René Gabriel, these universal glasses are designed to bring out the best in all wines, saving you from a cupboard groaning under the weight of a huge array of wine glasses. Instead, use these for all your wines, saving space and money.
The thin rim helps to fully concentrate the aroma of your wine while the base of the bowl is broader, allowing for quicker aeration. The curves of the glass help with near-instant decanting.
Molded as one seamless piece with no stress points, you should get plenty of service from these dishwasher safe wine glasses from an industry expert.
5. Spiegelau White Wine Glasses
Spiegelau is one of the most enduringly popular brands in the glassware vertical and with just cause.
These white wine glasses come in a pocket-friendly set of four, allowing you to buy into this legendary brand without blowing the budget.
The narrow rim and bowl of the glass makes the perfect vessel for white wines, letting you enjoy the fullest flavor and aroma.
Made from flawless and lead-free crystal, the glasses sparkle in the light and give the appearance of being handmade, but with the precision of laser-cut glassware.
The bowl of the glasses is colorless and also completely transparent. The stem and bowl are connected perfectly, and the seamless construction eliminates the usual weak points.
The delicacy of these glasses means you would advise to handle them with extreme care.
6. Riedel Vinum Xl Cabernet Glasses
If you’re partial to large servings of vino with your dinner, you’ll need to find glassware to match your appetite. Riedel caters for this market head-on with the XL series of cabernet glasses.
The capacity of these glasses is a whopping 34oz, so you certainly won’t be left wanting.
You get a set of four glasses, perfect for couple or small families. Considering the brand and the quality of the glassware, this set is priced quite keenly.
The dishwasher-friendly glasses ensure you get a low-maintenance experience, as well as allowing you to enjoy cabernet in lead crystal splendor.
You’ll enjoy the consistency that’s only achieved through machine production. Riedel has been producing wine glasses beloved by the industry for the past half-century, so why not buy into that spectacular brand heritage and treat yourself to some of the best large wine glasses up for grabs?
7. Bormioli Rocco Red Wine Glasses
If you’ve been searching in vain for some good cheap wine glasses, look no further. Bormioli Rocco produce these red wine glasses as a set of four for less than you might pay for a bottle of wine. Despite the budget price tag, you won’t get stiffed in terms of quality or build, though.
The deep bowl allows your red wine to breathe and develop fully, while you’ll also be able to appreciate the bouquet and aroma fully. We would still recommend using an aerator or a decanter to soften the edges of your wine without needing to wait for hours, but good glassware is the finishing touch when the wine is aerated. The depth of the bowl also promotes the swirling that will bring out all the hidden characteristics in your favorite vintage.
These glasses have delicate laser-cut rims, putting very little glass between your lips and the liquid.
Although the vast bulk of feedback concerning these wine glasses, a few disgruntled consumers complained about the sizing. To clear this up, the capacity is 18oz, so if that’s not roomy enough, we’d suggest something like the Riedel XL instead. Overall, these are excellent budget glasses that also look great.
8. Riedel O Wine Tumbler
Next up we have something slightly different with yet another entry from the mighty Riedel. These wine tumblers are perfect for red wine, but the lack of stem makes them eminently unsuitable for white wine. If you have a taste for red, read on.
The simplicity and clean lines of these glasses are the main draw. They look fantastic, appear uncluttered on the kitchen counter, and bring out the very best in your red wines.
Made from fine crystal, you can nevertheless slide these glasses in the dishwasher after this, saving you from grappling with red wine stains by hand, never a pleasant task.
This firm has been in business for over fifty years producing first-class glassware that brings out the best in a variety of wines. Whether you opt for some of their varietal-specific glasses, or something multipurpose, there’s something for everyone among the deep bench of products.
As an added incentive, take advantage of the deal where you buy three glasses and get a fourth bundled free of charge. What’s not to love?
9. The One Wine Glass for White Wine
Celebrated sommelier Andrea Robinson designed The One Wine Glass in response to a kitchen cluttered with too much glassware.
These glasses have been created from the ground up to showcase the best qualities of all white wines. The angle, depth, and overall dimensions of the bowl, as well as the rim size, are all designed to enhance the flavor and aroma of white wines. Nothing on this glass occurs by accident.
You can buy with a clear conscience as well since these glasses are entirely lead-free. As well as containing no potential contaminants, the glass is also magnificently clear.
A few consumers have complained that these glasses are fiddly to drink from, although this is subjective. Study the design closely and see if you feel it makes the kind of glass you like to use. Ultimately, that’s all that counts.
When you’re finished with your wine, you can safely place the glasses on either the top or bottom shelf of your dishwasher for stress-free cleaning.
10. Grassl Mineralité Wine Glass
For anyone with a fluid budget hunting for the best wine glasses, Grassl’s Mineralité collection is ideal.
Designed for white wine and champagne, you’ll get a long and delicate stem perfect for ensuring your white wine stays chilled rather than warmed by your hands.
The glass is made using a single piece of pulled crystal. This leads to seamless construction and less chance of breakages. Despite this, the glasses have a refined and elegant aesthetic.
Lightweight and suitable for daily use, this glassware will also make a striking statement at your next dinner party. Beyond this, these glasses would make a sumptuous gift for your favorite oenophile.
The only thing we can really knock about these wine glasses is the ruthless pricing, but if you’re prepared to pay a premium for the finest things in life, you won’t be disappointed with these glasses.
11. Libbey Vineyard Wine Glasses
Our penultimate contender for the best wine glasses comes from Libbey Vineyard. What can you expect from these multipurpose glasses, then?
Firstly, you’ll benefit from the convenience of a single set of glasses ideal for red or white wine. If you frequently drink both types of wine and you don’t want too many glasses and you don’t want to compromise on performance either, Libbey Vineyard delivers on all fronts.
You’ll get one class perfect for red and the other designed for whites giving you maximum versatility.
The lead-free crystal is machine-made, giving you complete consistency and a flawless finish.
Easy and safe to clean in the dishwasher, these are some of the best wine glasses you’ll find and they will ensure you bring out the best flavor and aroma in all kinds of wine.
Most of the user review of these glasses are positive, but we found some scattered blowback about quality control. This is often an issue with glassware, so we’d recommend very closely checking the contents of your package upon receipt.
12. Ravenscroft Amplified Vintner’s Tasting Glasses
Our last entry in today’s round-up of the best wine glasses comes from Ravenscroft. Rather than daily drinkers, these tasting glasses are designed for wine tasting first and foremost.
If you’re looking to test wines, be aware that while these glasses will bring out the best characteristics in any way, they will also magnify any flaws.
Another point worth noting is that there’s a learning curve involved when you first start using these things. They are not glasses to give to guests when you’re settling down for dinner and a glass of red. Instead, they’ll give you a powerful tool when you’re trying to assess the pros and cons of any wine you’re thinking of investing in.
You need to pour in just 2oz of wine then swirl the glass between two fingers to aerate it. You then drive your nose deep down into the glass to inhale the amplified bouquet.
These glasses come as a set of four. You can also take advantage of gift packaging if you’d like to treat the wine lover in your life to a thoughtful gift this summer.
If you’re new to wine collecting, choosing the right wine glasses is one of the first obstacles you’ll need to overcome. You’ll soon discover that not all glasses are created equal.
Red wine and white wine requires a very different design of glass to bring out the best. We’d reviewed plenty of examples of both types of wine glass, as well as some multipurpose glassware forgiving of both red and white wine.
If you opt for one of the dozen glasses we review today, you’ll have a precise idea of where they stand and fall. Veer off-piste with some glasses not on our shortlist and we hope the simple buying guidance above helps inform your decision.
Before leaving today, we’d ask you to take a moment to bookmark MadibaRestaurant. We’re here to help you with all aspects of collecting wine as well as kitting out your home bar with the most affordable and effective gear. We have a busy content calendar for the coming months, so pop back soon and don’t miss out!