Glassware Buying Guide: Expert Insights and Tips

Glassware Buying Guide

When it comes to exploring and enjoying wine, navigating the tricky waters of glassware, storage, wine racks and other accessories can be dizzying. There are many factors to consider when shopping for wine glasses for your home bar or gifts for the wine lovers in your life. Does the height of a wine glass matter? Should I use varietal-specific stemware, or can I just find a one-size-fits-all set of wine glasses? Which cleaning tools are the best? 

We’ve compiled a selection of our most helpful wine glass-related reads that are chock-full of tips from pros as well as helpful feedback from our customers. Read on to get useful pointers on everything from buying to cleaning and storing your wine glasses that are sure to improve your at-home wine experience.  

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Different Types of Wine Glasses and Why They Matter

Choosing the right stemware can enhance the overall tasting experience of everything from the finest Burgundy, Bordeaux, and Pinot Noir to simple weeknight quaffing wines. And whether it’s the feel and elegance of a fine Champagne flute, a large-bowled Burgundy glass or the stability and temperature control of sturdy insulated stemless glasses, the vessel from which you sip makes a difference. Herein, we explain several different types of wine glasses and why they are best suited for particular wines. 

As a bonus, we’ve included notes on the anatomy of a wine glass—from the rim and bowl to the stem and foot, we’ve outlined the parts and why they’re designed the way they are. Wine pros and shoppers also weighed in, explaining why and how certain glasses accentuate the flavors and aromas of various wines. 

A Complete Guide to Wine Glass Storage and Racks

Curious about how to properly store your wine glasses? Bowls up or down? Should I hang or wall-mount a wine storage rack or shelf? Do I have enough cabinet space? We broke down some pro tips on caring for and storing your red, white, dessert and universal wine glasses, with options for every budget. We’ve also featured helpful advice on selecting proper shelf storage, as well as tips on hanging wine glass racks and bar cabinets.  

Whether you’re in the market for space-saving wine glass storage, or simply looking to upgrade your presentation when entertaining friends and family at home, this guide will come in handy. Read on for a variety of stylish, practical solutions that will fit your entire glassware collection. 

Wine Glass Stems and Why Height Matters

Here, we explore the merits of short and long-stemmed wine glasses for everything from rosés, ethereal sparkling wines and big, bold Cabernets to after dinner ports, sherries and brandies. There are benefits to all heights when it comes to wine glasses, and Marshall Tilden III, DWS, CSW, Director of Education at Wine Enthusiast and head of Wine Enthusiast Academy, shares his expertise.  

You’ll learn a bit about swirling, sipping and smudging; the difference between short and long-stemmed glasses; and why the height of stemmed wine glasses should be taken into consideration. After all, not all glassware is created equal, and your precious bottles deserve proper stemware. 

Handblown vs. Machine-Made Wine Glasses 

The way wine glasses are made is one of the many important factors to consider when shopping for wine glassware and stocking your home bar. We’ve taken a look at the difference between handblown and machine-made wine glasses—and their pros and cons of each. You’ll learn a bit about the art of glassblowing and materials used to produce glasses, and offer suggestions for those that could suit every taste and lifestyle.  

From finely tuned varietal wine glasses that elevate the taste and aromas of wines to equally beautiful break-resistant options, we’ve broken down how they’re designed specifically to enhance your wine tasting experience and enjoyment. 

Wine Enthusiast’s Best Wine Glasses 2022

If you’re shopping for the best wine glassware, look no further. We’ve rounded up a list of the top 10 wine glasses used and reviewed by our customers and wine pros. The fine Pinot Noirs, Cavas, Valpolicellas, and Malbecs you take the time to research and collect deserve specific glasses that will elevate your tasting experience.  

Whether you’re seeking the best glasses for tastings or entertaining your guests or break-resistant, stemless and short stem wine glasses, you’ll find top recommendations from wine experts and customers. And if you’re in the market for a truly unique holiday or wedding gift, we’ve shared information on the best personalized wine glasses as well as options for varietal-specific stemware for festive gatherings and everyday wine tasting.  

The Difference Between Red and White Wine Glasses

Our in-house pros have mapped out the key differences between red and white wine glasses, touching on the various nuances each style features—specifically, three types of red wine glasses and two for white wines. Whether it’s how certain designs and shapes (like the curve of the bowl), affect the senses or how stem lengths differ from glass to glass, we’ve demystified things using simple terms.  

Learn how to select the perfect glass for tannic, high-alcohol red wines such as Syrah and Cabernet Sauvignon or high-acid crisp white wines like dry Rieslings and Sauvignon Blanc. Channel your inner sommelier and shop with confidence—we’ve laid out a solid foundation here. 

Wine Glass Cleaning Tools and Tips

For wine pro tips and advice on keeping your assorted wine glasses and decanters looking sharp, we’ve shared some pointers that are sure to come in handy. From delicate glass cleaning advice to our top-selling accessories, we explain how maintaining your glassware will ensure that you’ll always be ready to pour some bubbly, or try out that sought-after Sauternes or 95-point Burgundy. 

From the importance of a quality wine glass cleaning brush to old-fashioned remedies like soaking your soiled glasses in a mixture of warm water and vinegar, we’ve got you covered. Investing in an assortment of well-made wine glass cleaning tools makes cleanup quicker, so you can get back to swirling, sipping and savoring. 

Conclusion 

We hope that you’ll find our customer feedback, pro tips and advice helpful while researching and shopping for all of your wine glasses and accessories. With a bit of information on the different types of glassware and storage racks, as well as our glass maintenance tips and tricks, your wine tasting and appreciation can reach new, more enjoyable levels.  

Exploring the various options that exist in the realm of all things wine glasses can be a fun and enriching pursuit; one that’s sure to step things up whether you’re looking to boost your home bar or searching for the perfect gifts for all of the wine lovers in your life. And most of all, enjoy the process!   

A picture of the writer of this piece, Anna Maria in a vineyard holding a wine glass

Anna Maria Giambanco DiPietro is a writer based in Santa Barbara County, California. With her WSET 2 with distinction certificate in tow, she writes for Edible Santa Barbara, Beyondish, Coco Eco, the American Wine Society Journal, and additional publications focusing on the wine and food scene. You’ll likely find her tucked away among the vines planning her next pairing.
IG: @AnnavedaBeauty