Why Would I Use Stemless Vs. Stemmed Glasses?

Why Would I Use Stemless Vs. Stemmed Glasses?


Since their arrival on the market several years back, stemless wine glasses have created quite a buzz. People either love them or can’t understand them, and there are some compelling reasons for both. The stemless supporters find these glasses easier to handle. They are also quite versatile as not only can they be used for wine, but for cocktails and even juice or soda.

However the naysayers have something different to say. By holding a wine glass by the bowl not only are you marking up the glass with fingerprints, but warming up the glass with your body heat. While this may not be so bad for red wine (as sometimes it needs to be a little warmed up if coming right from the cellar), it is probably not the best idea for a chilled white wine especially on a hot summer day. These traditionalists typically prefer a stemmed glass as the temperature of the wine is unaffected, the bowl stays clean and they are arguably easier to swirl.

Like most things it comes down to a matter of preference. The stemless glasses are perfect if you are using it for more than just wine and can be doubled as an indoor/outdoor glass as well. But if you are looking to keep those bowls clean and that white wine cold, then you may want to stick with the stems.

From his first sips of wicker basket Chianti at his grandfather’s dinner table to a 1986 Premier Cru Gevrey-Chambertin, Tilden knew that there was something magical about wine. He earned his Diploma in Wine and Spirits from the Wine & Spirit Education Trust and is a Certified Specialist of Wine with the Society of Wine Educators. Having been with Wine Enthusiast catalog since 2005, when he is not writing about wine he also runs the wine storage division and is head of W.E.’s in-house education program.