WINE connoisseurs believe that a great set of glasses can improve the experience of drinking wine.
But what should you look for and what are the best wine glasses to buy?
Wine glasses come in different shapes and sizes and of course material and price points.
Which ones you buy can therefore depend on a number of factors, including how often you drink wine and your priorities.
What shape wine glasses should I get?
Wine experts believe that different glass shapes suit different wines.
Red wines are typically served in larger glasses with a wider cup for example, to help the wine breathe and release its aroma.
White wines are served in smaller glasses that focus the aromas as they tend to be more delicate.
For Champagnes, a tulip-shaped glass is actually best – rather than a flute – because there’s more room for those flavours to gather, which can make the wine more flavourful.
You can also buy speciality glasses for sweet wines like Sauternes or fortified wines like port.
If you only drink a certain style of wine, for example a full-bodied cabernet sauvignon, it’s worth investing in a good set that’s designed for that grape variety or style of wine.
But if you drink lots of different styles, or if space or budget is an issue, a more universal glass shape – a cross between a red and a white glass – might be more suitable.
And of course, you can forget all that and just pick ones that look good because, at the end of the day, the experience is what you make of it.
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1. Schott Zwiesel Pure wine glasses
- (AD) Schott Zwiesel Pure wine glasses, £53.95 from Amazon – buy here
This set of six wine glasses comes from Schott Zwiesel’s Pure range.
While designed for young, full-bodied red wines, they will also work for full-bodied white wines.
The glasses are made from tritan crystal, which are resistant to scratches and are dishwasher safe.
2. FineDine premium stainless steel wine glasses
- (AD) FineDine stainless steel wine glasses, £17.99 from Amazon – buy here
For outdoor use, this set of four stainless steel tumblers is a great option.
The glasses are made from fine-grade 18/8-gauge break proof stainless steel that won’t impart any metal taste to your drink.
There’s no stem either, which makes storage much easier.
3. LSA Polka wine glass
- LSA Polka wine glass, £42 from LSA International – buy here
LSA are known for their fine glassware and this set of four wine glasses would make a great gift.
The glasses are hand painted and come in four different colours – you can get them in metallic or pastel.
Because they are so delicate though, they are hand-wash only.
4. House by John Lewis Drink white wine glasses
- House by John Lewis Drink wine glasses, £15 from John Lewis – buy here
This set of four glasses from the House by John Lewis Drink range is a great budget-friendly option.
Made from crystalline glass, the smaller size of these glasses make them ideal for white or rose wines.
They’re also dishwasher safe, which saves up on cleaning.
5. Dartington Crystal white wine glasses
- Dartington Crystal wine glasses, £22 from Dartington Crystal – buy here
Another budget-friendly option is this set of six white wine glasses from Dartington Crystal.
While practical, they’re also elegant enough for special occasions.
And if you’re thinking about giving them away as a gift, Dartington Crystal offers the option of text engraving too.
6. Argos Home Sahara wine glasses
- Argos Home Sahara wine glasses, £9 from Argos – buy here
This set of two wine glasses comes from Argos Home’s Sahara glassware range.
They’re tinged with a coral colour, and are great if you want to inject a bit of colour to your home.
You can also get a matching carafe, champagne flutes and shot glasses.
7. Maxwell & Williams Vino stemless wine glasses
- (AD) Maxwell & Williams stemless glasses, £19.33 from Amazon – buy here
This set of six stemless wine glasses from Maxwell & Williams’ Vino range are stylish and easy to store.
The size and shape makes them ideal for white wines although you can also get red wine versions from the same brand.
All the glasses are dishwasher safe as well.
8. Ikea Svalka wine glasses
- Ikea Svalka wine glasses, £3 from Ikea – buy here
It’s hard to beat this set of six wine glasses from Ikea for value.
Made from crystalline glass, they offer great clarity compared to regular glasses.
The whole set is also dishwasher safe – perfect for everyday use.
9. LSA Aurelia red wine glasses
- LSA Aurelia red wine glasses, £70 from Amara – buy here
This set of elegant red wine glasses from LSA are mouth-blown and feature a ripple effect on the surface – although this is just the visual design rather than the actual shape.
The glasses themselves are designed for red wines, so are larger with a more rounded cup.
You get four in a set and they’re all handwash only.
What’s the best material for wine glasses?
Wine glasses are most often made from glass or crystal but they can also be made from more durable materials like plastic and stainless steel.
For outdoor use, whether that’s by the pool or on a camping trip, you’ll want a more durable option that won’t break if you accidentally drop it.
Plastic or stainless steel are great for this. Plastic ones are generally cheaper, although they can scratch over time. You should also look for ones that won’t absorb other flavours that could taint your wine.
Stainless steel can be more expensive but they are longer lasting. Food grade ones shouldn’t affect the flavour of your wine but they may affect the drinking experience.
If you’re serving a chilled wine for example, a stainless steel glass will be much cooler on your lips than glass or crystal versions.
Between crystal and glass, the main deciding factor will be price – crystal tends to be a lot more expensive.
Crystal can be more durable than traditional glass so can produce thinner rims, which some people prefer. They also generally offer more clarity than glass, which can be useful if you need to look at the wine, for example for a wine tasting.
That said, ones made from glass can be equally thin – you should look for ones made using borosilicate glass, which are stronger – but you should expect to pay as much for them as crystal glasses.
Do I need stems on my wine glasses?
Most wine glasses come with stems but you can also get ones without.
Although your wine can warm up quicker if you are holding it by the cup rather than the stem, the difference is negligible – unless you plan to hold your wine glass the entire time you’re using it.
Stemless glasses have the benefit of being easier to store, and you don’t have to worry about the stem snapping.
If you’re looking to stock up, we’ve rounded up some of the best places to order wine online.
You can also get beer, spirits and a range of other alcoholic drinks delivered.
For those not drinking alcohol, we’ve put together a list of the best alcohol-free options.