Planning a drinks party? Kitting out your new kitchen? Before you uncork your Sauvignon, Sancerre or Syrah, finding the best wine glasses is a must.
While looks are important, there is more to a good glass than aesthetics alone. A well-designed wine glass will have a shape that allows the wine’s aromas and flavours to circulate within the bowl, as well as keep the wine temperate.
Red wine glasses tend to have a wide, shallow bowl that allows air in to help open up the bouquet. Glasses intended for white wine will be tall and narrow, with long stems to prevent your hands from warming the wine. Read on for more tips on choosing the finest glasses for your needs, followed by our list of the best available to buy.
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Best wine glasses: At a glance
How to choose the best wine glasses for you
How much should I spend?
The price of wine glasses range from a couple of pounds for a supermarket multipack, to triple figures for high-end, designer crystal glasses.
We’d recommend spending somewhere in the middle, and a good rule of thumb is to only spend what you can afford to break – as accidents do happen. For everyday use, spending around £15 on a glass will get you something fabulous. Special occasion glasses will have a price tag upwards of £40 if they’re handmade or crystal, rather than glass.
What should I look for in a wine glass?
Wine glasses should be perfectly clear in order to properly observe the wine’s hues. So however pretty those pink, amber or gold goblets may be, you should step away from the brightly coloured glass if you want to appreciate the age of your Burgundy.
The same applies in terms of texture. Wine buffs tend to prefer plain, smooth glass and crystal, rather than ornate leaded crystal or textured glassware that might obscure the wine’s appearance. Decorative details are fine, however, so consider glasses with a hint of sparkle, subtle markings or interesting, coloured stems if you are looking for something a little bit different.
Finally, most glasses today are sold as dishwasher safe, though it is always worth checking before you purchase that they won’t become cloudy or spoiled if not hand-washed.
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The best wine glasses to buy in 2021
1. John Lewis & Partners Connoisseur Stemless Red Wine Glasses: The best for casual dining
Price: £40 for set of four | Buy now from John Lewis
Stemless wine glasses tend to divide people. Fans of this contemporary shape enjoy that it makes for a sturdy glass that allows wine to breathe, while naysayers point out that stems allow wine to be kept well clear of hot hands. This glass has been designed by Waitrose’s wine experts with red wine in mind, so temperature is not so much of an issue. We like that the extra wide bowl allows aromas of wines such as Merlot, Syrah and Cabernet Sauvignon to circulate, while the tapered design means all those delicious aromas and flavours are forced upwards for best enjoyment.
Made in Italy from SON.hyx, a hi-tech crystal glass with all the same properties but specially engineered for extra strength and clarity – all the better to admire your wine with – and better resilience to cloudiness from dishwashers, so that crystal clear sparkle will last and last. A great value, casual and hardy everyday wine glass to swirl your reds next to the fire.
Buy now from John Lewis
2. Denby Modus Wine Glasses: Best contemporary glasses
Price: £30 for set of two | Buy now from Denby
You may know Denby best for their swish ceramics, but it’s also worth noting they do a nice line in drinkware too. These unique looking glasses have been designed by Denby in accordance with their trend for minimalist luxe, and feature an opaque marble glaze pattern on the base of the transparent glass goblet. Aside from the modern, sleek design, we like that these glasses are a sturdy thickness without feeling too chunky; hand blown, they are at once elegant enough for fine wines and formal dinners, and hard wearing enough to survive frequent use – as well as the dishwasher. Ideal for enjoying a touch of everyday luxury, we found these paired perfectly with the delicate pink shade of Provence rose, keeping the wine cool and allowing aromas to abound.
Buy now from Denby
3. Dartington TL Signature Series White Wine: Best for everyday
Price: £20 for set of two | Buy now from Laithwaites