Best Wine Glasses Guide

Here's everything you need to know about selecting the best wine glasses for your preferred tipple.

Wine glasses being raised in a toast.

by Natalie Corner |
Updated on

Picking up a bottle of your favourite wine is the easy part. Sourcing the best wine glasses to enjoy your chosen red, white or rose is much more than just picking up the first glass you come across in your shopping basket.

It’s recommended to have at least two different wine glasses, one for wine and one for any sparkling wine, whether that is Champagne or Prosecco. There are different glasses to suit your wine, that claim to bring out the flavour and aroma, potentially elevating the experience for you and your guests. But a beginner’s collection needs only start with two types of a wine glasses.

So, if you’re in the market for new glassware or you need one for your wine advent calender this festive season, here’s what you need to know.

What To Consider When Choosing Wine Glasses

Firstly, a wine glass needs a stem, as it prevents the wine from being warmed by your hands if you touch the bulb of the glass, and, in more formal settings a stemmed glass is the preferred option. Of course, stemless glasses are available and can be a space-saving option, but if you really want to enjoy your vino best to avoid them.

Think about what wine you drink more of. If it’s medium- to full-bodied red, then opt for a glass with a shorter stem, large bulb, and wide opening. According to Wine Folly, it will make the wine taste smoother because there is a larger surface area for the ethanol to evaporate. White wines are typically served in a smaller bulb glass with a longer stem. This helps to "preserve a cooler temperature for longer" and "deliver more aromas due to the close proximity to the nose."

If you want a universal wine glass, then a medium bulb-sized glass is suitable for both red and white wine.

For sparkling wine, there are three different options of glass: a flute, a tulip, or a vintage coupe. It’s down to you how many wine glasses you need, but to keep things simple and if you are short on storage space, a flute will be the best option.

Can You Get An Unbreakable Wine Glass?

If you host dinner parties and are nervous your guests may be clumsy, you can always stock up on unbreakable wine glasses. They tend to be labelled as shatterproof and are made of metal, silicone, or plastic rather than actual glass.

For wine purists, they will say that the 'glass' will ruin the wine experience. But if you’re in a hot tub with a glass of vino in a silicone cup, then we reckon safety comes first.

Best Wine Glasses 2022

Best budget wine glasses

A classic shaped glass that can be used universally, at £15 these ANYDAY John Lewis glasses are a great starting point for your glassware collection. The long stem keeps any liquid away from the hands, keeping white wine or rose cooler for longer.

Specifications

Material: Crystal glass

Capacity: 360ml

Dishwasher safe: Yes

Pros: Affordable crystal, timeless style

Cons: Better for white and rose, glass not thick

Review: “Lovely wine glasses, ideal for everyday use or special occasions. Glass is stronger than they appear and have survived several dishwasher cycles. Great addition to the Xmas dining table. Really good value for money.”

Best wine glasses for red wine

Wine experts rave about Riedel, the brand has the widest variety of wine glasses to suit every type of wine. For any reds, this wide bowl wine glass promises to help the bouquet develop fully, release aromas, and balance tannins.

Specifications

Material: Crystal glass

Capacity: 960ml

Dishwasher safe: Yes

Pros: Large surface area for better-tasting wine, suitable for all red wines

Cons: Avoid storing in kitchens with strong aromas as it can translate to glass

Review: “Great quality, great value.”

Best wine glasses for both red and white

When it comes to choosing a starting point in your wine glass collection, you can't go wrong with this set of four from M&S, especially if you drink both red and white wine. These are ideal because the medium-sized bowl works well for both, but if you're not that fussy at £15 you can have two dedicated to each vino. The white wine glass is available here.

Specifications

Material: Crystal

Capacity: 470ml

Dishwasher safe: Yes

Pros: Affordable, versatile

Cons: Fragile glass, fine stems

Tried and tested by A Modern Kitchen: “I needed a set of wine glasses for when I moved into my new apartment but didn't feel the need to spend a lot of money. These M&S glasses fit the bill, they look more expensive than the £15 that I paid and work really well for drinking red or white wine. I have to confess I broke one when I dropped it, but three is still more than enough for a single household. I would be careful when handwashing and make sure to hold the bowl as the stem is quite slim."

Best wine glasses for white wine

Make your table look sleek and elegant by investing in this set of crystalline wine glasses from the iconic British homeware brand Wedgwood. The set of two wine glasses features a long stem, large bowl, and narrow rim to preserve the aroma of any white wine you are drinking.

Specifications

Material: Crystalline glass

Capacity: 350ml

Dishwasher safe: No

Pros: Iconic glassware brand, universal design, replacement discount promise for 12 months

Cons: Handwash only, expensive for two glasses

Review: “I ordered these wine glasses as a Christmas present for my Mum, I was a little worried they wouldn't make the trip as they had to be sent to Darwin but they arrived and am so happy with them they look great.”

Best unbreakable wine glasses

Wine purists will tell you that you cannot drink out of a plastic glass. But these Michley Unbreakable glasses are here to prove those naysayers wrong. If you’re not precious about what type of glass you drink your wine from and are clumsy, then these shatterproof glasses are ideal for your home. It’s always a good idea to have some backups if you’re having a party and want to save the nice glassware from being smashed.

Specifications

Material: BPA free plastic

Capacity: 355ml

Dishwasher safe: Yes

Pros: Will last a lifetime, shatterproof, universal glass

Cons: Plastic

Review: “I have broken many wine glasses over the years, so I thought it would be a good idea to get some plastic ones. These look like real glass, hold a good amount of wine, and you can pretty much knock them over as much as you want and only have to clean up the liquid inside. Excellent!”

Best Riedel wine glasses

Specifications

Material: Lead crystal

Capacity: 260ml

Dishwasher safe: Yes

Pros: High quality, timeless style

Cons: Better for champagne, only two glasses, expensive to replace

Review: "The Riedel Vinum series is just the right glass to use when enjoying anything from wine in a jug to a first rate vintage. The stem feels perfectly balanced in the hand, and the styling is elegant without being fussy. It's also priced at enough of a bargain that if one breaks, your heart won't break with it."

Best almost stemless wine glasses
The White Company, Halden Wine Glass, Set Of 2
Price: £26.60 (was £38)

www.thewhitecompany.com

Technically not a stemless wine glass, but we've picked this design from The White Company because this set of two Halden glasses are not your traditional style with a slim stem. And many wine connoisseurs will tell you not to drink wine from a glass without a stem – so this is as close as we could get that would keep your wine tasting its best.

Specifications

Material: Lead-free crystal glass

Capacity: H16.5cm x D9.5cm

Dishwasher safe: Handwash recommended

Pros: Modern unique design, great gift

Cons: Large goblet, not traditional stem

Review: "Good quality glasses with excellent design."

Best crystal wine glasses
Price: $42.88
Alternative retailers
Macy's$38.99View offer
Bloomingdale's$48.00View offer
Wayfair$49.99View offer

Most of the wine glasses on A Modern Kitchen's best wine glasses list are made out of crystal, but heritage brand Villeroy & Boch Ovid has been creating high-quality ceramics since 1748 and with its affordable and still high-quality crystal it more than deserves a place. A timeless set of four white wine glasses under £30, these are ideal for everyday use. The ergonomic design, robust handle and thin mouth rim all work to elevate the drinking experience.

Specifications

Material: Crystal glass

Capacity: 380ml

Dishwasher safe: Handwash recommended

Pros: Great value for high quality

Cons: Delicate, packaging poor if ordering from Amazon

Review: "Thin, lightweight crystal glasses. Excellent value for the money. Some have claimed that these break easily, but I haven't broken any glasses from this range and I have 12 Ovid range glasses. But these are delicate, so if you prefer a more utilitarian glass that you may throw against a wall - or whatever people do with their glasses - these are less than optimal for that."

OUR VERDICT: What Is The Best Type of Glass for Wine?

When it comes to getting the best value for money and high quality, the M&S Set of 4 Maxim Red Wine Glasses are a great selection. In addition, these medium-sized glasses are ideal if you're a red or white wine drinker. And it won't be that painful when you inevitably break one.

If you have a slightly larger budget the Villeroy & Boch Ovid White Wine Glasses are very stylish and will elevate you wine drinking experience.

What Is The Best Way To Clean A Wine Glass?

You don’t need a dishwasher for this, hot water and elbow grease is the simple way to get your wine glasses sparkling. Too soapy and it will leave streaky marks that will be hard to polish off, leaving watermarks that will need rinsing.

Hold your glass by the bowl and not by the stem, as you increase the risk of snapping the bowl with one awkward twist. To avoid water spots, you will need to dry your glasses with a microfibre cloth while they’re still wet. This will give you the best finish.

If you do use a dishwasher, make sure they fit properly and do not clash against any other crockery, otherwise, you will lose your treasured glassware. It’s probably wise to do a load just dedicated to your wine glasses to avoid any cracks.

How Much Does A Good Set Of Wine Glasses Cost?

To save yourself cupboard space, if you choose a universal wine glass, that suits both red and white, a set of four to six glasses starts at as little as £15 at John Lewis or M&S.

Additionally, if you include your flute glasses and that’s at least another £15-£20. To start your basic wine glass collection, set aside a minimum of £30. If you already have a mismatched collection amassed from years of scooping up random glassware and want something more luxurious and well, matching, you need to set a budget aside from £50 to £100.

Just so you know, whilst we may receive a commission or other compensation from the links on this website, we never allow this to influence product selections - read why you should trust us