Though a 99-cent glass from IKEA will certainly do the trick in an emergency, any sommelier will tell you: Not all wineglasses are created equal. In fact, using the right wineglass will enhance the flavor, aroma, and overall experience of whatever you're sipping, whether it's an expensive bottle for a holiday or your go-to cheap stuff.
That doesn't mean you have to buy different wineglasses for every varietal, though. (That would be one very full cabinet!) Restaurants typically stock four types of glasses—a Champagne flute, a white-wine glass, a Burgundy glass, and a Bordeaux glass—but casual wine drinkers can get by with just one for red and one for white, says Rebecca Fineman, a master sommelier and co-owner of San Francisco restaurant Ungrafted.
Even better? You don't have to spend a fortune on expensive glasses to get your hands on some of the best ones out there. Case in point: The wineglass Fineman uses most often, which is included below, costs less than $10 per stem.
Ahead, we asked sommeliers, winemakers, and beverage directors to share the best wineglasses in the world, including a universal wineglass from Zalto, a unique novelty cup available on Amazon (spoiler alert: it fits an entire bottle), some crystal ones for when you're feeling fancy-schmancy, and several options from popular brands like Riedel and Schott Zwiesel.
If you like stemless glasses (basically anyone with kids or pets who doesn't want red wine on their carpet!), look for something like this set. These glasses are made of high-quality shatterproof glass and are ergonomically designed to sit comfortably in your hand. Plus, each glass holds a hefty 15 ounces of red or white wine, says Vipin Laboo, the marketing director with Advanced Mixology.
Theresa Heredia, a winemaker for Gary Farrell Winery, calls these her "everyday drinking glasses," because they're beautiful and have a perfectly shaped bowl. And as any everyday glass should be (but many wineglasses aren't!), these beauties are dishwasher-safe.
This glass is truly crystal clear, allowing for the intense colors and aromas to emanate from the bowl, which is ideal for tasting, says Marshall Tilden III, vice president of sales at Wine Enthusiast Companies. And though it has a thin lip that isn't at all cumbersome to drink from, the glass is sturdier than most, so you won't accidentally snap the stem when cleaning.
Despite having an abundance of upscale wineglasses, Rebecca Fineman, a master sommelier and co-owner of San Francisco restaurant Ungrafted, says she drinks almost everything out of a white-wine glass because it’s smaller and fits better in the dishwasher. Her favorite? Schott Zweisel’s basic white-wine glass. "It holds nine ounces, which is fairly small, but we drink a lot of Champagne and Chablis at home, and it’s the perfect glass for that." Not to mention, it's affordable. These cost less than $10 per stem.
“I pretty much drink everything out of these—including beer and juice. They're simple, yet classic, and extremely durable," says Danielle Ayer, co-owner, general manager, and wine director of Talulla. They'll hold up to that kind of daily use, too. Although the 11-ounce glasses are made of fine crystal, they're shatter-resistant and completely dishwasher-safe.
While certainly more of a novelty, if you're looking for a gag gift for a friend who loves wine or... just don't like having to reach across the table every time you need a refill, this glass holds an entire bottle of wine all in one.
Choose from five sets of two (white, red, Burgundy, flutes for Champagne, or stemless) based on your personal preferences. You can't go wrong—each vessel is entirely mouth-blown and hand-crafted from titanium crystal glass. (Hence the price!) It's delicate, perfectly clear, and expertly shaped to let the wine properly aerate.
“There is only one wineglass I would recommend, and that is Andrea Robinson’s ‘The One.’ Andrea is a master sommelier and knows how wine should taste. She designed this glass for optimum smell and taste," says Kevin Zraly, wine educator and author of Red Wine: The Comprehensive Guide to the 50 Best Varieties and Styles.
“The beautifully angled bowl accommodates a variety of styles, allowing for a full expression of the wine," says Steven Rogers, general manager and sommelier at Josephine Estelle. Plus, the price is approachable, without sacrificing quality or design.