Best Wine Glasses 2012

Best Wine Glasses 2012

Jason Loper
Dec 6, 2012

Between holiday parties and special dinners, 'tis the season for drinking wine. Naturally, wine can be drank out of any just about anything (except maybe directly from the bottle) but if you want to start doing things right, there are better options. Over the years Maxwell has been keeping a running list of the best wine glasses and I've come back around this year for another update. Check out our list, and also see what readers have to say, after the jump…

Maxwell has three rules that he adheres to when it comes to wine glasses that seem worth passing along.
Rule #1: Buy crystal glasses. Don't mess with pure glass.
Rule #2: IKEA glasses are lovely and cheap but they always break.
Rule #3: Don't buy decorative glasses or crazy shapes. Don't distract from the wine.

Mary Gorman is our wine expert over on The Kitchen. In her recent Guide to Wine Glass Brands post she gives a brief introduction that's a great little primer for wine glass shopping. She says:

Riedel, Spiegelau and Schott Zweisel remain firm favorite brands. They are highly respected and have stood the test of time. Each makes several ranges, so you can gradually ease yourself into the world of fine wine glasses without having to go straight to the most expensive.

In seeking out other new styles and brands, I am always on the lookout for glassware that is fun, even a bit different, but that works. However, I do draw the line at many of the brightly (even outrageously) decorated, hand-painted glasses on offer. Not for me personally - a little too much visual distraction and often a discombobulating mouth feel. Another popular trend, which I am not so fond of, is serving wine in Mason jars. These are perfectly fine for juice, water or soda, but the glass is really too thick to savor wine. That said I did find lots of interesting gems.

I used Mary's post, as well as Maxwell's previous roundups, as jumping off points for this year's list. And then I threw in a couple reader suggested favorites as well.

Riedel "O" Series One of Maxwell's personal favorites, these glasses also reviewed well in The Kitchn's roundup of favorite wine glasses. These stemless glasses are durable and stable and feel great in the hand.

Iittala Essence Series These glasses have an attractive modern shape yet the feel classic enough to last for the long haul.

Rosenthal Gran Cru In her roundup of favorite wine glasses, Mary points out that these glasses are the same quality as Riedel's but at a lower price point.

Holmegaard Wine Glass A few commenters to the last Best Wine Glass post pointed out their love of Holmegaard glasses.

Viv Wine Glasses from Crate & Barrel Crate and Barrel is an oft repeated name when it comes to wine glasses. While a few of their glasses were referenced by readers, this set has the best reviews overall.

Wine Enthusiast Fusion Infinity from Bed Bath & Beyond This is a (slightly) more budget option.

Top Picks from Readers

Joolzie recommends Riedel Vinum:

"Riedel Vinum all the way for me, even though my butterfingered husband broke a few before i laid down the law and said i was going to wash them henceforth."

Amy 60622 recommends Spiegelau:

"I've been the manager of Porte Rouge table & home on Division Street in Chicago for five years and I love Spiegelau personally and professionally. The glasses are sturdy, wine correct form, affordable, dishwasher safe and the company has been in business since 1521 or so. Not bad!"

Kim Grant recommends Schott Zwiesel at Pottery Barn:

"You didn't include the reason why a thin lipped glass is preferable for wine (or any beverage for that matter). Thick rims encourage one to suck the beverage into the mouth instead of pouring. Try it out and you'll see that this affects the way the flavor hits your palette."

Nicole recommends Riedel for Target Red Wine Glasses

"I recently bought the Riedel for Target Red Wine Glasses and I have found them beautiful, sturdy, and delightfully thin-lipped. Plus they're made of crystal! I'll never drink wine from a tumbler again."

Heather recommends Villeroy & Boch's 'Torino' crystal wine glasses

"We use Villeroy & Boch's 'Torino' crystal wine glasses. They're super basic, yet elegant. And strong. Looks like the Macy's users agree!"

Jason recommends Schott Zwiesel

You should consider adding Schott Zwiesel stemware to your short list. I've used glasses from the Pure, Fortissimo, and Diva lines, and have never been disappointed. I first encountered Schott stemware at Slanted Door a few years ago. The company uses titanium and zirconium in the glass-making process to produce stronger, more break-resistance glassware. And I believe their glasses are lead-free, but I'm not sure if that's correct, and what that might mean in terms of consumer- and factory worker-health concerns.

Ivan recommends Bed Bath and Beyond wine glasses

Bed Bath and Beyond has a cheap set of four well-shaped wine glasses that work decently for both reds and whites. I've had them for almost 8 years and they've not broken (they also survived two moves). I only wish my more expensive and larger red wine glasses fared as well...

viciouslips recommends World Market

The best ones are at World Market for $7.99, rumour has it that's it's Spiegelau. Either way, manufactured in Germany, dishwasher safe (although I've broke a few stems doing it this way), and pretty damn cheap if you get it on sale. The zinfandel glasses work for both red and whites. I got 6 zin glasses, 4 burgundy ones and 2 pinot ones - serves every purpose under the sun and rain and causes less heartache than those overpriced Riedel ones. Go tipsy.

b77 recommends Crate & Barrel's Edge (although other commenters have suggested that they break easily)

I use to be such a wine glass snob and would only buy Riedel because they are perfect. I now buy Crate and Barrel's Edge from their outlet store cannot beat the price, quality, perfect slim stem and who cares if you break one or two.

olderworker is also a Crate fan

I like Crate & Barrel's wine glasses -- the ones I have now are "Adrienne", $9 a stem!

Best Wine Glasses 2010
Best Wine Glasses 2009
Best Wine Glasses 2008

Best Wine Glasses from
The Best Inexpensive Party Glasses on Real Simple
My Favorite Wine Glasses: Best Value for the Money on The Kitchn
A Guide to Wine Glass Brands: A Few Favorites, Both Classic and Fun!

Do you have a favorite wine glass? Let us know in the comments below to help us compile next year's list.

(Images: As credited above)

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