Whether you’re looking to replace a mismatched set or just starting out stocking your new home, a good-quality set of wine glasses should last for years, seeing you through many fabulous parties, midweek tipples and everything in between.
We wouldn’t have believed it unless we’d tried it for ourselves but the type of glass you drink from can substantially change the flavour of your wine.
So, if space and budget allow, your glassware collection would ideally include separate styles for both white, red and perhaps champagne too.
As a very rough rule of thumb: white wine prefers a narrower bowl which will channel the more delicate flavours and aromas towards your nose whereas red wines favour a wider bowl, allowing for the bigger flavours to emerge and for the wine to aerate.
However, don’t worry if you’re working with a more limited capacity. Ultimately this is just guidance and as long as you’re happy with how your wine tastes, that’s all that matters.
Of course, many of you might be less concerned about the nuanced flavour changes created by a slightly tweaked bowl shape and more focused on the design itself. So for you, we’ve also included some suitably stylish options that don’t care one jot what colour liquid you choose to pour into them.
You might be hesitant to buy your glassware online, however, we were really impressed with the secure packaging, with everything we tested arriving perfectly in one piece. In some ways, it was a relief knowing we weren’t responsible for getting them home ourselves.
Of course accidents happen, but to ensure you get the most out of your glassware we’d recommend following care instructions. Most of the glasses we put to the test were happy in the dishwasher, however, there were some exceptions to be hand-washed which we’ve highlighted below.
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Riedel performance riesling glass: £45 for a set of two, Riedel
Rather than having a glass for red wine and another for white, Riedel produces grape varietal-specific glasses. So, although we’ve suggested this riesling glass, which will handle most white wine, including champagne, we’d recommend thinking about the wine you most frequently consume and buying accordingly.
This glass is from its “performance” range and has an optical effect which not only looks very pleasing on the eye, it also increases the inner surface area, allowing you to detect more nuanced aromas.
With a wide, stable base, long, elegant stem and lightweight bowl, we were surprised to learn these can be popped in the dishwasher. For those that love their wine, there really is no other choice.
Villeroy & Boch vivo red wine glasses set: £18 for a set of four, Nordic Nest
Founded 265 years ago, this German manufacturer is a safe bet when it comes to quality. Designed for red wine, these glasses have a generous and slightly tapered bowl with an overall size which feels just right for everyday use.
LSA international borough white wine glasses: £31.36 for a set of four, Amazon
With a stylish squared-off silhouette, elegant stem, pleasingly thin rim and lightweight feel, we love everything about these modern glasses, which are best suited to white and rose wine.
Working out at £10 each, this set of four is made from crystalline glass which produces a beautiful high-shine finish that was maintained even after a few spins in the dishwasher.
Barwell cut crystal red wine glass: £140 for a set of four, Soho Home
We’ll admit that these aren’t the cheapest, working out at £35 per glass. However, they’re considerably cheaper than a year’s membership (Soho House use these throughout their houses) and make you feel like an actual queen when drinking from them, so we can justify it on this occasion.
With a slightly taller, wider bowl, these glasses have been designed for red wine, however, there is a matching set for white wine too. And although we’d ordinarily feel slightly nervous about spending this money on wine glasses, the cut crystal design and weighty feel make us feel quietly confident they won’t be broken easily. Sadly, they will need to be hand-washed rather than entrusted to the dishwasher.
Ferm living ripple wine glasses: £39.58 for a set of two, Amazon
With a stylish smoked colouring to the glass and a rippled effect which shows the handmade “imperfections”, these mouth-blown glasses are certainly going to look the part next time you have guests round for drinks.
Although perhaps not designed for serious wine connoisseurs, we think they are a super-stylish option whether you’re drinking white, red or rose. We’ll be getting these out for casual drinks in the garden.
Habitat Hamburg white wine glasses: £45 for a set of four, Argos
A really great all-rounder, the Habitat Hamburg range includes champagne flutes, whisky and water glasses, as well as these which are designed for white wine. Created with mouth-blown glass and featuring particularly long stems, we found these glasses were nicely weighted, fitting well in the hand. The only drawback we could find is that they do need to be washed by hand. We won’t tell if you leave it until the morning though.
Ikea dyrgrip red wine glass: £1.50 each, Ikea
If you’ve got a big party coming up or would simply rather spend your hard-earned cash on the contents rather than the glass itself, we’d recommend stocking up on these cheap as chips wine glasses from Ikea.
Although designed for red wine, we were happy drinking white and rose from them too. A pretty sexy shape considering the price, we found these glasses to be sturdy enough for everyday use but just as suitable for entertaining.
HK living wine glass: £8 each, Nordic Nest
Who says wine glasses have to come with a long, elegant stem? Not HK Living, with its modern sculptural interpretation. Each glass is handmade, so you’ll notice very slight variations, making them all unique. Despite being devoid of the traditional base, the conical stem means they can be set down easily without the worry they’ll topple over. The brand doesn’t specify which type of wine the bowl shape is intended for, so we tried a variety and were pleased with all results.
The verdict: Wine glasses
When it comes to wine glasses, Riedel is the absolute expert and you certainly won’t be disappointed by your new elevated drinking experience. Each sip made us feel like we were in a fancy wine bar (perhaps no surprise as they stock many of the finest hotels, restaurants and bars). However, if you’re looking for something a little more suitable for everyday use, Villeroy & Boch vivo red wine glasses set offers terrific value.