Choosing the Right Glass for Your Wine

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“Is plastic okay?” We cringe whenever we hear those words. That’s because they’re usually said to us at the checkout line at the grocery store when we’ve forgotten to bring our environmentally friendly tote bags. But the same question can be asked about what kind of vessel is best for wine.


And it’s not plastic. Don’t get us wrong: We’ve never turned down a graciously offered plastic cup of Chardonnay. A party is a party. But given the choice between a plastic cup and a crystal glass with a stem, we’ll go with the crystal – hands down. The reason? Wine actually tastes better from a glass because glass is inert and doesn’t affect the wine’s flavor.


When you’re buying stemware that will best showcase the wines you serve, there are four features to look for.


Clear so that you can assess the wine’s color and clarity.

Thin so that as little foreign material as possible comes between the wine and your palate.

Stemmed so that you hand doesn’t touch the bowl.

Tapered at the rim to capture the aromas when you swirl.


As a practical matter, one set of wine glasses can take care of all your needs. Start with 1 12-ounce glass. Too big, you think? Not really. You’re going to pour only about four ounces into the glass to leave plenty of room for swirling. You can use this all-purpose glass for red or white.


When you want to grow your stemware collection, another all-purpose glass – only in a different size – is the way to go. Whether to go larger or smaller is really personal preference. Whichever you choose, use the smaller set for white wines and the larger for reds.



Barbara and Beverly