The Best Wine Glasses for Every Grape Variety, According to Experts

Including expert-recommended collections, like our top pick, the Riedel Vinum Grand Cru Riesling/Zinfandel Wine Glass Set.

We independently research, test, review, and recommend the best products—learn more about our process. If you buy something through our links, we may earn a commission.

Wine Glasses
Amazon / Macy's

If you've taken the time to carefully choose the right wines, make sure you're storing the bottles correctly, and pair them with your favorite foods, then the only thing left to do is find the best wine glasses to pour them into. Not only do glasses vary in appearance (some are more minimalist, while others are clearly statement pieces), but they also help round out your entire wine-drinking experience.

RELATED: The Best Wine Subscription Services to Try Right Now

Since there are so many different wine glasses on the market, we talked to the experts to find exactly what features to look for — and whether you need separate glasses four reds and whites. We landed on the Riedel Vinum Grand Cru Riesling/Zinfandel Wine Glass Set as our winner because it's versatile enough for both elegant and casual settings and suitable for various wines. Read on for all of the best wine glass options, from stemless to Champagne styles, according to industry experts.

Our Top Picks

Best Overall: Riedel Vinum Grand Cru Riesling/Zinfandel Wine Glass

Riedel wine glass set of two

Amazon

Pros: This set is versatile and elegant and truly enhances the quality of your wine.

Cons: They are delicate, so you’ll want to handle and clean them with care. 

This wine glass set by Riedel is our top pick because of its sleek style and universal design. Whether you’re a fan of ruby red Chianti or floral-yet-fruity Riesling, these glasses will enhance the aromas and flavors of your wine. They are shorter than other options on our list, excluding our favorite stemless glass, which means they feel comfortable in the hand and store easier in smaller spaces. Although the set is on the pricey side, these expert-loved wine glasses truly make a difference in your wine-tasting experience.

Price at time of publish: $75

  • Material: Crystal
  • Capacity: 14.1 ounces
  • Height: 8.27 inches
  • Dishwasher-safe: Yes

Best Value: Libbey Vineyard Reserve Wine Glass Set

libbey vineyard reserve 12 piece wine glass party set
Courtesy of Amazon

Pros: For a starter bar, a set of six in each style is a great value and fits in most kitchen styles.

Cons: The glass isn't as durable as some higher-end styles, and the set is difficult to add to without buying a second full set.

If you're looking for the most budget-friendly option, order this set of 12 wine glasses from Libbey, a brand that is a major producer of restaurant glassware (hotel owners even swear by it). It comes with six glasses that work for various white wines and six glasses designed for various reds. At less than $4 each, this affordable wine glass set is an incredibly great value, whether for stocking your first apartment or hosting a wine-tasting party.

Price at time of publish: $50

  • Material: Glass
  • Capacity: 18 ounces; 19.7 ounces
  • Height: 10.25 inches
  • Dishwasher-safe: Yes

RELATED: The Best Champagne Glasses for Every Celebration

Best for Reds: Made In Red Wine Glass

Made In Cookware
Courtesy of Made In

Pros: A lightweight, bigger glass great for swirling full-bodied red wines.

Cons: The handmade nature will have natural variations, and the size might be too big for some tastes.

Made In's glasses are hand-blown in Italy and free of heavy metals. The steams are titanium-treated to resist breakage, and the glasses are dishwasher-friendly, which is great for cleanup after dinner parties and cocktail events. They're hardy enough to feel appropriate for casual evenings but look elegant on any holiday table as well. The red glass's 23-ounce capacity leaves plenty of room for swirling, and the slightly narrowed top makes the perfect experience for wine aromatics as you sip.

Price at time of publish: $69

  • Material: Titanium-reinforced glass
  • Capacity: 23.75 ounces
  • Height: 9.75 inches
  • Dishwasher-safe: Yes

Best for Whites: Riedel Veritas Collection Wine Glasses

riedel veritas oaked chardonnay glass
Courtesy of Amazon

Pros: Lightweight and type-specific to enhance your favorite wines.

Cons: Not universal, so best for homes with plenty of space or limited grape interests.

Universal wine glasses work perfectly fine for most white wines, but if you always lean toward a specific type, opt for one of Riedel's varietal-specific wine glasses. The collection is complete with high-quality glasses designed to accentuate the flavors of oaked Chardonnay, Sauvignon Blanc, Riesling, and more—there are even options for Champagne, beer, and a variety of reds. Each glass is well-made and feels as light as a feather in the hand. Just keep in mind that the average person probably doesn't need to invest in so many types in order to enjoy their wine—F&W Executive Wine Editor Ray Isle notes that there's no major need to have a different wine glass for every type of grape.

Price at time of publish: $79

  • Material: Crystal glass
  • Capacity: 21 ounces
  • Height: 8.54 inches
  • Dishwasher-safe: Yes

Best Stemless: Schott Zwiesel Universal Stemless Wine Glasses

Stemless Wine Glass Pair
Courtesy of Amazon

Pros: This stemless set looks and feels high-end but is the ideal option for casual gatherings, as they are low profile and easy to clean. 

Cons: Thin glass means a drop could spell disaster, and some wine drinkers might not love a stemless glass.

 Ask any regular wine drinker about glasses, and they'll probably bring up Schott Zwiesel as one of the most reliable and consistent brands, as it has been making quality glassware since 1872. These stemless wine glasses are suitable for reds, whites, and even cocktails thanks to their universal shape. Plus, they are easy to hold, transport, clean, and store in cabinets. 

This collection is made with lead-free Tritan crystal glass and is dishwasher-safe, which makes the glasses great for everyday use and dinner parties. The brand strikes the perfect balance between elegance and approachability in a wine glass and is also fairly affordable for its quality.

 Price at time of publish: $48

  • Material: Tritan crystal glass
  • Capacity: 19.1 ounces
  • Height: 5 inches
  • Dishwasher-safe: Yes

Best Crystal: Waterford Lismore Essence Goblet

Performance Champagne Glass, Set of 2
Courtesy of Wayfair

Pros: Historic style, beautiful appearance, and quality construction from a renowned brand.

Cons: Must be hand-washed and is heavier than other wine glasses.

If you're looking for high-quality crystal, opt for Waterford's gorgeous wine glasses. "Waterford makes lovely crystal glasses, though they cost [a lot]," Isle says. Each glass has an elegant design featuring the brand's popular Lismore pattern that's been around since 1952. The rounder bowl and slim stem are updates to the usually thicker Waterford style. The leaded glass is carefully crafted and cut by hand, and the intricate design gives a special touch to any table setting.

Price at time of publish: $160

  • Material: Leaded crystal glass
  • Capacity: 19 ounces
  • Height: 10 inches
  • Dishwasher-safe: No

Best for Champagne: Riedel Performance Champagne Glass

Performance Champagne Glass, Set of 2
Courtesy of Amazon

Pros: Fine crystal will last longer than standard glass styles, and the shape is built to enhance the aromatics of sparkling wines.

Cons: They're more expensive and less versatile than other styles.

"The traditional 'flute' glasses you think of for champagne actually aren't the best options," says Ian Cauble, master sommelier and founder of SommSelect. He notes that flutes are "too thin to get the full aromatic experience," which can affect the overall taste. "For a very good stem that still reserves the nostalgia of the Champagne flute and is very durable, the evolved Riedel Champagne stem is an excellent choice," says Cauble. The glasses have more of an egg-shaped design compared to flutes, a design that's both elegant and striking all at once. The fine crystal is beautiful but also more durable than low-end glass options, and the effect on aromatics alone makes these glasses a treasure for sparkling wine lovers.

Price at time of publish: $79

  • Material: Fine crystal
  • Capacity: 13 ounces
  • Height: 9.65 inches
  • Dishwasher-safe: Yes

Best Expert Pick: Jancis Robinson The Perfect Wine Glass

jancis robinson wine glass
Courtesy of Verishop

Pros: The versatile shape will work for multiple grape varieties, and the dishwasher is recommended for cleaning.

Cons: They're a more expensive set, and will take up a large amount of space in a cabinet.

These expert-recommended glasses were designed with the help of a wine critic to work with all different types of wines, which takes the guesswork out of choosing a glass. "I love the Jancis glasses. They are an example of the move towards 'universal' glasses," says Isle. They're made of mouth-blown crystal, and the brand actually recommends carefully placing them in the dishwasher after use, because hand-washing can add too much pressure. While they're on the pricier side (they come out to $56 each), "it's definitely more affordable than buying a different glass for every grape," Isle notes.

Price at time of publish: $128

  • Material: Lead-free crystal
  • Capacity: 32 ounces (5 ounces recommended)
  • Height: 8.8 inches
  • Dishwasher-safe: Yes

Best Splurge: Zalto Denk'Art Burgundy Wine Glass

zalto denk art burgundy wine glass
Courtesy of Amazon

Pros: Super lightweight, lead-free crystal with enough capacity to handle the darkest reds.

Cons: Not ideal for white wines or sparkling wines, and the most expensive single glass on our list.

If you're willing to splurge on wine glasses (even if it's just a set of two for anniversaries or important events), opt for the hand-blown glasses by Zalto. "I use many kinds of glasses, but for special occasions, I love Zalto glasses," says Joel Gott, founder of Joel Gott Wines. "They are so thin and beautiful, and can make drinking a special bottle even more special." Although this glass in particular is designed for red wines above 13% alcohol content, like Bordeaux or Merlot, the brand also makes aesthetically pleasing white wine glasses. Hall uses that version for both Chardonnay and sparkling wines, calling it "a feat of glass-blowing art that is hard to fathom." Even though he says they're "surprisingly strong and durable," you'll want to handle them with extra care since they're still delicate and on the pricier side.

Price at time of publish: $81 for 1 glass

  • Material: Cali Crystal (no lead)
  • Capacity: 32 ounces
  • Height: 9 inches
  • Dishwasher-safe: Yes

Our Favorites

At the end of the day, the best wine glass we recommend is the Riedel Vinum Grand Cru Riesling/Zinfandel Wine Glass Set due to its beautiful design, durability, and overall value. If you're looking for an upgrade, we suggest The Perfect Wine Glass by Jancis Robinson, an investment but a gorgeous addition to a serious wine lover's home bar.

Factors to Consider

Size

Wine glasses range from small glasses of under two ounces for dessert and fortified wines to giant balloons that can hold nearly a whole bottle if you don’t stop pouring! Generally, you want glasses large enough to get some air in the wine. A standard pour is around 3-5 ounces, or about the bottom third of a tulip-shaped glass or the bottom quarter of a balloon-shaped glass. If you are not purchasing varietal-specific glasses, choose a glass with about an 8-ounce capacity for white wines and a 10- to 12-ounce capacity for reds to allow for that airspace. You should also consider cleanup; if you intend to put them in the dishwasher, be sure the stems are not so tall as to prevent them from fitting in your washer.

Stemmed or Stemless

Wine glasses are designed with stems to keep your warm hands off of the bowl of the glass, which will warm the wine. Stemless glasses were designed to be compact for storage and cleaning and less prone to breakage. If you tend to serve everyday “house” level wines, or if you have a lot of kids and dogs running around your parties, stemless might be the way to go for safety’s sake. However, if you enjoy higher-level wines, having stemmed glasses on hand can be worth it to enjoy them properly.

Red or White

The main difference between “standard” non-varietal red and white glasses is usually in width. Red wine glasses usually will have a wider bowl profile since reds tend to need more air to make them sing. White wine glasses will have a taller, narrower bowl, which can help them retain their cooler temperature. You can serve red or white in pretty much any glass, so if you want to buy one set, look for a universal style glass, which splits the difference. The bowl might be larger than a standard white glass but less balloon-shaped than a traditional red glass. 

Versatility 

It makes sense to buy red- or white-specific glasses if you always stock your wine fridge with the same type of wine. But for something more versatile, experts recommend stocking up on multipurpose wine glasses that work well with reds and whites.

"Universal and all-purpose wine glasses are a great choice if you are new to drinking wine, don't have the space in your home or apartment to store separate glasses, or are just looking to save money in that department,"  says Joel Gott, founder of Joel Gott Wines. "While drinking out of a specific glass for each type of wine can bring out the best experience and flavor in each, it is by no means necessary. You should choose a glass that makes wine taste great for you."

Frequently Asked Questions
  • Are wine glasses dishwasher-safe?

    “It depends on the wine glasses and your dishwasher,” says Jonathan Shapiro, Chief Wine Officer of Vinedrop, “Some dishwashers have features for washing wine glasses, but my recommendation is if they are thin glasses and glasses that are expensive, it's probably best to hand wash just in case.” 

  • Why are thin wine glasses better?

    “Having opened and directed wine programs for over a dozen restaurants around the world, I can say that thin wine glasses terrify me,” says Belinda Chang, a James Beard Award-winning sommelier, writer, and restaurateur. “I’m always thinking about the dish pit, the polishers, the bussers — all of the service team, and, of course, the guests snapping those glasses, albeit gorgeous, the first time they hit the dining room tables. However, I also believe that in addition to making me and my guests look and feel more glamorous, thin wine glasses do have some concrete contributions to a better wine-drinking experience. They give a more accurate and better appreciation of the bubble and color of the wine, contribute less to premature warming from cellar temperature to room temperature, and the thin glasses also affect the mouthfeel on the “frontal attack”/first sip of the wine.”

  • How do you hold a wine glass?

    “I have taught Wine 101 classes to tens of thousands of restaurant staff and wine lovers around the world, and the second page of the “packet” reminds them to NEVER hold a wine glass by the bowl nor the base,” Chang says. “I have paid polishers to keep those parts of the glass fingerprint free and holding the glass by either part destroys the beauty of that expensive wine glass and the wine-drinking experience. Always hold the wine glass by the stem. And never trust a restaurant that only carries stemless glasses!”

  • Do crystal glasses contain lead?

    When shopping for wine glasses, you may find some labeled as glass and others as crystal and wonder what the difference is. Even though seeing something labeled crystal glass used to mean it was made with lead, many brands nowadays offer lead-free crystal wine glasses. But the truth is that the main difference between crystal and glass is cost, according to our Executive Wine Editor, Ray Isle. "It doesn't matter in terms of tasting," he says.

  • How should you store wine glasses?

    “I recommend storing them standing upright because there is a much less chance for chipping at the top of the glass. If they are very expensive glasses, you can always save them in the box they came in and take them out when you use them. There are also wine storage boxes you can use as well,” says Shapiro.

Our Expertise

This article was written by Amina Lake Abdelrahman, a commerce editor with nearly four years of experience writing about home products. Many of our recommendations come from Ray Isle, the Executive Wine Editor of Food & Wine and the Wine & Spirits Editor for Travel + Leisure. He writes Food & Wine's monthly "Bottle Service" column and contributes regular print and online features about wine, spirits, and wine-related travel to both brands. Also included in our expert panel are Belinda Chang (a James Beard Award-winning sommelier), Joel Gott (founder of Joel Gott Wines), James Hall (winemaker at Patz & Hall), and Ian Cauble (master sommelier and founder of SommSelect).

Was this page helpful?
Related Articles