Valentina Silovic

The Best Red Wine Glasses: Tested and Reviewed by Experts

Image of a red wine being poured in red wine glasses from decanter
Photo: Red wine poured in red wine glasses from decanter

When enjoying the nuances of a fine red wine, the glassware you choose plays a pivotal role. Not only does the right wine glass enhance the aroma and flavor of the wine, but it also enhances and elevates the overall drinking experience. Our team of experts, including sommeliers, wine experts, and wine enthusiasts, has worked hard to bring you the best red wine glasses available. After rigorous testing and review, we’re confident our insights will help you make an informed decision. Trust us to guide you towards the perfect glass for your favorite red.

Table of Contents

Why does the right wine glass matter?

Before diving into the specifics, it’s essential to understand why the choice of glass matters. The design and the shape of the glass can significantly influence the following:

  • Aeration: The shape of the glass can help expose the wine to air, allowing it to breathe and releasing its aromas.
  • Temperature: The bowl’s shape can either retain or release heat, affecting how the wine feels on the palate.
  • Taste Perception: The way the wine hits different parts of the tongue and palate can influence the perceived taste.

In the world of wine connoisseurs and enthusiasts, the subject of the right wine glass can ignite passionate debates. Some might dismiss it as mere pretentiousness, while others staunchly argue its importance.

Other reasons behind the significance of selecting the correct wine glass and its impact on the overall wine experience are:

  • Aesthetics and Presentation

Before we even consider the technical aspects, the visual appeal plays a role. The right wine glass complements the wine’s color, clarity, and effervescence. When served in a suitable glass, a wine’s hue can be appreciated in its full glory. For instance, a sparkling wine or Champagne, when poured into a flute, showcases its bubbles, making the experience visually enticing.

  • Aromatics

One of the most compelling reasons for choosing the right wine glass is the enhancement of aromatics. The shape of the glass directs the wine to specific parts of the nose, allowing for a richer olfactory experience. A wine glass with a wider bowl directs the aromas upward, ensuring that the taster can fully appreciate the wine’s bouquet. For example, a Burgundy glass, with its wide bowl and tapered top, is designed to capture the complex aromas of wines like Pinot Noir or Nebbiolo.

  • Temperature Maintenance

Temperature plays a pivotal role in how a wine expresses itself. Different wines have varying optimal serving temperatures. The right wine glass can help maintain this temperature. For instance, a wine glass with a long stem prevents the hand’s warmth from affecting the wine’s temperature, ensuring it remains chilled or at the desired warmth throughout the tasting session.

  • Palate Distribution

The shape and design of the wine glass also determine where the wine first hits the palate. This can impact the initial taste perception. A wine that first touches the tip of the tongue might emphasize sweetness, while one that hits the sides might highlight acidity. Winemakers and sommeliers often consider this when recommending specific wine glasses, aiming to present them in their best light.

  • The Role of Wine Glass Material

Beyond shape, the material of the wine glass can influence the tasting experience. Crystal glasses, for instance, are thin and can enhance the tactile experience of sipping wine. They are also believed by many to offer a cleaner palate, ensuring that no extraneous flavors interfere with the wine’s profile.

  • The Psychological Aspect

While the tangible aspects of the right wine glass are undeniably crucial, there’s also a psychological dimension. Much like how the right attire can boost confidence, serving wine in the right glass can elevate the overall experience. It sets the stage, indicating that what lies within the glass is precious and deserves attention.

Key components of red wine glassware

When evaluating red wine glassware, consider these primary components:

  • Bowl: This is the rounded part of the glass where wine is poured. A larger bowl allows for more aeration and space for the wine to be swirled.
    • Bowl Shape and Size
      • Size Matters: A larger bowl allows for more air contact with the wine, promoting oxidation. This process can soften the wine’s tannins, releasing its full bouquet and flavors.
      • Bulbous vs. Tapered:A bulbous shape collects the wine’s aromas at the top, while a tapered shape concentrates them. Different red wines benefit from one shape over the other based on their aromatic intensity.
  • Rim: The topmost part where you sip the wine. A thinner rim directs the wine to the center of the tongue, enhancing the tasting experience.
    • Rim Diameter
    • Wide Rims: Wider rims allow the wine to flow more freely onto the palate, emphasizing the wine’s sweetness and fruitiness. This is ideal for wines with subtle flavors.
    • Narrow Rims: Narrower rims direct the wine to the center of the tongue, highlighting the wine’s acidity and tannins. This is preferred for bold red wines with strong flavors.
  • Stem: This is the elongated part of the glass you hold. Holding the stem prevents the heat from your hands from warming the wine.
    • Stem Length and Base
      • Importance of the Stem: A long stem serves a dual purpose: it provides an elegant appearance and prevents the hand’s warmth from affecting the wine’s temperature.
      • Base Stability: A wide, stable base ensures that the glass remains upright, reducing the risk of spills and breakage. It also provides a better grip, enhancing the overall wine-drinking experience.
  • Thickness of the Glass
    • Thin vs. Thick: Thin glassware feels delicate and refined but can be more susceptible to breakage. Thicker glass offers durability but might detract from the wine’s sensory experience. Optimal thickness strikes a balance between elegance and functionality.
  • Color and Transparency
    • Clarity is Key: Transparent glass allows you to appreciate the wine’s color and clarity, providing visual cues about its age and quality.
    • Tinted vs. Clear: Tinted glasses can alter the perception of the wine’s color. While some prefer them for aesthetic reasons, clear glasses are generally recommended for a genuine wine evaluation.
  • Texture and Design Elements
    • Etchings and Designs: While ornate designs can enhance the aesthetic appeal, they can also interfere with the wine’s aromas. Minimalistic designs or etchings that don’t obstruct the wine’s path are ideal.
    • Stem Details: From simple to intricate, stem designs can add flair to the glassware. However, comfort and functionality should never be compromised.

Types of red wine glasses

Image of red wine poured in a red wine glass
Photo: Red wine poured in a red wine glass

There are several, most-common, types of red wine glasses, each designed for specific varieties of red wine:

  • Bordeaux Glass: Characterized by a tall bowl and a broad base, this glass is ideal for full-bodied wines like Cabernet Sauvignon and Merlot. The shape directs the wine to the back of the mouth, emphasizing the wine’s tannins.
    • Features:
      • Tall with a broad bowl.
      • Straight sides tapering towards the rim.
      • Ideal for full-bodied wines like Cabernet Sauvignon and Merlot.
    • Benefits:
      • The tall design allows the wine to aerate and breathe, releasing aromas.
      • The broad bowl provides ample space for the wine to swirl, enhancing its flavor profile.
  • Burgundy Glass: Wider than the Bordeaux glass with a broader bowl, this glass is suited for wines like Pinot Noir. The wider bowl allows for more aeration, enhancing the wine’s delicate aromas.
    • Features:
      • Wider bowl than Bordeaux glass.
      • Tapered rim.
      • Suited for delicate and aromatic red wines like Pinot Noir.
    • Benefits:
      • The wider bowl allows for greater surface area, promoting oxidation and softening tannins.
      • The tapered rim captures and directs the wine’s aromas to the nose, enriching the sensory experience.
  • Standard Red Wine Glass: A versatile option that can work well for a range of red wines. It has a slightly tapered bowl, making it suitable for medium-bodied wines like Zinfandel or Sangiovese.
    • Features:
      • Versatile shape with a slightly broad bowl.
      • Suitable for a range of red wines, including Shiraz, Zinfandel, and Sangiovese.
    • Benefits:
      • Its adaptable design makes it a go-to choice for various red wine types.
      • Offers a balanced aeration and aroma concentration.
  • Shiraz/Syrah Glass: An innovation between 1993 and 1995, the Shiraz/Syrah glass was conceptualized to accentuate the unique characteristics of Australian wines.
    • Features:
      • Narrow body and opening.
      • Controlled tapering design.
    • Benefits:
      • Concentrates the wine’s aromatic compounds, amplifying the olfactory experience.
      • Diminishes intense spice notes, ensuring a balanced and smoother taste.
      • Regulates the wine flow to the palate, allowing for a more nuanced tasting journey.

Maintenance and care of red wine glasses

Proper care can prolong the life of your wine glasses and ensure a consistent tasting experience:

  • Hand Washing: While some wine glasses are labeled as dishwasher safe, hand washing is generally recommended to prevent breakage and maintain clarity.
  • Temperature Matters: Always start with warm or room temperature water to rinse your glass. Drastic temperature shifts can compromise the integrity of the crystal.
  • Tackle Stains Proactively: If you notice any staining, a 5-minute soak in warm white vinegar is effective. The vinegar’s acidity aids in breaking down mineral deposits, simplifying the cleaning process.
  • Gentle Scrubbing Technique: Opt for a nylon net scrubber paired with a touch of mild dish soap. This combination ensures a thorough clean without risking scratches. For an impeccable finish, consider using a reputable glass cleaner designed for high-quality glassware, such as Restaurant Crystal Clean.
  • Reaching Difficult Spots: For the base of the glass, wrap a soft cleaning towel around a fork. This method allows you to gently clean the more intricate areas without risking damage.
  • Rinse and Dry Methodically: After washing, always rinse the glass with warm or room temperature water to ensure all soap residues are removed.
  • Polishing: To maintain the clarity and shine of your glasses, consider polishing using a lint-free, microfiber cloth.
  • Storage Wisdom: Once clean and dry, store your wine glasses in a safe place to prevent accidental chipping or breakage. Store glasses upright to avoid any potential chipping or damage to the rims.

The best red wine glasses, according to experts

To assist you in selecting the perfect glassware, we meticulously evaluated and critiqued the premier red wine glasses from the best wine glass producers. Our insights are curated from comprehensive consultations with our team of sommeliers, esteemed wine connoisseurs, and dedicated wine enthusiasts.

1. Riedel Vinum Wine Glasses

Expert Rating: ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐

  • Design: Crafted by Riedel, a name synonymous with wine glass excellence, the Vinum red wine glass set boasts a tall, elegant design that allows the wine to breathe. The shape perfectly showcases the complex aromatics of various varietals. Riedel’s approach is rooted in the belief that the content of the glass should dictate its shape. The Vinum series stands as a testament to this philosophy, being the world’s pioneering line of machine-made glasses designed around varietal characteristics.
  • Material: Made from high-quality crystal, these glasses are both durable and delicate.
  • Performance: When tested with a range of Bordeaux, Syrah/Shiraz and Pinot Noir wines, the Vinum glasses consistently amplified the wine’s aromas and highlighted its intricate flavors.
    • Pinot Noir Vinum glass: This glass is ingeniously shaped to direct the wine flow specifically to the sweet-perceiving zone of the tongue. This accentuates the wine’s rich fruit flavors and balances out its high acidity. The generous bowl size is tailored to capture and amplify the intricate aromas of the wine, ensuring a multi-dimensional sensory experience. While the design is specifically tailored for Pinot Noir, it is also ideal for a range of other full-bodied red wines such as Barbaresco, Barbera, Barolo, Gamay, and Nebbiolo.
      • Capacity: 24.69 fluid ounces or 730 ml
      • Dimensions: 4.25″ L x 4.25″ W x 8.27″ H inches to 10.8 L x 10.8 W x 21 H centimetres
      • Dishwasher Safe: For optimal maintenance, machine wash at a minimum temperature of 170° F or 75° C, though handwashing is recommended for longevity.
    • Pinot Noir New World Vinum glass: Expertly crafted to accentuate the nuances of new world wines, this glass is a must-have for discerning wine enthusiasts. The glass’s unique bowl shape enhances the robust flavors and aromas characteristic of new world Pinot Noir, particularly highlighting the hints of peatiness and plum notes in these rich red wines.
      • Capacity: 28 fluid ounces or 828 ml
      • Dimensions: 4.25″ L x 4.25″ W x 8.86″ H inches 10.8 L x 10.8 W x 22.5 H centimetres
      • Dishwasher Safe
    • Syrah/Shiraz Vinum glass: Crafted to accentuate the tannins and perfectly harmonize with the rich fruit notes typical of the Syrah/Shiraz.  variety. This unique glass shape was conceptualized between 1993 and 1995, following extensive tastings across major Syrah-producing regions. It was during this period that leading winemakers from around the world shared their insights on how best to convey the essence of their wines. By using this Syrah glass, you enhance the wine-drinking experience, allowing the tannins to shine while harmoniously complementing the pronounced fruit profile.
      • Capacity: 24.69 fluid ounces or 730 ml
      • Dimensions: 3.74″ L x 3.74″ W x 9.29″ H inches or 9.49 L x 9.49 W x 23.6 H centimetres
      • Dishwasher Safe
    • Cabernet Sauvignon Vinum glass: Expertly machine-blown, this wine glass is meticulously crafted for the discerning wine enthusiast, specifically tailored for big, bold, and concentrated wines. The generous bowl design is not only aesthetically pleasing but also amplifies the intricate flavors and aromas of contemporary wines, particularly those crafted from Cabernet Sauvignon, Cabernet Franc, and Merlot.
      • Capacity: 33 7/8 ounces to 1000 ml
      • Dimensions: 4.5″ H x 10.5″ L to 11.4 H x 26.7 L centimetres
      • Dishwasher Safe


  1. The Vinum set is meticulously crafted to enhance the unique characteristics of red wines, ensuring you experience the fullest flavor profile.
  2. Made with high-quality materials, these glasses are designed to be durable and long-lasting, standing up to regular use.
  3. The sleek and sophisticated design of each glass adds a touch of elegance to any occasion or setting.
  4. Riedel is renowned in the industry for producing top-tier glassware, ensuring you’re investing in a product backed by expertise and tradition.


  1. While the Vinum set offers exceptional quality, it may be priced higher than some other options on the market.
  2. To maintain their delicate design and functionality, these glasses are best washed by hand, which can be less convenient for some users.

Things to consider

  1. If you frequently enjoy red wines, investing in specialized glasses like the Vinum set can significantly enhance your tasting experience.
  2. Keep in mind the recommended hand-washing for these glasses and ensure you have the time and means to care for them properly.
  3. Consider your storage options to protect these delicate glasses when not in use, as they deserve careful handling to maintain their quality.

Why our expert team choose this set

After thorough research and testing, our expert team selected the Riedel Vinum red wine glass set due to its unparalleled quality, specialized design, and the brand’s longstanding reputation for excellence in glassware.

Overall, our team recommends Riedel as the go-to place for purchasing one of the four essential wine glasses you will ever need.

We believe that investing in premium glassware enhances the overall wine-drinking experience, and the Vinum set delivers on this promise, making it a top choice for discerning wine enthusiasts.

2. Zalto Denk’Art Burgundy Wine Glass

Expert Rating: ⭐⭐⭐⭐½

  • Design: With its sleek and modern design, the Zalto Denk’Art Burgundy glass is designed to enhance a variety of wines, including reds, whites, and even sparkling wines.
  • Material: Hand-blown from lead-free crystal, these glasses are remarkably thin yet surprisingly durable.
  • Performance: Our experts found that the Zalto glass accentuated the fruit-forward characteristics of red wines while offering a balanced drinking experience.
  • Material: Hand-blown from premium European crystal.
  • Dimensions: 4.9″ W x 9.1″ H or 12.45 cm x 23.11 centimetres
  • Volume Capacity: 32.5 ounces or 960 ml
  • Key Features:
    • The bowl’s shape is expertly crafted to accentuate the characteristics of each grape variety.
    • Ultra-thin lip ensures an uninterrupted wine-tasting experience.
    • Designed with Earth tilt angles of 24, 48, and 72 degrees, allowing ample space for the wine to breathe and evolve.
  • Suggested Wine Varietals:
    • Full-bodied red wines like Cabernets, Chardonnays, Nebbiolo, Barbaresco, Barolo, Barberas, and fruit-forward Pinots.
    • Older vintages of white wines such as cellared Gruner Veltliner Smaragd or Reserve.
  • Safety and Care: Feather-light, dishwasher safe, and 100% lead-free.
  • Unique Feature: Despite its generous size, it feels light and balanced in hand, even capable of holding a full bottle of wine.


  1. Expertly designed to enhance wine flavors and aromas.
  2. Versatile for both red and white wines.
  3. Elegant, lightweight design.
  4. Dishwasher safe for easy cleaning.
  5. Lead-free, ensuring safe consumption.


  1. Larger size might not fit all standard wine racks.
  2. Premium price point may not be suitable for all budgets.

Things to consider

  1. Ensure storage space for these larger glasses.
  2. Hand-blown nature means slight variations might occur, enhancing the unique character of each glass.
  3. It’s recommended to hand wash to maintain the pristine condition of the glasses over time.

Why our expert team choose this glass

Our team values authenticity, craftsmanship, and the enhancement of the wine-drinking experience. The Zalto Denk’Art Burgundy Wine Glass embodies all these qualities.

Its meticulously designed shape, inspired by the Earth’s tilt angles, showcases a profound understanding of wine dynamics.

The versatility it offers, catering to a wide range of wines, ensures that enthusiasts and connoisseurs alike can savor their favorite vintages to the fullest.

Furthermore, its safety features, coupled with the aesthetic appeal of hand-blown crystal, make it an unparalleled choice for discerning wine lovers.

Best For Reds
Zalto Denk'Art Burgundy Wine Glass Hand-Blown Crystal , Set of 6
$548.98 $483.07 ($80.51 / Count)

Hand-blown from the finest European crystal, this glass is specifically crafted for bold red wines, the Burgundy glass allows the wine to fully breathe and develop.

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02/18/2024 03:28 am GMT

3. Schott Zwiesel Tritan Crystal Glass Pure Stemware Collection

Expert Rating: ⭐⭐⭐⭐

  • Design: The Schott Zwiesel glass features a classic bowl shape with a slightly tapered top, making it versatile for various red wine varietals. Part of the Pure collection, featuring sharp, geometric lines. Moderate stem height ensures excellent balance. Suitable for full-bodied white wines and young full-red wines.
  • Material: Constructed from Tritan crystal, these glasses are resistant to breakage, chipping, and scratching.
  • Performance: When compared side-by-side with other glasses, the Schott Zwiesel glass delivered a consistent and reliable performance, highlighting the depth and complexity of red wines.
  • Dimensions: 13.7″W x 13.4″H or 8.9 W x 24.5 H cm
  • Volume Capacity: 18.2 ounces or 538 ml
  • Key Features:
    • A narrow opening, narrower than the bowl, which captures and enhances the wine’s aroma, elevating the tasting experience.
    • The wide-angular bowl facilitates swirling, increasing the wine’s surface area and promoting aeration for better flavor.
    • The elongated stem prevents the transfer of body heat from the hand to the bowl, ensuring the wine remains at the desired temperature.
    • Flame-tempered for added strength and durability.
  • Suggested Wine Varietals: Cabernet Sauvignon, Bordeaux, Merlot, Syrah, Zinfandel, Malbec, Barolo, Chardonnay, Viognier.
  • Safety and Care: Dishwasher safe. However, avoid forcing the bowl over dishwasher rack prongs. Do not twist the stem and bowl tightly while holding.
  • Packaging: We recommend a set of 6 glasses, suitable for red or white wine. Also available as a set of 2 and 4 wine glasses.
  • Brand Background: Established in 1872, Zwiesel Glas is a renowned German glass manufacturer from the Bavarian Forest region. With a commitment to unparalleled quality, unique designs, and sustainability, their products have become synonymous with authentic hospitality and luxury.


  1. Elegant geometric design enhances tabletop aesthetics.
  2. Tritan crystal offers clarity and durability.
  3. Suitable for a variety of wines, making it versatile for different occasions.
  4. Made with sustainability in mind, reducing carbon emissions during production.


  1. May be on the pricier side for some consumers.

Things to consider

  1. Ideal for both home and professional settings.
  2. Gentle care is recommended to prolong the glassware’s lifespan.
  3. Given its capacity and design, it may not be the best choice for sparkling wines or champagnes.

Why our expert team choose this glass

Our expert team selected the Zwiesel Glas Tritan Crystal Pure Stemware Collection for its blend of functionality and aesthetics.

The unique design not only adds a contemporary touch to any setting but also enhances the wine-drinking experience.

The brand’s rich history and commitment to quality reassured our team of its durability and performance.

Additionally, the emphasis on sustainability aligns with our team’s values, making it a preferred choice for discerning customers.

4. Spiegelau Style Burgundy Wine Glass

Expert Rating: ⭐⭐⭐⭐

  • Design: Embodying modern aesthetics and self-confidence, the Spigelau Style series promises elegance for every occasion. The Spigelau Burgundy wine glass has a generous bowl size, making it ideal for capturing the rich aromas of Burgundy and other full-bodied red wines.
  • Material: Produced from high-quality lead-free crystal composition, these glasses offer clarity and brilliance, enhancing the visual appeal of the wine. This premium material ensures durability, dishwasher safety, break resistance, and unparalleled brilliance compared to glasses made from inferior materials.
  • Performance: Our testing revealed that the Spiegelau glass effectively showcased the layered flavors and velvety textures characteristic of Burgundy wines. These glasses, designed with a generous angled bowl, are perfect for enhancing the aroma and aerating red wines. Crafted with precision, they epitomize elegance and professional quality.
  • Dimensions: 4.21″W x 8.86″H or 10.70 W x 22.50 H cm
  • Volume Capacity: 22.6 ounces or 670 ml
  • Key Features:
    • Made in Europe with over 500 years of glass-making expertise.
    • Lead-free crystal ensures brilliance and highlights the wine’s natural hue.
    • Resistant to scratching, fogging, and loss of brilliance, even after 1,500 dishwasher cycles.
    • The modern shape captures and releases the wine’s aromatics and flavors.
    • Ideal for both home use and professional settings.
  • Suggested Wine Varietals: Pinot Noir.
  • Safety and Care: Dishwasher safe due to Spiegelau’s Platinum Glass process.
  • Brand Background: Spiegelau, founded in the small town of the same name in Bavaria, Germany, has roots dating back to 1521. Their commitment to quality and innovation earned them a prestigious reputation in the glassware industry. Their products, known for their clarity, durability, and elegance, became sought-after in top-tier restaurants, hotels, and homes across the globe.


  1. European-made with over 500 years of craftsmanship.
  2. Lead-free crystal ensures clarity and brilliance.
  3. Dishwasher safe for hassle-free cleaning.
  4. Generous bowl design enhances wine aromas.
  5. Versatile for both casual and formal occasions.


  1. Premium pricing due to high-quality materials and craftsmanship.
  2. Requires careful handling to prevent breakage, despite being break-resistant.

Things to consider

  1. While dishwasher safe, handwashing might prolong the glasses’ lifespan and maintain their brilliance.
  2. Store glasses upright to avoid chipping the delicate rims.
  3. Handle with care, as with any fine glassware.

Why our expert team choose this glass

Our team selected the Spiegelau Style Burgundy Wine Glasses for their unmatched quality, European craftsmanship, and elegant design.

The glasses combine functionality with aesthetics, ensuring a superior wine-tasting experience while adding a touch of sophistication to any setting.

With Spiegelau’s rich history and commitment to excellence, these glasses stand out as a top choice for both enthusiasts and professionals alike.

Spiegelau Style Burgundy Wine Glass, 22.6 ounce, Set of 4
$47.99 $38.49 ($9.62 / Count)
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02/18/2024 08:23 am GMT

5. Waterford Elegance Cabernet Sauvignon Wine Glass

Expert Rating: ⭐⭐⭐⭐

  • Design: The Waterford Elegance Collection stands as a testament to unparalleled craftsmanship, offering an elite experience for wine and spirits aficionados. This collection, designed with every wine varietal in mind, presents stems with a clear and delicate bowl, ensuring a unique contemporary touch.
  • Material: Constructed from crystal.
  • Performance:  The stems from this collection are designed with a crisp rim and an oversized bowl, ensuring the full flavors of the wine are accentuated. The deep V plunge aids in concentrating the wine’s bouquet, enabling a rich appreciation of its tannins. The transparent crystal further allows one to admire the wine’s diverse hues, while the design of the stem facilitates a satisfying swirl.
  • Dimensions: 4.5″W x 9.8″H or 11.43 W x 24.89 H cm
  • Volume Capacity: 26.7 ounces or 790 ml
  • Key Features:
    • Exquisitely crafted from premium crystal.
    • A part of Waterford’s Elegance Collection, renowned for its contemporary design that boasts a clear, delicate bowl, deep V plunge, crisp rim, and a modern profile.
    • Specifically designed to enhance the experience of red wine, capturing its aromas and flavors.
    • Comes in elegant Waterford packaging, making it an ideal gift.
    • For maintenance, hand washing with a soft cloth is recommended.
  • Suggested Wine Varietals: Cabernet Sauvignon, Bordeaux, Merlot, Syrah, Zinfandel, Malbec, Barolo.
  • Safety and Care: For maintenance, hand washing with a soft cloth is recommended.
  • Brand Background: Waterford Crystal, renowned globally for its exquisite crystal glassware, traces its origins back to the late 18th century in Waterford, Ireland. Designed to enhance the sensory experience of wine, each wine glass is crafted with precision, ensuring that the nuances of the wine are fully appreciated. The Elegance Collection, to which the Waterford Elegance Cabernet Sauvignon Wine Glass belongs, exemplifies the brand’s dedication to excellence in wine glassware, offering designs that combine functionality with aesthetic appeal.


  1. Premium crystal construction ensures durability and aesthetic appeal.
  2. Unique design tailored for red wine enhances the drinking experience.
  3. Versatile for various occasions, from casual to formal.
  4. Presented in attractive packaging, making it gift-ready.
  5. Handcrafted details highlight the brand’s dedication to excellence.


  1. Requires delicate hand washing for maintenance.
  2. Premium pricing due to its craftsmanship and brand reputation.

Things to consider

  1. Ensure proper care to maintain the glass’s clarity and brilliance.
  2. Understand the intended use, as these glasses are specifically designed for red wines.
  3. Given its delicate nature, avoid exposure to extreme temperatures or sudden shocks.

Why our expert team choose this glass

Our expert team selected the Waterford Elegance Cabernet Sauvignon Wine Glass due to its unmatched craftsmanship, tailored design for red wines, and the brand’s legacy of producing exquisite glassware.

The attention to detail in every aspect, from the design to the packaging, showcases a commitment to quality and luxury.

This glass promises not just functionality but also elevates the entire wine-drinking experience, making it a worthwhile investment for enthusiasts and connoisseurs alike.

Best For Reds
Waterford Elegance Cabernet Sauvignon Wine Glass, Set of 2

Clear crystal enables the visual appreciation of the various hues in red wine, while the smooth stem and slightly oversized foot promote a satisfying swirl.

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02/18/2024 02:18 am GMT

6. Luigi Bormioli Crescendo Bordeaux Wine Glass

Expert Rating: ⭐⭐⭐⭐

  • Design:  Featuring a timeless and classic design, Luigi Bormioli Crescendo glasses are a wedding registry favorite, perfect for both homes and restaurants. The Luigi Bormioli Crescendo Bordeaux Wine Glasses are specifically designed to enhance the sensory experience of drinking Bordeaux wines. The shape, size, and rim design are tailored to aerate the wine effectively, releasing its aromas and flavors optimally.
  • Material:  Crafted with Luigi Bormioli’s proprietary lead-free crystal glass, SON-hyx, ensuring transparency, break resistance, and premium quality.
  • Performance: The Luigi Bormioli Crescendo Bordeaux Wine Glasses are expertly crafted to enhance the sensory nuances of red wines, emphasizing flavor and aroma. Their durable SON-hyx crystal composition ensures longevity and showcases wine with unparalleled clarity and brilliance. Comfortably designed with a seamless stem, they offer both aesthetic elegance and optimal functionality for discerning wine enthusiasts.
  • Dimensions: 7.4″W x 9.4″H or 18.79 W x 23.87 H cm
  • Volume Capacity: 20 ounces or 591 ml
  • Key Features:
    • SON-hyx Technology is a high-tech, lead-free crystal glass known for its outstanding chemical, optical, and mechanical properties.
      Mechanical Strength: Demonstrated improvements in resistance to shocks, with enhanced mechanical strength due to improved production processes.
    • Offers +37.5% resistance to rim breakage, +105% to impact tests, and +98% to stem twisting. Maintains transparency and brilliance over 4,000 washing cycles.
    • Produced with low CO2 emissions and free from lead and other heavy metals.
  • Suggested Wine Varietals: Cabernet Sauvignon, Bordeaux, Merlot, Syrah, Zinfandel, Malbec, Barolo, Chardonnay, Viognier.
  • Safety and Care: Dishwasher safe, ensuring effortless cleaning without red stains or residue marks.
  • Brand Background: Renowned for its exceptional designs, Luigi Bormioli represents the pinnacle of Italian craftsmanship in glassware. The brand embodies art, creativity, innovation, and quality. Their SPARKX glass offers ultra-clear, durable, and sparkling glassware, reflecting the art and science of Italian glass-making.


  1. High-quality lead-free crystal.
  2. Timeless and elegant design.
  3. Made with SON-hyx crystal technology, ensuring longevity and impressive resistance to breakage.
  4. Easy maintenance with dishwasher-safe feature.
  5. Seamless pulled stem with titanium reinforcement offers a comfortable grip and adds to the glass’s aesthetic appeal.
  6. 25-year guarantee against specific damages.
  7. Made in Italy with a rich legacy of glass-making.
  8. While designed for Bordeaux wines, the glasses are versatile enough for various red wine varieties, offering flexibility in usage.


  1. May be on the pricier side for some consumers.

Things to consider

  1. Assess the glass dimensions to ensure they fit your storage and usage preferences.
  2. Evaluate the design compatibility with your existing glassware collection.
  3. Consider the intended use, whether for daily dining, special occasions, or gifting.

Why our expert team choose this glass

Our expert team selected the Luigi Bormioli Crescendo Bordeaux Wine Glasses due to their impeccable craftsmanship, premium quality, and timeless design.

The SON-hyx technology offers enhanced durability, ensuring longevity and resistance to breakage. The 25-year guarantee underscores the brand’s confidence in its product.

Additionally, the eco-friendly production process aligns with our commitment to sustainability. Made in Italy, these glasses encapsulate the essence of Italian artistry and innovation, making them a perfect addition to any discerning collection.

Luigi Bormioli Crescendo Bordeaux Wine Glass, Set Of 4
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02/18/2024 08:37 am GMT

Choosing the right red wine glass: Expert tips

Image of Zalto wine glasses
Photo credit: Zalto wine glasses

While the above glasses have been highly recommended by experts, choosing the right red wine glass ultimately depends on personal preferences and the specific wine varietals you enjoy. Here are some expert tips to guide you:

  • Understand the Purpose of the Glass: Before diving into the specifics, it’s essential to understand why the shape and size of a wine glass matter:
    • Aroma Concentration: The shape of a glass directs the wine’s aroma towards your nose. A wider bowl allows for greater oxidation, releasing more aromas, while a narrow rim focuses the aromas.
    • Temperature Control: The shape can also influence the wine’s temperature. A bowl that’s too wide might make the wine warmer faster, affecting its taste.
  • Consider the Type of Red Wine: Different red wines have distinct characteristics, and choosing a glass tailored to the wine type can enhance its flavor profile:
    • Bordeaux Glass: Characterized by its tall, broad bowl and straight sides, this glass is ideal for Bordeaux and other full-bodied reds. The design directs wine to the back of the mouth, emphasizing the wine’s balance of fruit and acidity.
    • Burgundy Glass: Wider than Bordeaux glasses, with a rounded bowl, the Burgundy glass is perfect for wines like Pinot Noir. It directs the wine to the tip of the tongue, highlighting its delicate flavors and silky texture.
    • Standard Red Wine Glass: This versatile glass, with its slightly narrower bowl compared to the Burgundy glass, works well for medium-bodied reds like Merlot or Zinfandel.
  • Examine the Glass’s Design Features: Beyond the general shape, several design elements can further enhance your wine experience:
    • Thin Rim: A thin rim allows the wine to flow smoothly onto your palate, ensuring the first sip feels delicate and refined.
    • Crystal vs. Glass: Crystal glasses are often thinner and can enhance the wine’s clarity and aroma. However, they are more delicate than regular glass.
    • Stem vs. Stemless: Stemmed glasses prevent the heat from your hands warming the wine. Stemless glasses, though trendy, might affect the wine’s temperature but offer stability.
  • Assess Your Budget: While investing in quality wine glasses can significantly elevate your wine-drinking experience, you don’t always need to splurge:
    • Mid-Range Options: Brands like Riedel or Spigelau offer a range of quality glasses at various price points, ensuring you find something within your budget.
    • Consider Sets: Purchasing a set of glasses might be more cost-effective than buying individual pieces. However, always prioritize quality over quantity.
  • Personal Preference Matters: While expert advice provides a solid foundation, your personal preferences are paramount. Always:
    • Test Different Glasses: Attend wine tasting events or use trial and error at home to determine which glass style you prefer for each wine type.
    • Consider Storage and Maintenance: Ensure the glasses you choose fit in your storage space and are easy to clean.
  • Experiment and Enjoy: While expert recommendations provide valuable insights, don’t hesitate to experiment with different glasses to discover what works best for your palate.

Other considerations when choosing red wine glass

While the type of wine glass is crucial, a few other considerations can further enhance your wine-drinking experience:

  • Material: Crystal glasses are preferred by many enthusiasts due to their clarity and ability to enhance aromas. However, they are more delicate than glass counterparts.
  • Size: While larger glasses provide more surface area for aeration, they can also make pouring and handling challenging. Consider your storage and serving needs when selecting a size.
  • Purpose: If you’re hosting a formal wine-tasting or dinner party, investing in specialized glasses can be worthwhile. For everyday use, versatile glasses that cater to a range of wines are practical.

Material of red wine glass

Let’s delve deeper into some of the most popular materials used for crafting red wine glasses:

  • Crystal material
    • Characteristics:
      • Thinly spun, offering a refined and elegant appearance.
      • Remarkable strength in comparison to its thin profile.
      • Superior clarity, showcasing the wine’s color and texture beautifully.
    • Advantages:
      • Enhanced Tasting Experience: The thin rim allows the wine to flow smoothly onto the palate, enhancing the tasting experience.
      • Durability: Despite its delicate appearance, crystal is surprisingly robust, reducing the chances of breakage.
      • Aesthetics: Crystal glasses often have a lustrous sheen and clarity that enhances the visual appeal of the wine.
    • Drawbacks:
      • Cost: Crystal wine glasses tend to be more expensive due to the craftsmanship and quality of the material.
      • Care: While strong, crystal requires careful handling to prevent chipping or breakage.
  • Glass material
    • Characteristics:
      • More substantial than crystal, often with a thicker rim.
      • Available in both leaded and lead-free varieties.
      • Non-porous, ensuring no flavor retention from previous uses.
    • Advantages:
      • Affordability: Glass wine glasses are generally more budget-friendly than crystal.
      • Durability: With advancements like the infusion of titanium, some glass variants offer improved durability.
      • Ease of Care: Glass is dishwasher safe and doesn’t corrode or stain easily.
    • Drawbacks:
      • Taste Alteration: Thicker rims can sometimes interfere with the wine’s flow onto the palate, potentially altering the tasting experience.
  • Stainless steel material
    • Characteristics:
      • Sleek, modern appearance often in stemless designs.
      • Highly durable and resistant to breakage.
      • Retains temperature efficiently.
    • Advantages:
      • Versatility: Perfect for both red and white wines, especially when served chilled.
      • Durability: Almost impervious to damage, making them ideal for outdoor use, travel, or boat trips.
      • Temperature Retention: Stainless steel keeps wines at the desired temperature for longer periods.
    • Drawbacks:
      • Aesthetic Experience: The tactile and visual experience of sipping wine from stainless steel might not match that of traditional glass or crystal.
      • Lack of Aeration: Unlike traditional wine glasses that aerate wine as it’s poured, stainless steel glasses don’t provide this benefit.

In conclusion, selecting the right material for your red wine glasses is a matter of personal preference, occasion, and budget.

FAQ about red wine glasses

Q1. What is the appropriate glassware for red wine?

The appropriate glassware for red wine is one that enhances the aroma, flavor, and overall experience of the wine. Generally, red wine glasses have a wider bowl and a larger opening compared to glasses designed for white wine. The shape of the glass can concentrate the aromas of the wine, directing them towards the nose, and also allows for aeration which can soften tannins in red wines.

For example, red wines benefit from a larger bowl as it allows for more oxidation, releasing aromas and flavors. A slightly tapered rim helps direct the wine to the front of the palate, emphasizing its fruitiness and acidity. A thinner glass ensures that the wine doesn’t warm up too quickly from hand contact.

Q2. Which glass is the red wine glass?

The most iconic red wine glass shape is often referred to as the Bordeaux glass.

Red wine glasses typically have a broader bowl compared to white wine glasses. This increased volume allows for better aeration of the wine. As red wines are usually richer and more complex in flavor compared to whites, they benefit from a larger surface area, which aids in the release of aromas and flavors.

The rim of a red wine glass is often tapered inward. This design helps concentrate the aromas of the wine towards the nose, ensuring that the drinker can fully appreciate the wine’s bouquet before sipping.

While stemless wine glasses are available, traditional red wine glasses come with stems. The stem serves a dual purpose. Firstly, it allows the drinker to hold the glass without warming the wine with the heat from their hand. Secondly, it presents the wine beautifully, allowing for an unobstructed view of the wine’s color and clarity.

Quality red wine glasses are often made from fine crystal. Due to their finer composition, crystal glasses provide a smoother drinking experience, allowing the wine to flow gracefully onto the palate.

Beyond the generic red wine glass, specialized glasses are designed for specific red wine varietals like Bordeaux, Burgundy, and Cabernet Sauvignon. These glasses take into account the unique characteristics and aromas of each varietal, offering an even more tailored tasting experience.

Q3. What shape should red wine glasses be?

The shape of the red wine glasses should be a wide bowl that narrows towards the top. Red wines, especially those that are aged or full-bodied, benefit from a wider bowl. This design allows for more oxygen exposure, which helps to release the wine’s aromas and soften its tannins.

A slightly tapered or narrower opening at the top of the glass captures and concentrates the aromas of the wine, directing them towards the nose. This ensures that the aromatic compounds are more pronounced when you take a sip.

A longer stem serves a practical purpose. Holding the glass by the stem prevents the heat from your hand warming the wine. Red wines are typically served at a slightly warmer temperature than whites, and maintaining this temperature ensures that the wine’s flavors and aromas are not compromised.

The thin, delicate glass allows for a better appreciation of the wine’s texture and mouthfeel. It also provides a more refined feel to the drinking experience.

A rolled or beveled rim is preferable. This design ensures the wine flows smoothly onto the palate without any abrupt or sharp edges that could distract from the tasting experience.

The base of the wine glass should be sufficiently wide to provide stability, especially for red wines with higher alcohol content and body. This ensures that the glass remains steady and minimizes the risk of tipping over.

Q4. What is the difference between red and white wine glasses?

While red wine glasses have a broader bowl to allow for aeration and release of aromas, white wine glasses tend to have a more U-shaped or tulip-shaped bowl. White wine glasses are generally smaller and have a narrower opening to preserve the wine’s delicate aromas and maintain its cooler temperature.

Here is the list of the key differences:

  • Shape and Size:
    • Red Wine Glasses:
      • Bowl: Red wine glasses usually have a wider, rounder bowl. This allows for a larger surface area, enabling the wine to aerate and release its complex flavors and aromas. The wider bowl also helps in capturing and directing the wine towards the back of the mouth, where the flavors are best perceived.
      • Tapered Rim: The rim of red wine glasses tends to be slightly wider to allow the wine to flow smoothly onto the palate, ensuring a balanced sip.
    • White Wine Glasses:
      • Bowl: White wine glasses typically have a more U-shaped or tulip-like bowl. This shape helps maintain the cooler temperature of white wines, as less surface area is exposed to the air. It also preserves the delicate aromas and flavors of white wines.
      • Narrower Rim: The rim of white wine glasses is usually more tapered and narrower than that of red wine glasses. This helps direct the wine to the tip of the tongue, where the more subtle flavors of white wines are best perceived.
  • Functionality:
    • Red Wine Glasses: The design of red wine glasses aims to showcase the wine’s complex flavors, tannins, and aromas. The wider bowl allows for better aeration, which can soften the wine’s tannins and enhance its overall taste profile.
    • White Wine Glasses: White wine glasses are designed to preserve the wine’s crispness, acidity, and delicate aromas. The smaller bowl and narrower rim help maintain the wine’s temperature and focus the aromas towards the nose.
  • Versatility:
    • While specific glasses are designed for red and white wines, it’s essential to note that many wine enthusiasts and professionals use a universal wine glass for both types. These glasses balance the characteristics of red and white wine glasses, making them versatile for a range of wine styles.

Q5. Can I drink red wine in a normal glass?

Yes, you can drink red wine in a normal, universal or generic glass. However, using a proper red wine glass can significantly enhance the wine’s aroma and flavor, providing a more enjoyable drinking experience.

Q6. How big should a red wine glass be?

A standard red wine glass can hold between 12 to 18 ounces or approximately 355 to 532 milliliters, although larger glasses exist for specific wine varieties. This size ensures there’s enough space to swirl the wine without spilling and provides ample room for aeration.

Q7. Why are red wine glasses so big?

The size of red wine glasses is designed to allow for aeration. This increased oxygen exposure can help soften tannins and release the wine’s aromas and flavors more effectively, which helps soften tannins in red wines and releases the wine’s aromas. The shape and size of a glass can influence how the wine interacts with the taste buds. A larger glass allows for a more gradual release of flavors, ensuring a balanced and harmonious taste experience.

For example, red wines, especially those made from grapes like Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot, and Syrah, benefit from aeration. When you pour wine into a larger glass, it has a larger surface area exposed to the air.

Red wines tend to have more complex aromas than white wines. A larger glass provides more space for these aromas to accumulate, allowing the wine enthusiasts to fully appreciate the wine’s bouquet.

Swirling wine in the glass is a common practice among wine enthusiasts. Swirling helps aerate the wine and release its aromas. A larger glass provides more room for swirling without spilling, making it easier to assess the wine’s qualities.

Red wines are typically served at warmer temperatures than white wines. The larger volume of a red wine glass can help the wine maintain its temperature for a longer period, ensuring that it remains at the ideal drinking temperature.

Q8. Is a wide or narrow glass better for red wine?

A wide glass, like the Bordeaux or Burgundy, Pinot Noir glass, is generally better for red wine as it allows for more aeration and releases the wine’s aromas more effectively. A narrower glass might not provide the same level of aeration, potentially muting the wine’s flavors and aromas.

Q9. Do I really need white and red wine glasses?

Having separate glasses for red and white wine is recommended for enthusiasts who want to appreciate the nuances of each wine type fully. However, if you’re not a dedicated wine aficionado, a versatile or universal wine glass can serve both purposes adequately. It is entirely up to personal preference as to how many wine glasses one should own.

Q10. Can you use the same glasses for red and white wine?

Yes, you can use the same glasses for both red and white wine. However, the experience might not be optimal since the glasses are designed to enhance different characteristics of each wine type.

Q11. What is a Bordeaux wine glass?

A Bordeaux wine glass is a type of red wine glass characterized by a broader bowl compared to other wine glasses. This allows the wine to come into contact with more air, which can help in releasing the wine’s aromas and flavors. The rim of the glass is often tapered inward slightly. This focuses the wine’s aromas toward the nose, enhancing the olfactory experience.

Bordeaux wines, especially those from renowned appellations like Pauillac, Margaux, and Saint-Émilion, are often complex with layered flavors and aromas. The Bordeaux glass is designed to showcase these nuances.

Q12. Is it worth buying expensive wine glasses?

Yes, its worth buying expensive wine glasses. Expensive wine glasses often offer superior craftsmanship, design, and material quality. While you can enjoy wine in more affordable glasses, investing in quality wine glasses can enhance your drinking experience and appreciation of the wine’s nuances.

Q13. Do expensive wine glasses make a difference?

Yes, expensive wine glasses can make a difference. Especially in terms of design, quality, varietal specifics and how they enhance the wine-drinking experience. The shape, curvature, and rim of the glass can direct the wine’s aroma and flavor to specific parts of the palate, enhancing the overall tasting experience.

A well-designed glass can make the wine taste richer, smoother, and more nuanced. The right glass can also emphasize the wine’s texture and mouthfeel, allowing for a more complete sensory experience.

While the initial cost of expensive wine glasses may be higher, they are often more durable and less prone to clouding or scratching. Investing in quality glasses can be cost-effective in the long run, as they may last longer and maintain their clarity and brilliance over time.

Elegant and well-crafted glasses can elevate the presentation of the wine and add a touch of luxury to the occasion.

However, the value you derive from them depends on your personal preferences and the importance you place on wine appreciation.

Q14. Why are Pinot Noir glasses so big?

Pinot Noir glasses are typically larger to allow for aeration and to capture the delicate aromas of this particular wine variety. The broad bowl and ample surface area of the glass help in releasing and concentrating the wine’s complex aromatics.


While it might be tempting to downplay the role of glassware in wine appreciation, doing so overlooks the intricate dance between science, art, and psychology that goes into crafting the perfect wine experience. Among the must-have wine accessories, a proper wine glass is a must for every wine enthusiast.

From enhancing aromatics to ensuring optimal temperature and presenting wine in its most visually appealing form, the right red wine glass is more than a mere vessel; it’s an essential companion in the journey of wine exploration.

For those truly passionate about wine, investing in a diverse set of quality wine glasses tailored to different varietals can be as rewarding as expanding one’s wine collection.

After all, every drop of wine has a story to tell, and the right glass ensures that story is told with clarity, depth, and reverence.

Now, we’re curious: have you discovered the ideal wine glass for your reds? Let us know about your favorite pick and why it stands out for you!

Cheers to finding your perfect pour!

Our Expertise

Valentina Silovic is a sommelier and content creator with over a decade of experience in the wine industry.

For this article, she collaborated with Dario Drmac, a wine entrepreneur renowned for his innovative digital approach, and Nenad Trifunovic, an esteemed moderator, wine workshop educator, and dedicated advocate for wine-drinking culture.

Their combined experience and insights contribute significantly to the depth and authority of the content presented.

Want to meet the team, seek recommendations, and discover in-depth insights into our product testing and reviews? Click here now!

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