Glassware Giftware

Great gifts for this holiday season


Wine glasses are such a part of the wine drinking world that they are subject to nearly the level of marketing, myth making, and mystification as wine itself. There's a glass for every wine, multiples in fact, but the bottom line is: do you need them?

The answer is a resounding no. One good wine glass is more than sufficient for the vast majority of wines out there. Personally I have multiple types of wines glasses, but not an endless selection. I have the following glasses for the corresponding uses.

A Burgundy stem for Nebbiolo and Pinot Noir.

An all-purpose stem for most everything else.

Champagne flutes that i rarely use.

Stemless wine glasses for everyday use, because they fit in the dishwasher.

Arc Stemless

That last point draws the ire of many a wine geek, as if putting your glassware in the dishwasher makes you a lesser wine geek. The thinking here is that the dishwashing detergent irrevocably damages any wine placed in that glass, polluting it with residue. And hand washing is different how? You rinse the glass with water that is far cooler than the dishwasher is capable of, and what do you think happens with all the glasses in your favorite restaurant. No, don't tell me, you BYOG nowadays!

Let's keep life simple folks. Buy some nice glasses for your special wines and something easier for everyday use. I've even been known to drink out of water tumblers when I think it's appropriate! Not that I'm recommending that. What I am recommending is that you buy a set of good glasses and by good I mean:

Arc Stemless 15oz wine glass is perfect for everyday use. 6 glasses for $19

Spiegelau Authentis Burgundy Stemless

Bowls of 14 to 18 ounces seem ideal for me.

Glass that is thinner, without a rolled lip for example, seem to provide a better drinking experience.

The shape should help to capture the aromas of the wine in the glass while allowing for easy swirling.

Many glasses have a rather extreme shape, big bowled with a narrow, focused opening which does help to concentrate aromas, but also alcohol, for example. They are useful for tasting wine but not ideal for drinking wine and that is what we're talking about after all.

Based on this criteria I've taken a look through Amazon today to see what glasses are on offer, hoping to find a few deals. Here are some suggestions for fabulous glassware gifts this holiday season.

A step up in steamless: the Spiegelau Authentis Casual Burgundy Stemless Tumblers, Set of 4 in Gift Tube $30


Spiegelau Vino Grande

Here's a great deal on a very solid all-purpose glass. $32 for four stems and as of this writing, when you buy 3 sets and get the fourth set free. This is what I generally use to taste in the office and for many of my private events. It's a fine bowl shape, good size, fairly durable and inexpensive enough to be used everyday.

Spiegelau Vino Grande Bordeaux Value Pack



Spiegelau Vino Vino Burgundy Glass

For most of my Pinot Noir and Nebbiolo consumption I use this glass. An ample bowl, well balanced design, and excellent shape make it an ideal glass for these red wines and mature whites as well.

Spiegelau Vino Vino Burgundy Glass, Set of 4 $45


Schott Zwiesel Tritan Crystal

If you're looking for really large bowl but still want something that is durable, these glasses from Schott Zweisel are an excellent choice. They come in five styles, all priced about the same, though the stem designed for Burgundy are the least expensive and have a good all-purpose look to them. The stem I have pictured is in fact their all-purpose red wine stem.

Schott Zwiesel Tritan Crystal Glass Stemware Cru Classic Collection, Set of 6 $71



Luigi Bormioli Atelier Barolo

Here's a glass that looks a little extreme. It'll hold a full bottle of wine, but no one is recommending you try that. It's elegant shape, perfect for swirling wines, looks like it has a nice taper to help concentrate the aroams of mature red wines.

Luigi Bormioli Atelier Barolo Wine Glass, 27-Ounce, Set of 6 $52

Riedel Vinum Extreme Pinot Noir

Since it is the Holiday season, and we are talkng about gifts we might as well move outside of our comfort zone a bit. These are not the most expensive wine glasses out there, but they are the most expensive wine glass I feel comfortable recommending. I have a few of them but the truth is I rarely use them. They are expensive and delicate, so they are reserved for the very rarest of occasions, which makes them kind of perfect for gift giving. Reidel is the flagship wine glass producer so you know you'll be getting top quality glassware if you choose to go this extreme route!

Riedel Vinum Extreme Pinot Noir Glasses, Set of 2 $60

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  • Snooth User: komodo
    1315996 23

    what's the best way to wash/clean a wine glass?is there any wine glass cleaner that could be purchased or made at home?
    thank you for any comments

    Dec 10, 2013 at 9:07 AM

  • Snooth User: guts
    1408699 22

    by hold the glass in right hand under hot water....clean with left hand......rub dry with an plain old style cotton dish towel...hold up to light to be sure there are no finger prints etc. You can make old hard water stained glasses look new again with this method also....this is the only way you ever clean wine glasses.

    Dec 10, 2013 at 10:32 AM

  • I've got a couple of black opaque Riedel glasses designed for blind testing. They are so beautiful!.. And it's so much fin to taste practically any wine out of them!
    - Serge.

    Dec 10, 2013 at 11:25 AM

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