Wine Talk

Snooth User: Carly Wray

Let's talk stemware

Posted by Carly Wray, Mar 29, 2010.

Hello all --

We've just put up Snooth's Guide to Wine Glasses (the latest in our new series of guide pages), and it's got me wondering: how many people out there use just one sort of all-purpose wine glass, and how many have full stemware collections? How closely do you match the type of wine to the type of glass when drinking at home? 




Reply by GregT, Mar 29, 2010.

How closely do I match the wine to glass? 

Not at all.  I don't think different wines need different glasses and I happen to like a couple of the glasses I have, so I just use those for pretty much everything.  Don't drink a lot of sparkling wine, so that doesn't enter the picture.

And I'm not sure I agree w everything on the pages just put up, but I suppose they represent conventional thinking.  For example, i don't have a problem with colored glasses.  I'm not sure what I'm supposed to get out of looking at the color of the wine and I've seen enough wine in life that it's not all that important.

Also, the idea of a thin lip or a rolled one - I'm pretty much indifferent to that.  In fact, it never occured to me that it could possibly be an issue until someone informed me that she couldn't drink out of a glass with a rolled lip.  Clearly that was nonsense since she drank take-out coffee out of paper cups.  Oh well.

Reply by amour, Mar 29, 2010.

You raised the point!.....STEMWARE/GLASSWARE/Whatever....

I was just about to start this thread!

Most will agree that any glass that alters or in any way obscures the colour of wine, or detracts  from  the  wine  itself in any way, should not be used.

Clear  glass with  Bowl large enough for swirling...ideal.


a smaller glass that closes in a little at the top

helps to concentrate the bouquet of a white wine;

it also helps to keep the chill.


GREAT REDS    Large, Balloons


CHAMPAGNE   Flutes...tulip-shaped...they hold about 4-8 ounces,

and the narrow tulip-shape helps concentrate the bouquet as

well as allows  the  bubbles  to  rise  from  a  single  point.

Riedel is always suggested.

Would others suggest differently, we are always open to the latest fad!!!!...not really!

The Riedel Family of Austrian glassmakers do varietal glassware.

They boast that their glasses are specially designed to

emphasise the best aspects of each special grape variety.

Have you all seen SOMMELIER series? (TOP OF THE LINE)

They are actually handcrafted.

Then, there is the everyday VINUM  type.

And the affordable OVERTURE series is quite appropriate as well.

Finally, a very important type....the O wine  tumbler for the no-stem people!!!!

Something for each and every one of us.

Reply by Gregory Dal Piaz, Mar 29, 2010.

I drink most of my wine out of either standard issue Bordeaux stems, or Burgundy bowls, though I am partial to the semi-stemless Tyrol series from Riedel. The are easy to carry around to off-lines and fit in the dishwasher with ease.


Reply by dmcker, Mar 29, 2010.

Look good for digestifs, too, Greg... ;-)

Reply by Lucha Vino, Mar 29, 2010.

I have a set of wine glasses with Bordeaux, Burgundy and Zinfandel stems.  The Zinfandels are similar in shape to the Bordeax style, but much smaller.

I find that my preference is the Bordeaux style and the bigger the better!  The 20 oz size really seems to enhance capturing the nose of the wine.

Using good glassware really makes a huge difference in experiencing your wine.  I have some friends that consistently serve wine out of small ceramic cups.  I'm sure they are very nice artistic serving ware, but not for enjoying your wine. :-)

This unfortunate choice in drinkware makes experiencing the aromas of the wine virtually non-existant.  For me, experiencing the nose is truly one of the essential parts of enjoying your wine!

Reply by dmcker, Mar 29, 2010.

Frankly, I can't be fussed to bust out the stemware a lot of the time. More often than not wine gets consumed in tumblers in my household. On a daily basis, ceremony (and troublesome dishwashing or breakage) is kept to a minimum. Taste is just fine out of the tumbers. And I even have a set of light-yellow ceramic cups someone gifted to me (and that in a pinch I used to bake some custard once) which get rotated in when the group grows large. Somehow reds look nice in them... ;-)

Reply by zufrieden, Mar 29, 2010.

I really appreciate the beauty of crystal and give a big thumbs up to the aesthetic appeal of fine glassware. The clarity of the stemware, its eye-appeal and elegant structure all add to the wine-drinking experience.  As to the design of the glass, I do not necessarily buy into the standard reasons given for the shape of claret or burgundy cups. Or for that matter, Champagne flutes.  

Unless I am particularly interested in the clarity or color nuances of the wine, I don't much care whether the glass is tinted, square, or funky (like Mikasa). 

But having said all this, and notwithstanding a love of short-run glassware styles from Ireland (Stewart is a personal favorite), I find that I drink most of my wine in rather pedestrian glasses - even tumblers. Tumblers offer the added bonus of remaining steady even when knocked by someone feeling the effects of a surfeit of ethanol...


Reply by chu, Mar 29, 2010.

As long as it is clear and i can get my nose in it it has to be pretty big..I do like a narrow but not small for whites and the larger baloon style for the bolder reds...And a bit of a stem because i like a nice note on a toast & the short stems I tend to cup in my hand making a warming effect on the wine good for brandy not so good for the wines.......... enjoy

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