Whether you're hosting a dinner party for your family or a quiet evening with friends, cracking open a bottle of wine is the perfect way to unwind. But to fully enjoy your favorite merlot or chardonnay, you need a good set of wine glasses to sip from.
Choosing the right wine glass set means deciding what glass design you like best, how many glasses you need, what material you prefer, and what other features you want in your wine glasses.
Our convenient shopping guide has all the information you need to choose the perfect wine glass set for your home bar. We've also included some specific product recommendations to really take the hassle out of shopping. Our number one pick is not only made from crystal but can also be washed in the dishwasher.
Considerations when choosing wine glass sets
Wine glass design
Wine glass sets are available in several designs that often correspond with the type of wine they're intended for.
Standard wine glasses usually feature a bowl that sits on a stem connected to a circular base. The bowl has a wide bottom, which allows the wine to breathe, and a tapered opening to encourage the wine's aroma to hit your nose. The bowl itself may have a slightly different shape, depending on whether the glasses are meant for red, white, or rosé wine.
Stemless wine glasses typically feature the same type of bowl that standard glasses do. However, instead of sitting on a stem connected to a base, the bottom of the bowl has a flat bottom -- no stem is necessary. There's no real difference in the way the design affects the drinking experience, but some wine enthusiasts prefer the modern look of a stemless wine glass set.
Flute wine glasses have a long, narrow bowl that's tapered slightly at the top. They are designed for sparkling wines.
Coupe wine glasses feature a wide, shallow bowl and are sometimes used for sparkling wine. They aren't that effective at preventing wine from going flat.
Most wine glass sets include glasses that can be used for nearly any variety of wine. However, if you drink one type of wine almost exclusively, you may want to choose a set designed specifically for that wine, so you get the best aroma and flavor experience.
For red wine, opt for a set of glasses with a larger bowl and opening. This allows as much of the wine as possible to come into contact with the air, thereby enhancing the aroma and flavor.
For white wine, opt for a set of glasses that are a bit taller and don't have a tapered opening. This helps the wine stays cool. Stemmed glasses allow you to hold the glass without touching the bowl, since heat from fingertips can warm the wine.
For rosé wine, opt for a set of glasses with a shorter bowl and a slightly tapered opening to help showcase the complex flavors in the wine.
For sparkling wine, opt for a set of glasses with a tall, narrow design that allows only a small amount of air to come into contact with the wine. This helps to prevent it from going flat.
Number of glasses
Wine glass sets vary in size from as few as two to as many as 12. Consider how many people in your home usually drink wine, as well as how many people you're likely to have over when you entertain.
While wine glass sets with more glasses are typically pricier than those with just a few glasses, larger sets are often a better value because the cost per glass is kept down.
Wine glass sets are usually made of glass or crystal. Both materials can produce lovely wine glasses, but glass is usually the more durable option. It's also more likely to be deemed dishwasher safe.
Wine enthusiasts often consider crystal the higher-quality option, and it is usually more expensive than glass. Crystal is not always dishwasher safe, though, and it can be fairly fragile, which may lead to more broken glasses.
Wine glass sets vary in price based on the quality of the glasses and the number included. With a more affordable set, you'll usually pay $2 to $3 for each glass. However, for the highest-quality crystal sets, you could pay as much as $55 per glass. For good-quality glasses, expect to pay $10 to $20 for each glass.
Q. Is it necessary to get different wine glasses for each type of wine?
A. For most people, it's unnecessary to purchase a specific set of glasses for each type of wine. You can buy an all-purpose set for red, white, and rosé wines -- and possibly a set of flutes if you regularly drink champagne and other sparkling wines.
Q. How should I store my wine glass set?
A. Keeping your wine glasses in a cabinet or cupboard can help protect them from dust and debris. Store the glasses upright to avoid chipping, and space them out so they don't bump into one another. You could also purchase a wine glass rack if you want to display your glasses.
Wine glass sets we recommend
Best of the best: Riedel VINUM Wine Glasses
Our take: An excellent set of crystal wine glasses that are actually dishwasher safe.
What we like: Made of fine blown crystal. Features a generously sized bowl and thinner rim to showcase the aroma and flavor of any wine.
What we dislike: Fairly pricey compared to other options, but many users feel the quality is worth the price.
Best bang for your buck: Govino Shatterproof Stemless Wine Glasses
Our take: A wine glass set with a unique design and a very attractive price tag.
What we like: Features truly shatterproof construction. Stemless design with ergonomic thumb notch is extremely easy to hold. Ideal for use outdoors and around pools.
What we dislike: Requires handwashing. Unconventional design may not appeal to everyone.
Our take: High-quality crystal wine glass set that may be more fragile than described but holds up well if cared for properly.
What we like: Boasts a budget-friendly price tag for crystal stemware. Sets are available based on your wine preference, including glasses for red wine, white wine, and champagne. Dishwasher safe for easy cleanup.
What we dislike: The glasses can break fairly easily.
Jennifer Blair is a writer for BestReviews. BestReviews is a product review company with a singular mission: to help simplify your purchasing decisions and save you time and money. BestReviews never accepts free products from manufacturers and purchases every product it reviews with its own funds.
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