Wine glasses have come a long way since you grabbed a glass from your momma’s cupboards. These days, you can take them anywhere and expect them to do a lot more than you’ve ever imagined. Many of them are dishwasher safe, highly portable, and some even good for a few laughs. Of course, there are plenty of glasses that are new to the market that will transform the way you think about wine – and the way you drink it. But before we get to the list, here are a few questions to think about.
Do you need different red and white glasses?
If you've ever spent a fleeting second wondering why there are different glasses for red wines and white wines, you can rest assured that there is a difference. The best wine glasses will provide an atmosphere for the wine inside to lend its aroma to the wine drinking experience.
According to Wine Enthusiast, red wine glasses tend to be bigger with a more rounded bowl as these wines tend to be fuller. White wines don't require as much space for the flavors to play inside the glass. Typically, you'll find these glasses are more compacted to assist with the maintenance of temperature.
What is room temperature anyhow?
First of all, be aware that it's not just white wines that require a specific temperature. Okay, it's not required, it's just a suggestion for maximum enjoyment. The vintners at Kendall Jackson wines claim that the proper temperature "brings out its intended flavor profile, character, and bouquet by ensuring that the wine displays a balance of aroma, flavor, structure and alcohol."
Basically, you'll appreciate any wine more if it reaches its perfect point. Wine glasses have something to do with that, but the temperature may be more important.
And room temperature means something closer to 55ºF or 60ºF than 70ºF. The term room temperature refers to the old castles of the rich in medieval times (you know, the people that could afford to care about the flavor of their wine). As a general rule, red wines should be served at 55-60ºF and white wines are best between 45-50ºF.
The stems on wine glasses assist with the maintenance of temperature. They're definitely appropriate for cocktail parties where you'll stand for hours. If you can place your glass on the table, touching it only when bringing it to your lips, the stems become a little more optional. (Which is awesome news for picnics and camping trips, not to mention the spaceyou will save in your dishwasher!)
What's the story with aeration?
You'll see a few of these glasses actually aerate your wine for you. Aeration can be important when you have an older, corked wine. Newer wines just don't need it because they haven't been stored in a bottle for years and years. Still, it can make a big difference to the flavor of your wine.
Not sure how that works? Take a look at this video of our top pick from the Chevalier Collection.
I just want a glass of wine!
You don't need to spend a lot of time fretting over the temperatures, stems, and whether it's acceptable to serve white wine in a larger glass. There are plenty of fine establishments that have a single (usually red) wine glass on the table and real connoisseurs don't mind it at all. At least that's the claim of the folks at Wine Enthusiast.
Basically, there are guidelines, but you shouldn't stress too much. You're still going to enjoy your vino, even when you don't follow the rules. That's good news for those of us that just want a decent wine served in a (cool) wine glass at the end of a long day.
How did we find these wine glasses?
We'll be honest, we wanted a list of unique wine glasses that included a dash of daring and a touch of whimsy. Because... you don't need to take your wine so seriously all of the time. And when you do, a few of these still make the cut without thinking twice.
Each glass is designed to enhance your enjoyment of wine - though maybe not be in the traditional sense.
However you choose, we're sure these unique wine glasses will delight you. And that’s important. After all, there are plenty of occasions that call for wine, or at least entertaining in style. Cheers!