One of the most precious pleasures of adulthood is good wine. Life is a celebration after all! But if the glasses you raise in toast are chipped and scratched - or worse, you've been pouring beautiful Syrahs into cheap plastic cups - it might be time to start thinking about an upgrade. Even if you only consider yourself a casual appreciator of the grape rather than a full-blown oenophile, a proper glass can lift the flavor profile of a varietal and enhance your enjoyment.
There are hundreds of stemware sets available in a seemingly endless array of shapes and sizes. Whether you're in the market for a goblet ideal for enjoying a full-bodied red or if you just want something pretty to sip from, I've found ten sets that will suit your needs and elevate your drinks.
In researching this piece, I found that German company Schott Zwiesel came up over and over again as an expert-favorite maker of high-quality crystal stemware. The Verbelle Universal is the perfect shape for just about any type of wine you're pouring, from Cabernet to Chardonnay. Made from crystal fortified with titanium rather than lead, these glasses safe to drink from and super durable. You can even put these in the dishwasher! If you're looking for one glass to do it all, this is it.
Red wine drinkers would do well to invest in a set of these modern beauties. They're the ideal shape for swilling. The bowl's base is nearly flat and it gradually tapers toward to a wide rim, a design that captures the full bouquet of your gutsiest Super Tuscan and delivers it directly to your nose just before the wine hits your lips.
A colorful take on the classic shape. Each of the four glasses in this set is a different, bold hue: mauve, amber, sea foam green, and dusty blue. The generous 14 ounce capacity bowls make them perfect for mixing up a round of spritzes.
One look at these champagne flutes and I heard a symphony of popping bottles and clinking glasses. The elegant, tubular bowl is perfect for preserving bubbles while the wide foot, flaring dramatically like a skirt in mid-twirl, provides a sturdy base. It also comes in five beautiful, festive colors!
Fun, funky, and as suitable for a Campari and soda as for a Sangiovese, these retro goblets are ready to make a statement on your table. They're handmade by Italian master glassmakers from lead-free colored glass rather than painted, so you'll never have to worry about those gorgeous colors flaking off. Use these for wine, cocktails, sparkling water, or even ice cream!
Did you know: until about the middle of the 20th century, the drinking vessel of choice for champagne and other sparklers was actually not the flute, but the coupe! The coupe is said to have been designed to mimic the bust of famed champagne enthusiast Marie Antoinette. While I can't vouch for the accuracy of that statement, I do know that many of my favorite glamour girls of the 1930s looked awfully elegant sipping from glasses like these ones from RCR Cristalleria Italiana. On a practical note, I especially like that the bowl is slightly tapered toward the lip, helping to ease the worry of spillage.
These French wine goblets aren't technically sold as a set, but they are inexpensive enough that a four-piece haul would come in under $40. Featuring a sturdy, turned stem that feels romantic and vintage-y, but not frou-frou, they'd be a beautiful addition to an eclectic stemware collection. Best of all, they're dishwasher safe!
Add drama to your table with this set of wine glasses from Qualia. The smokey grey color and Art Deco-inspired design pair nicely with deep, dark Syrahs, juicy Merlots, and so many more delectable picks.
Despite the low price point (the full set of six retails for a scant $36), these glasses are approachable yet elegant, thin-walled yet sturdy. If you are building your stemware collection on a budget, these are a fantastic place to start.