7 of the best wine glasses

Don’t be tempted to grab the first set you see pre-housewarming – the right wine glass can really make your Sauvignon sing

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When it comes to wine-drinking, it’s usually the grape, the year, or the price that comes into consideration long before the vessel. But do a little thinking around the best wine glasses for your decor and your tipple of choice, and you’ll be rewarded with not only the expected – a good-looking tablescape – but occasionally the unexpected – better aeration for reds, or better-preserved bubbles for fizz, for instance.

When it comes to choosing designs, we’ve looked to stalwart brands LSA International and Denby for elegance with a twist, and designers Julien Macdonald and Ella Sabatini for maverick takes on classic glasses. While we’ve made a note of which glasses are particularly suited to a full-bodied red, a crisp white, or an effervescent sparkler, ultimately it’s all down to you – sure, you might be able to get your nose around a fuller, more developed bouquet if you drink your New World red from a balloon glass (we’ve been practicing our wine chatter, can you tell?) it the design doesn’t make your heart sing, no-one’ll judge you for looking elsewhere. 

The best wine glass

1. Star by Julien Macdonald Gold wine glass

Decorate your dining room table with all that glitters

Specifications
Best for: Glamour
Material: Glass
Pieces: 1
Dishwasher safe: No
Reasons to buy
+ Fabulously glitzy + Exterior painting for no synthetic taste 

Add the Midas touch to your glass cabinet with a set of these gorgeous gold wine glasses. Those who own them have commented on how fine and elegant they are, and what a wonderful effect they lend to a dinner party table. They are reported to be on the delicate side, but with a little care, we’re sure they can continue to add a glimmer of glamour to your entertaining – or Thursday nights in a snuggie with a glass of Chardonnay – for years to come.  

LSA International Sorbet Balloon Glasses

2. LSA International Sorbet Balloon Glasses

Oversized, but not outlandish, the glasses have just the right amount of quirk

Specifications
Best for: Wine and cocktails
Material: Soda lime glass
Pieces: 2
Dishwasher safe: No
Reasons to buy
+ Elegant and luxe gold trim + Great shape for wine and gin alike 

If you find colourless glass a bit pedestrian, but don’t want anything too out there, consider these elegant balloon glasses by LSA International. With fine gilded rims and delicately tinted glass bowls, they come in a choice of sweet pastel shades, enough to add just a hint of colour to the tablescape without straying outside the bounds of elegance. The large bowl makes them ideal for red wines, but we’ve heard they also make a wonderful vessel for a gin and tonic. 

Riedel 'O' Stemless Wine Glasses

3. Riedel 'O' Stemless Wine Glasses

Thoroughly grown-up glasses for Burgundy and beyond

Specifications
Best for: Versatility
Material: Crystal glass
Pieces: 2
Dishwasher safe: Yes
Reasons to buy
+ Versatile design + Tailor-made for full-bodied reds 

Users loved the versatility of these stemless wine glasses, saying they’re just as useful for milk as for Merlot, so if you’re low on cupboard space and want a set of glasses that does double duty, these might just be it. That said, they do look supremely elegant when used for their intended purpose, serving Pinot Noir and northern Italian varietal Nebbiolo at optimum aeration. Whatever you choose to use them for, their minimal stemless design and very fine edge look fantastic on the table. 

Denby Set of 2 red wine glasses

4. Denby Set of 2 red wine glasses

Traditional goblets with a beautiful artistic twist

Specifications
Best for: A splash of colour
Material: Glass
Pieces: 2
Dishwasher safe: Yes
Reasons to buy
+ Fine lip for comfortable drinking + Dishwasher safe 

If you’re in the market for some red wine glasses but aren’t sure about stemless, these smart glasses from big name Denby are a more traditional alternative – but that’s certainly not to say they’re boring. The slightly tulip-shaped bowl, with its curved lip, is a lovely twist on a regular rounded design, and the otherwise colourless palette is offset by the blue-green painterly touches on the stem, making for a delightfully unexpected-looking, but not unwieldy set of glasses. 

Ella Sabatini Crystal 170ml Champagne Flute

5. Ella Sabatini Crystal 170ml Champagne Flute

Fine, flared, and ever-so-slightly funky

Specifications
Best for: Modern Champagne flute
Material: Crystal glass
Pieces: 6
Dishwasher safe: Yes
Reasons to buy
+ Twist on a traditional shape + Dishwasher safe 

There’s not much you can do with the classic Champagne flute without going totally bananas right? Wrong. These crystal Champagne flutes by Ella Sabatini at Wayfair prove that there’s always room to put a twist on a classic, with their ever-so-slightly flared design and squared-off bottom cutting a dashing figure both in the cabinet and on the table. Not to worry – the narrow flute still ensures those all important bubbles won’t escape before you get to them. 

Social by Jason Atherton Red Wine Glasses, Set of 4

6. Social by Jason Atherton Red Wine Glasses, Set of 4

Air your wine, not just your grievances, at your next cosy get-together

Specifications
Best for: Classic
Material: Crystal
Pieces: 4
Dishwasher safe: Yes
Reasons to buy
+ Specially designed for red wine + Generously-sized bowls 

These sociable wine glasses come as a set of four for clinking with your closest (read: least clumsy) friends or family members. The perfect shape for red wine, they offer ample room for your Barolo or Beaujolais to breathe, allowing you to get the very best out of them. Plus, while some reviewers warned that they were on the large side, we like to see that as more of a challenge than anything else... 

MADE Essentials Salem Set of 4 Red Wine Glasses

7. MADE Essentials Salem Set of 4 Red Wine Glasses

Stylishly Scandi, this squared-off Salem set is a steal

Specifications
Best for: Funky design
Material: Glass
Pieces: 4
Dishwasher safe: Yes
Reasons to buy
+ Fantastic value for a set + Unexpected squared-off design 

Not too dissimilar to the Ella Sabatini Champagne flutes, these wine glasses are fairly typical except for one standout feature, a quirky squared-off bowl, giving them a slightly retro look that’s far more high-end than the very small price tag would suggest. At just £12 for a set of four, they look far more considered than many similarly priced supermarket offerings, and if you happen to break one, it’s not the end of the world.

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If sparkling's more your scene, check out our list of the best Champagne glasses.