Are Stemmed Wine Glasses Necessary?

Confession: I don't own stemmed wine glasses. This has as much to do with my semi-nomadic life and casual entertaining style than any deliberate choice I've made. Usually I'm quite happy with my eclectic collection of glass tumblers that serve as wine glasses. I like their charm and casual, everyday vibe that says 'relax and enjoy!' But not always.

Every now and then when I'm served a glass of wine at a restaurant or friend's house in the perfect, appropriate wine glass, I get what the fuss with stemmed wine glasses is all about. There's something about the way I handle the glass, the slightly more attentive care that goes into clutching its stem and placing it down on the table, that increases the enjoyment of the wine. Also pleasant is the thinness of the rim and the angle at which the glass needs to be tipped in order to drink. When drinking from a proper wine glass I become, ever so slightly, a different person. Or at least different qualities are brought forth: more attention, more care, a touch of formality.

I know there are other issues at play here as well, that certain properties of the wine can come forth in different kinds of glasses. I confess to knowing very little about this except that it has to do with the size and shape of the bowl and how it allows for air and aromas to mix and be released. People use terms like 'breathe' and 'open' to describe this which, in the larger scheme of things, are concepts I totally agree with.

I'm not sure when I will finally invest in some nice wine glasses. Probably when I've settled down some and can take proper care of them. It's true that they intimidate me somewhat with their fragility but it's also that fragility that brings forth the qualities that I find so pleasant and agreeable.

Have you resisted owning stemmed wine glasses?

Related: Great Wineglasses: Are They Worth the Investment?

(Image: Dana Velden)

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Main, Drinks, Glassware, Wine

Dana Velden is a freelance food writer. She lives, eats, plays, and gets lost in Oakland, California where she is in the throes of raising her first tomato plant.

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