As a wine taster I am always interested in how wine tastes in different glasses. Many times the verdict is simply 'different' - not necessarily better or worse, but rather a personal preference. While I have definitely have my firm favorites I am always on the lookout for different styles, shapes and materials in glassware. Riedel, Spiegelau and Schott Zweisel remain firm favorite brands. They are highly respected and have stood the test of time. Each makes several ranges, so you can gradually ease yourself into the world of fine wine glasses without having to go straight to the most expensive.
In seeking out other new styles and brands, I am always on the lookout for glassware that is fun, even a bit different, but that works. However, I do draw the line at many of the brightly (even outrageously) decorated, hand-painted glasses on offer. Not for me personally - a little too much visual distraction and often a discombobulating mouth feel. Another popular trend, which I am not so fond of, is serving wine in Mason jars. These are perfectly fine for juice, water or soda, but the glass is really too thick to savor wine. That said I did find lots of interesting gems.
Govino: One great discovery was the range of tumbler style wine glasses from from Govino, made from a proprietary BPA free polymer (i.e PETG - a clear amorphous thermoplastic). They are obviously not fine crystal, but they are really surprisingly thin and feel good to drink from. The wines I tasted from them were certainly very flavorful. An added bonus is they are also shatterproof, so perfect for large and outdoor gatherings, and reusable. A set of 8 costs $24.99 from Amazon. They are also available from Wine Enthusiast.
Libbey: I am also impressed by the improvements and evolution in the range of wine glasses from Libbey. The current ranges are stylish and are made from reasonably thin glass. However, their best ones are quite expensive. Available at WineStuff and Amazon.
Eisch: Another less well-known brand that I particularly like is Eisch - not the cheapest though, a set of two wine glasses costs about $50. But they are elegant, with nice weight to the stem, and they have good-sized bowl to enhance aromas and flavors. Available on Winestuff.
Peugeot: Yes, the well-known French car manufacturer is into wine glasses, since 2006 when it acquired a French wine glass producer. If you really feel like splurging out try the "Les Impitoyables" etched range - especially their Champagne flutes, which I so love. But they are pricey at about $100 for a set of two - a great idea for a special gift perhaps. Their Esprit range is about half that price. Available on Winestuff.
Stolzle: Another brand I discovered a while back while at a friend's house for dinner was Stolzle. Made in Germany, these glasses are elegant, produced from fine lead-free crystal, and cost about $70 for a set of 6 of the Grandezza range, so not bad less than $12 each. Available on WineStuff.
I would love to hear from our readers on their favorite wines glasses and why they like them!
Mary Gorman-McAdams, MW (Master of Wine), is a New York based wine educator, freelance writer and consultant.
(Images: as linked)