Stemware Buying Guide

Both beautiful and practical, stemware enhances the experience of drinking wine and other beverages by heightening the liquid's aroma and taste. By design, a glass with a stem allows you to hold it without your hand warming the wine and reduces unsightly fingerprints on the bowl.

Types of Stemware

Types of Stemware

Have you ever wondered why there are different types of wineglasses? Aficionados know that the right glass presents each wine at its best. From the size and shape of the bowl to the contour of its lip, the design specifics are worth learning about if you want to make wine, champagne, and other drinks a larger part of how you entertain. Beyond white or red wine, for example, stemware options depend on what varietal you drink. When selecting stemware, consider each wine's color, maturity, sweetness, and acidity.

Red Wine Glasses

Glasses for red wine vary primarily according to the age of the wine. All have a wide bowl to capture the wine's aromas -- its bouquet. Lighter, softer wines such as Pinot Noir, Syrah, and Burgundy benefit from a bowl that turns inward at the top to trap the fragrance. For Merlot, Bordeaux, and other robust varieties, look for a larger bowl and less-tapered rim to swirl the wine and direct its aroma to your nose. A wide bowl allows more exposure to air so the tannins in full-bodied and mature Cabernet Sauvignon can dissipate and soften. Body heat has little effect on red wine's flavors, so these glasses have shorter stems.

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White Wine Glasses

Most white wine is served chilled, so a smaller, narrower glass helps it stay cooler longer. All-purpose white wine glasses have a straight or slightly flared opening. For young and crisp whites, this directs the wine to sweet-sensitive taste buds at the tip of the tongue. For "rounder" mature white wines, a larger bowl and straight lip help develop complex aromas and send them and the wine to the sides and back of your tongue.

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Sparkling Wine Glasses

Like elongated white wine glasses, sparkling wine glasses (also known as champagne flutes) have a long stem that keeps the heat from your hand from warming the champagne. A slightly shorter demi-flute shows off the bubbles and delicate aromas of young sparkling wines. A slender, standard-height flute encourages mature champagne bubbles to rise magically to a tapered mouth.

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Dessert Wine Glasses

Because dessert wines and fortified wines such as sherry and port are sweeter and have higher alcohol content than other wines, they are best sipped from a slightly smaller glass that tapers in to enhance the intense aromas.

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Riedel
$59.00 $49.99

Stemware & Decanters Wine Accessory. Vinum was the first machine-made series of glasses in history based exclusively on the ch...aracteristics of grape varietals. Vinum has had a permanent impact on the globe's wine culture. These glasses have proved that the pleasures of consuming wine start with the glass. This glass highlights the rich fruit and sweetness characteristic of port. During a series of tastings conducted in London and Austria, some of the world's greatest port experts selected this glass as the ideal shape for vintage port. Recommended for: Tawny Port, Vintage Port. Each glass stands 6 1/2 high and holds 8 1/2 oz. Boxed set of 2. Wine sold separately. See other Riedel Vinum sizes and styles The Vinum series is made from 24% lead crystal. Attention California residents. Proposition 65 warning: Consuming foods or beverages that have been kept or served in leaded crystal products or handling products made of leaded crystal will expose you to lead, a chemical known to the State of California to cause birth defects or other reproductive harm. Promotional code discounts do not apply to this product. read more

Wine Enthusiast
$29.95

These are the world's most break-resistant wine glasses. Super-strong, lightweight magnesium is fused with European crystal to for...m the most durable Port glasses in the world. Fusion Port Glasses are also scientifically shaped to enhance the taste and... read more

Riedel
$175.99

Indulge in the perfect glass of wine with this set of six port wine glasses. Constructed of leaded crystal, these glasses highligh...t the rich fruit and sweetness characteristic of the recommended Port or Sherry. Introduced in 1986, Vinum became the... read more

Riedel
$49.95

The dishes are put away, and it is time to pull out your favorite port to top off a wonderful dinner. Your guests will enjoy these... Riedel Vinum Port glasses over great conversation, and perhaps a bit of chocolate? These glasses highlight the rich fruit... read more

Brandy Snifters

When savoring cognac or brandy, you actually want the heat from your hand to warm the liquid. Snifters sport a very short stem and a wide bowl that welcomes air to soften the brandy's harsh notes and enhance its caramel flavors.

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B By Brandie
$37.99

Add dramatic style to your tablescape with the elegant Gold Astor Dinner Plate from B by Brandie. Its intricate, lattice pattern i...s mesmerizing against white bone china and brings a bold touch to a modern table. read more

B By Brandie
$21.99

The dramatic Vanderbilt Dinner Plate from B by Brandie boasts a broad, richly colored border on crisp, white porcelain. This elega...nt, bright, modern piece adds a sophisticated touch to your table and makes entertaining effortlessly chic. read more

B By Brandie
$14.99

Add dramatic style to your tablescape with the elegant Truman Bread and Butter Plate from B by Brandie. The Truman collection's in...tricate, lattice pattern is mesmerizing against white porcelain and brings a bold touch to a modern table. read more

B By Brandie
$14.99

Add dramatic style to your tablescape with the elegant Truman Bread and Butter Plate from B by Brandie. The Truman collection's in...tricate, lattice pattern is mesmerizing against white porcelain and brings a bold touch to a modern table. read more

Purchase Considerations

Purchase Considerations

The type of stemware you decide to buy should involve more than the variety of styles and shapes. Think about how you plan to use the stemware -- for everyday family dining or for entertaining wine connoisseurs (or perhaps some of both). That analysis will suggest how much you should spend.

Appearance

If your stemware will be used for entertaining, buy clear glass. Even before smelling or tasting fine wine, appreciating it begins with the distinctive color, so you don't want to disguise or distort it.

Glass Type

Do you want delicate blown glass or heavier lead crystal? Experts believe microscopically rougher crystal helps wine to breathe more than regular glass when wine is swirled in the bowl. Lead-free crystal is available, but most fine crystal stemware contains some lead. Hand-wash crystal stemware to avoid pitting from harsh dishwasher detergents. Return brandy or other liquor to its own bottle instead of storing it in a lead-crystal decanter.

Cost

Evaluate your lifestyle when deciding how much and what type of stemware to buy. If you appreciate a glass of wine with dinner but don't consider yourself an expert, a basic selection of stemware for red, white, and sparkling wines may be all you need. However, if you're a budding collector of fine wines, a more extensive set of stemware types and sizes is an investment you'll enjoy for years. Upgrading to crystal stemware also adds to the cost.

Dining on sale

Ballard Designs
$39.00 $29.99

With soothing neutral tones and traditional Indian block print motifs, our Edie Block Print Table Linen Collection brings a casual... elegance to any table. Available in Oyster, Sage, Indigo or Spa, each color has its own pattern. Patterns mix and match... read more

Ballard Designs
$79.00 $59.99

With soothing neutral tones and traditional Indian block print motifs, our Edie Block Print Table Linen Collection brings a casual... elegance to any table. Available in Oyster, Sage, Spa or Indigo, each color has its own pattern. Patterns mix and match... read more

Breck's
$149.90 $112.43

Our Kaleidoscope Dinner Plate Collection of bicolour dahlias pairs perfectly with our Classic Dinner Plate Dahlia Collection featu...ring bold, solid shades. So we've put them together for this very special jumbo-sized collection! This astonishing assortment includes 2 each of 10 different Dinner Plate dahlia varieties—20 clumps in all—for a very special price! Order two Ultimate Collections and save even more! Breck's Ultimate Dinner Plate Dahlia Collection includes 2 each of: Duet Dinnerplate Dahlia: With its dramatic colour contrast and huge 7-9" blooms, Duet makes a stunning statement in borders and is surprising in summer bouquets. Grows 2½-3' tall. Seattle Dinnerplate Dahlia: Incredible, 7-9" golden-yellow blooms with contrasting white tips are more intense than sunshine. Dazzling Seattle grows 2½-3' tall. Jean Marie Dinnerplate Dahlia: This is the first dahlia of true dinner-plate size with this unique colour combination! Enjoy the radiance of each 7" deep pink bloom with contrasting white tips. Grows 2-3' tall. Mystery Day Dinnerplate Dahlia: Big, skyrocket purple and white blooms make a big impact in your garden. The 7" flowers are glorious all season long! Grows 3-4' tall. Procyon Dinnerplate Dahlia: A true standout, even in this collection, radiant red-andgold Procyon appears to be lit from within! Bold, colourfast blooms 6½-7½" across won't fade in the summer sun. Grows 3-3½' tall. Garden Wonder Dinnerplate Dahlia: Big, skyrocket red blooms make a big impact in your garden. Kaboom! The 6" flowers are glorious, and the bush produces loads of them all season long! Grows 3-4' tall. Fleurel Dinnerplate Dahlia: Delicate shades of cream trace the centers of elegant white petals on each 7" bloom. This is the queen of white dahlias! Grows 3-4' tall. Kelvin Floodlight Dinnerplate Dahlia: Incredible 7-9" golden-yellow blooms are more intense than sunshine. The most spectacular yellow dahlia ever developed, award-winning Kelvin Floodlight grows 3-4' tall. Thomas Edison Dinnerplate Dahlia: Huge, radiant, fantastic flowers are 7-8" across. Immense size and prolific blooming make this the finest of all purple dahlias. Grows 3-4' tall. Mrs. Eileen Dinnerplate Dahlia: This is the first sizzling orange dahlia of true dinner-plate size! Enjoy the radiant splendor of each 7" bloom. Grows 3-4' tall. read more

Ten Strawberry Street
$68.24 $22.00

The Ten Strawberry Street Simply White Square 16-Piece Dinnerware Set is timeless in design. The elegant and stylish look makes it... ideal to use for guests. This dinnerware set comes with four dinner plates, four dessert or salad plates, four soup bowls... read more

Coastal Home
$16.99 $10.19

Coastal Home adds a touch of coastal style to your home dining & entertaining. This platter features durable ceramic construct...ion, a whimsical seahorse design & measures 9L x 5.5W. Includes 5L seahorse spreader., At Home,Dining,Trays & Serveware read more

Fiesta
$14.00 $9.80

A delightful addition to your drinkware! This mug features durable dishwasher safe ceramic construction & bright vivid color. ...Mug coordinates with other Fiesta pieces to make an impressive setting for entertaining., At Home,Dining,Mugs read more

Fiesta
$23.00 $16.10

A delightful addition to your drink ware! This mug features durable dishwasher safe ceramic construction & bright vivid color.... Mug coordinates with other Fiesta pieces and is part of the exclusive, limited edition, Bealls 100th Anniversary Collection. Holds 12 oz., At Home,Dining,Mugs read more

Fiesta
$23.00 $16.10

A delightful addition to your drink ware! This mug features durable dishwasher safe ceramic construction & bright vivid color.... Mug coordinates with other Fiesta pieces and is part of the exclusive, limited edition, Bealls 100th Anniversary Collection., At Home,Dining,Mugs read more

Coastal Home
$24.99 $14.99

Coastal Home adds a touch of coastal style to your home dining & entertaining. This square Durastone bowl features durable sto...neware construction, an embossed shell design with a glazed finish & measures approximately 8 inches., At Home,Dining,Trays & Serveware read more

Coastal Home
$11.99 $7.19

Coastal Home adds a touch of coastal style to your home dining & entertaining. This 16 ounce mug features durable Durastone st...oneware construction & a whimsical Starfish design. Part of the Cape Coral collection., At Home,Dining,Mugs read more

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