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Whether you’re a bona fide bottle collector or are just getting into the world of vino, the right glassware is crucial to understanding and enjoying wine. Sure, you could grab just any glass or collect a melange of different styles, or you could look to the experts for advice on the very best wine glasses that will help you enjoy to the fullest. So we asked 13 sommeliers and beverage directors about their go-to wine glasses, and these are their expert picks.
“Riedel has an incredible talent for making glasses that enhance all wines. The drinking edge of the glass, as well as the bowl of the glass, are always calculated to the millimeter for an optimal tasting experience. I use it for all our great wines from Bordeaux and the Rhône Valley.” – Florent Martin, Head Sommelier of The Peninsula Paris
“When tasting wines to evaluate them for inventory, I tried several different glasses, but the clear stand-out was the Gabriel Glas Gold Edition. They are hand-blown glasses that are very light and precisely made, providing a luxurious feel and great balance. However, what sets Gabriel Glas apart is versatility. They are truly the only glass you need for red, white or even sparkling wines — this is the most versatile glass we have tried. There is nothing wrong with having glasses for different purposes, that can be fun, but I think the Gold Edition Gabriel Glas will make your wine sing no matter the grape varietal, and that is quite a feat.” – James Fantaci, Owner and Wine Expert of bar56 and taste56
“I also recommend the Gabriel Gold Edition, which is a great all-purpose wine glass. It is made for any wine: sparkling, white or red. Gabriel is an Austrian glass that has a perfectly sized bowl for analyzing the flavors and aromatics in any wine.” – Natalie Tapken, Lead Sommelier and Wine & Beverage Director of Bluepoint Hospitality Group
“The glasses we love and use here at Momofuku Ko are Josephinen Hütte. While it was a prominent glass blowing facility in the 1800s, it has only recently been revitalized by the sixth generation glass blower, Kurt Josef Zalto. Each glass is hand-blown and takes hours to make. They are visually impressive and functionally superior to other glasses with a similar price.” – Ryan Burkett, Beverage Manager and Sommelier at Momofuku Ko
“My favorite glassware has long been Schott Zwiesel, a German company with more than a 150-year history of making crystal. The majority of their line now uses Tritan technology, which reinforces the crystal with titanium. This allows them to retain their crystal clear purity while making them highly durable. It’s the glassware I have in my home, from Bordeaux and Burgundy to the Pure Sauvignon Blanc Glass which I use most often. I’ve had dinner guests accidentally knock the glassware with a wine bottle while passing it over the table without them breaking! Aside from sheer durability, they’re elegant and enhance the wine I’m enjoying — I have yet to find a more dependable go-to wine glass.” – Vanessa Da Silva, Sommelier at Point Seven
“I’m a big fan of this glassware line from Stolzle. They come in 16, 13.25 and 10-ounce options. They have a sleek, clean look and a thin rim while also being relatively durable to breakage, which is great for our restaurant use. We currently use these at Faccia Faccia and Bar Pallionio and find that guests love them!” – Jodie Battles, Beverage Director and Partner at Faccia a Faccia and Bar Pallino
“This is a great glass for all types of wine. Its thin frame and stem make it easy to swirl the wine and it has a sway to it in your hand. It’s like when you wobble a pencil to get that ‘rubber pencil’ effect. Not to mention, they look elegant on the table.” – Matthew Poli, Beverage Director and Managing Partner of iggy’s
“I love Zalto, especially the Zalto Universal stem. Lots of people will tell you wine tastes and smells better out of these glasses, and maybe it does. For me, it’s really about what they add to the ritual of drinking wine and how they ultimately center the wine. I love the tactile experience of the impossibly thin stem. The shape of the glass is just beautiful. Holding them, swirling them, drinking from them — everything just feels right. In the end, this makes the glass recede into the background of the experience and puts the wine front and center. Once the glass is back on the table, it becomes an art object again, something wonderful to look at. I love that transformation.– Jason Zuliani, Sommelier and Owner of Dedalus Wine Bar
“My personal favorite is the Zalto Universal Glass. It’s thin, elegant and feels fantastic in the hand and on the lips. In my experience, the palate is most balanced in the Zalto, often highlighting fruit notes in a clearer way than others. That said, they are definitely fragile and far from cheap.” – Cody Pruitt, Founder and Beverage Director at Libertine
“While there are so many exquisite wine glass brands to choose from, my personal favorite is Zalto. High-quality glasses can make wine taste better, and Zalto sets an industry standard with their meticulously handcrafted products. The design gives the impression that the wine is floating in midair.” – Philippe Marques, Chef Sommelier at Royal Champagne Hotel & Spa
A Complete Guide to Riedel Wine GlassesMaximilian Riedel breaks down some of the most popular collections, plus our picks for our personal favorite wine glasses
“All our stemware at Silver Apricot is made by Sophienwald, which are all hand-blown, unique pieces of art. I swear by their White Wine Glass, which, despite its name, is quite a universal all-purpose glass. Because they’re all mouth-blown, each glass is a snowflake of sorts, with ever-so-slight differences from the next one. They feel paper thin and feather light but are quite sturdy, and their angularity offers an elegance with just the right amount of surface area to aerate and experience your wine. They’re also operated by true hospitalitarians who are kind, generous and go the extra mile. How can you not support a company like that?” – Emmeline Zhao, Founder and Sommelier of Silver Apricot
“Glassware is very important when drinking wine, but it doesn’t have to be fussy or overcomplicated! I think the most important thing is a glassware style you like with a thin rim (little or no li’ so the liquid enters the palate smoothly). Sophienwald [glasses] are hand-blown and very delicate and elegant but still dishwasher safe. They are thin, have great aeration potential and truly make the wine taste better. I prefer the universal White Wine Glasses. They do have a premium price but really take the wine drinking experience to the next level.” – Sydney Werry, Wine Director at Brush Creek Ranch
“I love everything that Sophienwald makes, but if I had to pick just one glass, it would be their Universal Bordeaux glass. It’s the perfect all-purpose glass. The glass is delicate and light but also sturdy enough to stand up to repeated washings in the dishwasher.” – David Osenbach, Expert Sommelier at Providence
“These Sophienwald wine glasses embrace nobility and flexibility — an elegant chameleon, adapting perfectly to all colors and personalities of the wine and your palate. Definitely a guest’s crush!” – Lauren Caro, Sommelier and Wine Director of IB Hospitality
“In my mind, best wine glass is a category that demonstrates versatility, practicality and durability in the bustling world of restaurants. Elegance compromised by fragility is not always the most practical choice for a restaurant, but one can’t sacrifice integrity purely for the sake of preventing breakage. For that reason, I love the glasses we use here at The Press Club Grill: Stolzle, which have the perfect balance of durability and elegance for a restaurant setting. This German-based house has an aesthetic that is comparable to their counterparts in Austria or Eastern Europe but offers an introductory stem that I think checks all the boxes for a stellar piece of stemware. We use the Stolzle Quatrophil Wine Glass, which offers a beautiful tapered aesthetic, gives enough space in the bowl so your wine can breathe and is lightweight without feeling like it might shatter from any wrong move. We use this stem for all of our wines by the glass, including Champagne, but the moderately sized bowl with a tapered top makes versatile enough to maximize drinking pleasure from any wine in your collection.” – Luke Boland, Wine Director at The Press Club Grill
“The particular glassware I would recommend is the Stolzle INAO Tasting Glass. These glasses are sturdy and versatile enough to take you from a pre-dinner Negroni, to splitting a bottle, to sipping on amaro with dessert. They are unfussy and easy to clean in a dishwasher. There is a reason you see them in wine bars all across NYC.” –Maggie Dahill, General Manager at Miss Ada and Theodora
“I love the Spiegelau Burgundy Wine Glass. It’s a large, bulbous glass that makes me feel so luxurious drinking from it, whether it be a $20 chardonnay or a $200 red Burgundy. The large bowl appeals to me stylistically, but it also allows the wine to open up and evolve throughout your drinking experience. It’s almost like a glass and decanter all in one — I highly recommend! – Nikki McCutcheon, Senior Director of Beverage at Sake No Hana and TAO Group Hospitality
“The Riedel Sommelier Series Hermitage is a favorite. I love the versatility of the glass — you can use it for white or red wines, rosé or Champagne. I love how much space there is in the glass for the aromatics of the wine to be enjoyed.” – Braithe Tidwell, Corporate Beverage Director of Ralph Brennan Restaurant Group
“This is for my everyday drinkers and fun dinner parties. Since I was a young sommelier, I have always loved drinking wine out of rocks glasses. Not the rare bottle that you’ve been cellaring for five years — that should be enjoyed out of your nicest wine glass. I’m talking about your $20 bottle you grabbed for a Thursday night or the wine you enjoy at a big dinner party with friends. These Material Kitchen Half Glasses are my absolute favorite. First of all, they’re the perfect size for a glass of wine. Secondly, they’re stackable, dishwasher safe and hearty but feel delicate and special. I’ve dropped these on the ground and they’ve survived multiple late night dinner parties!” – Kristin Olszewski, Sommelier, Founder and CEO of Nomadica
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