5 excellent, affordable wine glasses
Once, wine lovers only had two choices for glassware: cheapo varieties that broke easily, or ultra-expensive crystal (that also broke easily). Luckily for us, a number of mid-priced options have flooded the market, many of them featuring innovative glassmaking techniques that enhance durability. So you can happily enjoy the flavours that only a well-designed glass can provide, while saving your hard-earned dollars for the actual wine.
ARE YOU EXPERIENCED?
Crafted according to architect Louis Henry Sullivan’s maxim, “form follows function,” Stölzle’s graceful-yet-sturdy jointless Experience glasses are beloved by restaurateurs, including Ruth’s Chris Steak House. The wide surface area at the bottom of the bowl focuses red wine aromas inward toward the nose, while the sheer rims ensure an uninterrupted pour. Until recently, the 200-year-old German manufacturer has flown under consumer radars, but the company’s affordable yet high-end stemware gets top marks from wine lovers.
THE BIG EASY
Although Rona has been in production for more than a hundred years, this Slovakian glassware company is a relative newcomer to North America. Their surprisingly affordable stems have already earned pride of place at Mario Batali’s Del Posto, which the New York Times says is the only four-star Italian restaurant in NYC. This dramatically tapered red wine glass holds a generous 22 oz., and its oversized bowl-to-stem ratio strikes a bold silhouette.
LADY IN RED
With Washington D.C. in transition, Scandal’s fictional crisis manager Olivia Pope steps directly into the zeitgeist—carrying her signature glass of red, of course. And what glass plays a starring role in the political drama? Crate and Barrel’s long-stemmed Camille. With its rounded bubble bowl to open up your wine’s complex aromas, it’s perfect for cradling in your hand while you plot your next move.
Made in Parma, Italy, Luigi Bormioli’s Crescendo stemless collection is perfect for everyday tippling, with its sturdy base to keep your glass balanced. With a 25-year guarantee against chipping or discolouration, the Crescendo is crafted with a proprietary titanium-reinforced glass for breakage resistance, and can maintain clarity for up to 4000 dishwasher cycles.
$39.99 for four
Now owned by Riedel, the ne plus ultra manufacturer of fine crystal, Spiegelau’s stems come from a long and storied tradition of glassmaking in Bavaria. The Vino Grande collection is a basic essential for any home bar, with its smooth shaping, clarity and lightness rivalling any fancier brands. The products’ manufacturing process uses platinum and zinc for extra durability, making them very dishwasher-safe.
$79.99 for four