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Stemmed or Stemless Wine Glasses?

HG Cooks

Stemmed Or Stemless?

Which Wine Glass Do You Prefer?

Stem or sans stem? There's endless chatter around which type of glass is best, even among the world's experts. As the popularity of wine has grown exponentially over the past few decades, so too have opinions and options when it comes to the vessels used to drink what's often referred to as "the gift of the Gods". Stemless wine glasses have gained traction over the last decade or so, coinciding with the belief that drinking wine needn't always be so formal. But is it a better design? With so many varieties and nuances in both wines and their vessels, we dug a little deeper into the debate over stemmed vs. stemless glasses, so that you can decide for yourself which you prefer.

The Case for Stemless

The democratization of wine, and the overall movement toward a more relaxed style of entertaining gave way to the rise of the stemless glass. More casual and contemporary, they're easy to store and less prone to breakage. When it comes to reds, many experts approve. As reds are best when stored and served on the cooler side, your hands can give off natural heat to warm it up and help release its flavours.

Wine author and expert Jancis Robinson designed this glass, describing it as having "a generous bowl that narrows at the rim, capturing the all-important aroma, and not so wide as to make storage difficult."

The Picardie glass is an iconic Brasserie-style glass that is used for wine across France. They, of course, double as juice or water glasses, and stack nicely in your cupboard.

The Case for Stemmed

Elegant, and offering a greater sense of occasion, the stemmed wine glass was designed to enhance the drinking experience. The stem allows us to hold our glass without our hand on the actual bowl, which can interfere with the wine's temperature (especially important on a hot summer's day). Holding a stem also means you're not marking your glass with fingerprints, and many sommeliers prefer a stemmed glass as they're easier to swirl.

Made in Germany, Pure distinguishes itself with its contemporary lines and durability. The use of Tritan, a patented formula that contains titanium, is the main raison d'être for this glass. Available in multiple sizes for your various wines, this is your go-to for moderately-priced wine glasses.


 

One of the world's foremost wine experts, Jancis Robinson, partnered with Richard Brendon to create a "universal" glass for any type of wine. With a timeless shape and an elegant stem, no wonder Food & Wine magazine recently rated it "Best Expert Pick".

Sommeliers and industry experts consistently rate Zalto glasses as the best in the world. According to a Wine Folly review of the world's 5 best glasses, Zalto beat out the competition because "it delivered the sauciest fruit flavours." Bon Appétit also claimed they are "quite possibly the greatest wine glass we'll ever drink from." Made in Austria and founded in 2000, Zalto's non-lead crystal glasses are all hand blown and limited in production. They have a distinctive ultra-thin wall, and their stem has been compared to a stiletto heel. Zalto has turned the wine glass industry upside down and continues to be the thoroughbred of the industry.

Which Do You Prefer?

Though most sommeliers prefer a stemmed glass for tasting, many agree that choosing a stemless or stemmed glass all boils down to preference. We think it's nice to have options, as certain occasions call for different glasses. And of course, when it comes time for PPPs (that's post-pandemic parties, for those of you who like to dream), what matters most is that wine activates our endorphins, is good for our cardiovascular health (when drunk in moderation, of course) and strengthens the bonds that keep us social, connected and well.

In Vino Veritas