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The Ultimate Guide to Red Wine Glasses

There’s nothing quite like sipping a decadent red wine, but it’s the vessel you drink it from that makes the difference. Having the right wine glasses can enhance your senses to fully experience all the characteristics of your red wine of choice. 

Luxury lifestyle expert, Fran Berger, brings decades of experience curating the best products to make entertaining more memorable and infinitely easier in this ultimate guide to red wine glasses. Use this article to learn the most important factors to consider when choosing the right red wine glass for your collection.


Best Overall Red Wine Glass 

The wine-tasting experiences you create in your home have everything to do with the collection of glasses you choose. You want a glass that highlights and brings out the best in your red wine, but still looks great and fits comfortably in your hand.

Fran Berger’s Signature red wine glasses are personally designed by Fran with a uniquely approachable luxury quality that encourages everyday gatherings. Elevate any tablescape or bar with these lead-free, 100% crystal glasses. Each glass is handcrafted by heritage glass artisans in the Czech Republic, bringing a high-quality collection to your table that will last you a lifetime of entertaining. 

Delicate, with a distinctive presence, the glassware feels like a bird in hand while completing the look for any occasion. Fran Berger’s signature red wine glasses are sold exclusively as a pair of stems, for $260.


Types of Red Wine Glasses

Red wine glasses are designed to mellow the strong tannins and allow the aromas and flavors of the wine to fully release. To accomplish this red wine glasses typically have a larger bowl than white wine glasses. This seemingly small difference has the power to change your entire drinking experience.


The Burgundy glass is both the shortest and widest red wine glass type. It has a very thin rim,  perfect for sipping lighter-bodied reds with more delicate flavors and nuanced aromas, such as a sparkling Lambrusco. 

Pinot Noir

Much like the Burgundy, the Pinot Noir glass is easily recognized by its large, round body. These glasses have thinner rims, which make for a seamless sip and allow the contents to flow smoothly along the palate. 

The Pinot Noir glass pairs well with light-bodied red wines, like a 2019 Beaux Freres Willamette Valley Pinot Noir.


This is the tallest of the red wine glass types. These glasses have a broad bowl, creating distance between the mouth and the wine. This allows the ethanol in wine to evaporate and makes for a smoother sip. This glass brings out all of the fruit flavors, allowing you an all-around experience of your wine. The Bordeaux glass is best suited for full-bodied red wines, such as Bordeaux, Cabernet, or Merlot. 

Cabernet Sauvignon

Designed specifically for Cabernet wines, the Cabernet Sauvignon glass has a spacious bowl and open rim to invite oxygen into your wine to soften the tannins and unlock its flavor. This is a larger glass, best for full-bodied wines, but especially pairs well with Cabernet or Merlot, such as a 2016 Château Pape Clément. 

Shiraz Glass 

This shape was developed between 1993-1995 to showcase Australian wines in a new and unique way and has become increasingly popular over the years. These wine glasses are most suitable for light and medium-bodied red wines. Displaying a narrow body and opening, the Shiraz is designed to trap aromas and help to dim harsher flavors of spice as it allows the wine to slowly flow to the palate. 


Materials of Red Wine Glasses


Crystal is a high-quality material for crafting red wine glasses because of its ability to be spun very thinly. The thickness of the rim of a wine glass serves an important purpose for your tasting, including allowing the aromas of your wine to breathe and how you perceive the taste. Although it can be spun thin, the crystal is extraordinarily strong in comparison to regular glass and is less likely to break. This allows you to get more day-to-day use and enjoyment out of your crystal wine glasses. 


There are many different types of glass used to make wine glasses - lead and lead-free being the most common. Glass, though not as strong as crystal, is a non-porous material, which prevents the corroding of soap and chemicals when washed. More high-end wine glasses, such as Schott Zwiesel, infuse titanium into the glass to increase its durability and length of use. Another benefit of using glass is that it can be less expensive to invest in. 

A downside of glass wine glasses is that most have a thicker lip around the rim, which can alter the tasting experience.

Stainless Steel 

Stainless steel wine glasses are ideal for drinking chilled red and white wine. Glasses that are made with food-grade stainless steel do not impact or change the flavor of your wine, so you can still have an enjoyable drinking experience.

This material is also good for retaining temperatures, as stainless steel won’t heat too quickly in warmer spaces. Aside from that, stainless steel wine glasses are highly durable and are less likely to spill as they are stemless. 

These wine glasses are best for traveling, outdoor gatherings and boats. 


Aesthetics of Red Wine Glasses

It’s important to understand how the design and appearance can greatly impact your future drinking experiences when choosing the collection of red wine glasses to add to your home. First, consider how well the design of the glass will complement the overall look and feel of your dining setting. Other tips for how the aesthetics of a red wine glass may matter when choosing the right one include:

  • Avoid clashing different patterns or engravings with your current style.
  • Less can be more! Sometimes the simplest designs can stand out the most. 
  • Colored crystal glasses, such as amber or red, can enhance the theme of an occasion or holiday but will change the color of the wine in the glass.
  • Decide if a longer or shorter stem feels more comfortable in your hand.
  • Glasses with more decoration and intricate designs can make it appear heavier.


Factors to Consider when Choosing Red Wine Glasses

When choosing the right glass for your favorite bottle of red wine, consider these important factors that can balance the flavors and aromas and enhance the overall drinking experience.


Shape is probably one of the most noticeable distinctions between red and white wine glasses. Red wine glasses have larger bowls and wider rims to help concentrate the aromas and further intensify the characteristics of the wine’s flavors. 

Stem Length

The best stem length for red wine glasses comes down to personal preference. Stemless wine glasses are more casual and are ideal for red wine because they can be served warmer than white wines. However, a long, thin-stemmed red wine glass can be dressed up or down for any dining occasion, whether it’s an elegant dinner party or a relaxed movie night.


Other Red Wine Glass Options

The Oenologie Red Bordeaux Glasses by Baccarat Crystal are made to dazzle your table setting. These classic and stunning red wine glasses are designed with a larger bowl to offer unique tastings for all your dining occasions. Each glass displays a skilled craftsmanship that is inspired by French artisan traditions.

If you’re looking for more budget-friendly options for red wine glasses, Amazon has a variety of choices for simple, brand-name products to add to your home for everyday occasions.


Red Wine Glasses as a Gift

Wine glasses are a classic gift for various occasions, including birthdays, anniversaries, and house-warmings. While most people own an affordable set of everyday wine glasses, gifting a pair of high-quality, crystal red wine glasses can enhance their tasting experiences and create memorable moments for future home entertaining. 

Choose a set of glasses that highlights the style and personality of your giftee. Delight the recipients of your next celebration with a personalized gift, such as your favorite bottle of red wine paired with a set of Fran Berger’s Signature crystal red wine glasses. Engraved or custom-designed glasses also make a unique gifting idea. 


Care and Maintenance of Red Wine Glasses

Cleaning Red Wine Glasses

High-quality crystal wine glasses require gentle care when washing to preserve their use and value over time. Follow these 5 steps to ensure safe and effective cleaning of your red wine glasses:

  1. Wet your glass in warm or room temperature water. Avoid using too hot of water, as extreme temperature changes can cause the glass to crack or shatter.

    If your glass has staining, soak it in warm white vinegar for 5 minutes before washing. The acidity from the vinegar cuts through minerals and makes cleaning easier. 
  2. Scrub the glass inside and out thoroughly, using a nylon net scrubber to avoid scratching the glass and a little bit of dish soap. For a dazzling shine, you can also wash your glassware in a high-quality, professional glass cleaner, like Restaurant Crystal Clean.

    To better reach the bottom of the glass, wrap a cleaning towel around a fork and gently clean the bottom of the bowl. 
  3. Rinse your glass under warm or room temperature water until it is free of soap suds.
  4. Dry with a lint-free, microfiber cloth for a pristine shine.
  5. Store properly.


Storing Red Wine Glasses

The best way to store your red wine glasses is to hang them upside down. This helps to avoid water spots from drying on your red wine glasses. You can do this by mounting a wine glass rack on or under a surface, such as a wall or a kitchen cabinet. 


Make Every Sip An Experience

You’ll find everything you need to upgrade your dining experiences in this ultimate guide to red wine glasses. From each of the unique styles available to the best way to care for your collection, you can learn how to indulge in the joys of using your glassware every day. 

No matter the occasion, the right set of red wine glasses can create magical moments for yourself or as a gift for others. With advice and resources from entertaining expert, Fran Berger, you can learn more ways to cultivate affordable and luxurious spaces in your home.



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