Great wine merits great glassware, regardless of red, white, or bubbles. In order to guarantee the most pleasant drinking experience possible, seeking out a solid stem to drink from is a great place to start. Not sure where to begin? The pros have a few ideas. New York-based sommelier Jeff Porter looks for structure and usability, without ever sacrificing quality. “When choosing a great wine glass, I look for form and function,” he says, particularly highlighting glassware that is light but durable and has an elegant, clean design. Porter also recommends seeking out options that do not take up too much room on the table, as well as won’t break with the slightest touch.
Michael Kennedy, founder of Vin Fraîche Wine Group, also puts design first. “I look for shape, size and rim—though most importantly, rim,” he says. “I want a glass that will allow me to roll the wine around with ease, without spilling, like I tend to do!” he says. Most importantly, Kennedy highlights looking for wine glasses with cut rims, as they tend to leave little resistance to sensing aroma. “Rolled rim glasses tend to act like an aroma speed bump,” he says.
After much trial and error, we’ve narrowed down our top glasses for white wine, ranging from budget-friendly picks to splurge-worthy options. Read on for the results.
Zalto Denk'Art Collection White Wine Glass
Sophisticated feel in hand
Long-standing collectors, connoisseurs, and industry folk alike will agree: when it comes to well-made glassware, Zalto is simply one of the best. “Producers spend a lot of time working the vines and working in the cellar to produce good wine. If you can, respect the wine with a good glass that appeals to you and your taste,” says Porter.
Handcrafted from lead-free crystal in lower Austria, these luxurious stems come in a variety of shapes and sizes, perfect for pairing with an equally robust variety of grapes—but we’ll let you in on a secret: these Denk’Art White Wine glasses are some of the most versatile of the bunch.
Price at the time of publish: $66
Material: Lead-free crystal | Capacity: 13.5 oz. | Dishwasher safe: Yes
Crate & Barrel Hip White Wine Glass
Easy to find
Not as refined as the others on this list
For situations where glassware needn’t be overly complicated, look no further than Crate & Barrel’s Hip White Wine Glass. Clocking in at less than $8 a stem, these budget-friendly glasses are perfect for use at dinner parties and at-home happy hours alike, thanks to their versatility and durability (plus, should one break, you won’t be too put out finance-wise). The glass’ flared bowl, thin stem, and ultra-fine rim render it a seriously well-crafted alternative to the pricier items on this list. We’d keep these on hand as solid, go-to backup glasses.
Price at the time of publish: $7.95
Material: Glass | Capacity: 14 oz. | Dishwasher safe: Yes
Conterno Giacomo Sensory Glass
A great conversation piece
Can be hard to find
Yes, you read that right. Designed by the Conterno family of Italy’s Piedmont region, these sensory-forward glasses are perfect for wine lovers everywhere. Crafted at the famed Schott Zwiesel firm in Germany, this light-on-its-feet stem is created with wine aromatics in mind, using an optimally crafted curve to funnel its bouquet straight to the consumer’s nose. Each glass is crafted by hand and offers an unforgettable experience—we implore you to give it a go.
Despite its high price tag, Porter also finds that Conterno glasses make for an excellent choice, both for red and white wine, “It’s actually super versatile,” he says, highlighting the glass’ ideal size. “The glass does not take up too much table space, but also really looks good,” he says. Porter reveals that after doing a taste test with the glass, one can really smell the difference in aroma intensity when using this stem.
Price at the time of publish: $85
Material: Yes | Capacity: 28 oz. | Dishwasher safe: Yes
Zwiesel Glas Schott Zwiesel Verbelle Wine Glasses
Multiple in set
Great with red and white wine
Affordable set of 6
Stems not as thin as other options
The Schott Zwiesel name, mentioned above, is one of the most famous in the glassware game. Located in Germany, this 147-year-old enterprise has been creating world-class stemware for nearly a century and a half, with quality and craftsmanship always placed first. This versatile six-pack of stems is great to use with both red and white wines alike, and at the sub-$100 price point, each glass clocks in at around just $16 per stem.
For Kennedy, excellent glassware—especially with excellent wine—is non-negotiable. “Great stemware should be included when drinking great wine,'' he says. “A great glass will magnify the aroma experience, which can be good or bad—if the wine is great, it shows more of that; if the wine isn’t great, well, unfortunately, it shows more of that.”
Price at the time of publish: $96 (Set of 6)
Material: Tritan Crystal Glass | Capacity: 16.5 oz. | Dishwasher safe: Yes
Elixir Glassware White Wine Glasses (Set of 4)
The only thing better than an elegant wine glass? A set of four elegant stems. After searching far and wide, we’ve found Elixir’s four-pack set to be one of the best quality-to-price ratio options on the market. Crafted with optimally-sized bowls and long, slender stems, these white wine glasses are perfect for enjoying a variety of white wines, from Sauvignon Blanc to Chardonnay and beyond.
Elixir uses only lead-free crystal, and prior to market release, tempers each glass to ensure that durability and craftsmanship surpass the company’s standards. All Elixir glasses are hand-blown and created using traditional methods, including carefully cutting rims and polishing to ensure a beautiful, long-lasting product.
Price at the time of publish: $37.99 (Set of 4)
Material: Crystal | Capacity: 18 oz. | Dishwasher safe: Yes
Nude Stem Zero Delicate White Wine Glass
Elegant in hand
It’s true—Nude glass stems cost a pretty penny, but at the end of the day, they’re one of the best-designed glasses on the market. Handcrafted in Turkey, this lead-free crystal glass is crafted with an ultra-thin, narrow rim, which will accentuate aromatic intensity while sitting elegantly on the lips.
Porter explains that glassware can affect the aromas of wine and the serviceability of wine, particularly in a restaurant setting. “Too small, and the wine does not have enough room to breathe (like a mini-decanter), too big, and it looks like there is no wine in the glass,” he says. Moral of the story? Size and design is key.
Price at the time of publish: $83
Material: Lead-free Crystal | Capacity: 15.25 oz. | Dishwasher safe: Yes
Rovsya White Wine Glasses (Set of 4)
Set of four
Potentially hard to store (long stems)
For a uniquely designed glass that won’t set you back too much (and also makes for a perfect gift), look no further than these long stems from Rovysa. Produced from lead-free crystal, these versatile stems offer a luxurious feel in hand, while promising to bring out the best of a variety of different white wines.
Kennedy explains that regardless of glass style—white wine specific, red wine specific, fishbowl, etc—so long as the glass is thinner at the opening than the widest part of the bowl, you’re on the right track. “I also prefer crystal so as to allow those micro-ridges to pop out particles that evaporate and add to the aromatic intensity,” he says.
Price at the time of publish: $39.79 (Set of 4)
Material: Crystal | Capacity: 15 oz. | Dishwasher safe: Yes
Riedel O Wine Tumbler Viognier/Chardonnay, Set of 2
Set of two
Not as elegant as those with stems
For a stemless set that can go the limits, check out this-two pack of tumblers from Riedel. Based in Germany, this globally-renowned brand has been producing high-quality glassware since 1756. Now on its 11th generation of glassblowers, Riedel still puts quality and design before all else, both with stemmed and stemless glassware.
Introduced in 2004, the Riedel O Tumbler line was designed to bring an innovative take on stemless glassware, centered around the brand’s Vinum series of glasses. Although the set specifies Viognier and Chardonnay, we find that these versatile tumblers are perfect for enjoying a variety of wines—rosés and reds included!
Price at the time of publish: $35 (Set of 2)
Material: Crystal | Capacity: 11.8 oz. | Dishwasher safe: Yes
What to Look For in White Wine Glasses
When seeking out great glassware—whether red or white—look for those with a sturdy design made from high-quality material. We also recommend looking for thin rims and stems for the most pleasurable drinking experience possible.
Are wine glass stems different for white wine glasses versus red wine glasses?
Generally speaking, the stems of white wine glasses and red wine glasses are usually the same; on the other hand, the bowls of red wine glasses are often larger than those of white wine glasses.
What are the main differences between white wine glasses and red wine glasses?
Overall, the stems, material, and rim thickness of white wine glasses and red wine glasses are usually the same. However, the bowls of red wine glasses are often larger than those of white wine glasses, as more air is usually required to allow red wine to breathe.
How do you clean/care for wine glasses?
Although most glasses claim to be dishwasher safe, we recommend cleaning and polishing all stemware by hand. Stick with unscented soap and use your hands (as sponges or rags can scratch glassware) to carefully wash the inside of the bowl and the rim of the glass.
Should you chill a glass before serving white wine in it?
While white wines are generally best enjoyed chilled, we recommend chilling the wine over the glass.
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Vicki Denig is a wine, spirits, and travel journalist based between New York and Paris. Her writing regularly appears in major industry publications, including Liquor.com, WineSearcher, Decanter, and beyond. Vicki also works with a prestigious rolodex of monthly clients, including Paris Wine Company, Becky Wasserman & Co, Corkbuzz, Provignage, and beyond. She is a Certified Specialist of Wine. When not writing, Vicki enjoys indoor cycling classes and scoping out dogs to pet in her local parks.