You can buy generic wine stemware, but for sommeliers and connoisseurs there is more of a pattern to buying these items. Their reasoning makes good sense. Depending on whether you drink red, white or champagne each glass serves a specific purpose.
Moreover, they also put forth opinions about the best materials. European crystal comes first if you can afford it. Often a single glass will cost as much as a decent set of four made from glass, while some cost more than four plus decanter and fine bottle of Bordeaux to go with them. Glass comes next, though usually not colored. Really, grapes should take center stage. Another option that came out in the last few years is metal which, while stunning as a contrast to conventional drink ware, is not as popular among Chardonnay and Burgundy drinkers.
Stemless drinking glasses have come on to the scene recently. They provide a serious advantage: they do not tip as easily. However they affect the temperature of the wine since the glass is held with the hand. Also, when not used for Chenin Blanc (known also as Pineau de la Loire among other names), they can be used with other beverages.
Sparkling wines and champagne belong in tall, narrow vessels. Tip your glass slightly to meet the bottle and watch the bubbles foam up. Without a bit of height it would take a while to pour, or the bubbles would spill. Besides, the end effect can be very pretty, especially in a uniquely shaped article.
As for red wine, aroma is a big part of your enjoyment. Pouring into a deep, bulbous vessel gives the consumer room to do two things. One is to smell: stick your nose right in the glass and get a good whiff of berries and fruits. The other thing you want to do is swirl your liquid to release its fine flavors. With such a large piece of stemware, nothing should spill. One is only meant to pour in an inch or two at a time while a wide bottom curved in slightly closer to the top adds protection.
Whites like Chardonnay and Sauvignon Blanc can go into just about any glass, though a combination between flutes and red bulbs is common. Not as wide at the bottom, they are also not as thin and tall as vessels for their sparkling cousins. Then again, at a restaurant you might be surprised by the size you are given and how much wine will fit inside of it.
Speaking of restaurants, commercial settings including these and bars or wineries do not skimp on good stemware. This can lead to a frequent turn over of stock due to chipping and cracking. Consumers know the difference when they pick up good quality glass or crystal: it weighs more. Consequently, their expectation will rise or fall.
Before you buy wine gifts, make sure you check Wealthwoods top quality Wine Stemware. Look for free shipping! Or, read more wine articles Wine Stemware.