Is Bringing Your Own Wine Glass to a Restaurant the Height of Wine Snobbery?

Is bringing your own wine glass to a restaurant the height of wine snobbery? The answer is yes and no. There have been many articles published about the benefits of thinner glasses over thicker glasses. In some fine dining establishments if you order wine off the reserve list (meaning more expensive) they give you thinner wine glass, most likely from Riedel. There is no doubt that drinking wine from a thinner glass feels better and the transition of the wine from the lid of the glass to your tongue is a smooth one.

Most restaurants carry a large all purpose glass that is thick, this is to prevent breakage and the glass is cheaper. See below for an example:

My local Italian restaurant serves wine in a smaller thicker glass:

Both glasses serve their purpose, however if you are drinking an upscale wine you might want to try an appropriate glass for the wine. Reidel takes this to an extreme. They have a glass for almost every varietal. See below:

It would be cost prohibitive to buy them all (also my wife wouldn’t let me have the storage space). There are many glasses that are similar and will host many different varieties. For example all reds can go into a Bordeaux glass, this includes Shiraz, Tempranillo, Zinfandel and Merlot. The only other red wine glass to get is a glass for Pinot Noir. For whites, a chardonnay glass will do nicely. You can even use a chardonnay glass for champagne. If you are a dessert or port wine fan, you can get the dessert wine glass (this works well for single malt scotches as well).

You do not have to break the bank for wine glasses. There are a few all purpose wine glasses that work well. See links below for the Libbey all purpose glass and the Schott Zwiesel, which I recommend.

Click here for Libbey All Purpose Glass
Click here for Schott Zwiesel

If you want to splurge you would do well with the Reidel Sommeliers or Zalto Denk’Art glasses. These are advertised as dishwasher safe, but when you feel the lightness of the crystal there is no way I would put them in the dishwater.

For wine glasses there are a couple of things you should never do:

Do not buy stemless glasses, hold the wine by the stem, if you handle by the bowl they get smudged and the wine will warm up if you hold the glass by the bowl. You also look like you know what you are doing when you hold by the stem.

Always use a fragrant free soap when washing wine glasses before use. There is nothing worse than smelling Dawn when you take a sip.

If you have any questions regarding wine glass recommendations or if you’re searching for a delightful new bottle, check out our website or contact me today.

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