Our Complete Guide to Buying Glassware

There’s a reason we don’t reach into our cabinets for tea cups when a bottle of wine is being served. After all, what is wine without a wine glass? While each kitchen may differ when it comes to which mixology glasses are stocked, wine glasses are a staple in nearly every one – and for a good reason. Wine simply tastes better when served in the proper glass.

We can see it now: a neat stemware collection showcased on an open kitchen shelf, anchored by a Dunavox tabletop wine cooler. A complete collection of glassware is worthy of an open display. Not sure which pieces to include in your kitchen? We’ve put together this guide to help you gather everything you need for the perfect bar.

Our Glassware Guide

Drinking from the ideal glass can make or break a beverage. A sip of stout from a wine glass would simply feel wrong. And there’s a reason beer is served in a chilled pint glass – it tastes better.

Wine glasses

They’re often the first pieces added to a home’s glassware collection. Wine glasses, or stemware, are available in an array of shapes and sizes, but most notably are composed of a foot, stem and bowl.

Wine itself has a body of subtle flavours just waiting to be released. To enliven a dormant red that’s been properly stored, aeration must take place. A glass with a spacious bowl allows for plenty of room for a red to swirl about, giving those delicate notes the best chance of surfacing.

White wine is beloved for its zingy notes of fruit, which are best enjoyed from a piece of stemware with a narrower opening to maintain optimal serving temperature and peak flavour. Rosé is in the same boat – keep it cool with a narrow bowl and long stem.

Stemware for spirits

When it comes to spirits, there are a few staples that ensure you’ll have the right glasses on hand, no matter the occasion:

  • Shot glasses are purposefully petite to make consuming high alcohol content spirits quick and easy
  • Whiskey tumblers are squat with a wide bowl for ice; they are typically ornate and quality pieces of glassware
  • Highball glasses are tall and narrow with plenty of room for ice; they are ideal for long and flavourful beverages, like vodka lemonade

Spirits can be served in a variety of ways, which is why it’s a good idea to have a healthy mix of glassware for different drinks.

Beer glassware

Beer glassware

Beer, like wine, is best suited to a glass that allows it the opportunity to reveal its fleet of flavours and aromas. Different beers call for different glasses.

  • Pint glasses are the top choice when it comes to lighter ales and lagers, as their slightly narrow shape enhances the taste of the beer
  • Snifters are short glasses with even shorter stems and a large bowl to improve the notes of strong beers such as IPAs
  • Pilsner glasses are taller and more narrow than pint glasses, fluted to guide the effervescence of the beer to the top for a premium flavour experience

The design of beer glasses goes beyond aesthetics. The goal of pairing a beer with a proper glass is to accentuate its full profile of aromas and notes. Review your favourite beers, and keep their partnering glasses on hand and at the ready.

Which pieces of glassware you collect is up to you, but it’s generally good to keep a variety of glasses stocked at your bar. Think about your drinking preferences and invest in setting up a well-considered collection so that you can be ready to enjoy the most flavourful beverages, from robust red wines to tangy IPAs. Remember, pairing the appropriate glass to your drink will only enhance the affair, ensuring that you get the most enjoyment possible from your pour.