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Picking Your Perfect Stemware Collection

Whether you're setting up a new home or just refreshing the home you love, maintaining a beautiful stemware collection adds grace and style to your enjoyment of wine. Sip from the right vessel every time to enjoy wines as they were meant to be enjoyed. Plus, when guests arrive, you're poised to be the perfect host.

What Is Stemware?

It is a set of goblets or glasses used to drink wine and champagne. They consist of a bowl into which wine is poured and from which you drink, plus a stem above a base.

  • The stem is there to act as a handle. According to traditional etiquette, you hold your wine glass by its stem rather than the bowl.
  • There are stemless glasses, too, that maintain the bowl shape of the wine for which they're meant. A double wall offers a flat-bottomed base.
  • It is available in different shapes for each varietal of wine. The shape of the stemware is designed to afford you the best aromas and flavors for each type of wine.
  • Even amongst red and white wines, there are variations for lighter or more full-bodied wines.

Getting Started

Start your collection with basic sets for red, white and sparkling wines.

  • Red wine glasses have bigger bowls than white wine glasses. These allow you to swirl the wine in the glass so that air passes over it and opens up the flavor.
  • White wine glasses are taller and slightly more narrow. They allow the sweetness of the wine to hit your tongue first for maximum enjoyment.
  • Champagne and sparkling wines are served in tall, skinny glasses called flutes. The shape of the flute allows bubbles to ascend.

Adding To An Established Tableware Collection

If you've been in your home for a while or have experienced milestones, like a graduation or wedding, where people gifted you stemware, you may be ready to go further with your wine glass collection.

  • Build out by picking glasses made just for your favorite wines. For instance, a Pinot Noir glass has an extraordinarily wide bowl that makes the wine taste superb.
  • Consider what you drink when you entertain, too. You may save the full-bodied reds for quieter nights and pair cuisine for dinner parties with a medium wine. Consider getting a set of 12 -- usually three sets of four -- to accommodate all of your friends.
  • If you don't have champagne flutes yet, they're an essential. You'll see once you have them. You'll start seeing all the occasions to drink Champagne.

Once you have your collection in place, be certain to shop Williams Sonoma for wine racks and other accessories, too.

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