Can you drink wine from a tumbler? Yes! But should you? Absolutely no! Drinking wine from a tumbler is like sacrilege to the winemakers.
But before we dive further into that and justify this answer, let's clear some pertinent issues here. There are a lot of tumblers in the market nowadays. We have the regular glass tumbler and considered it as an all-around glass for your spirits and cocktails. According to Wikipedia, tumblers are flat-bottomed beverage containers. These include most bar glasses like the Collins glass, iced tea glass, shot glass, the regular water glass, and many others.
We also have insulated tumblers designed to keep your drinks in their desired temperature - hot for coffee tumblers and cold for wine and water tumblers.
For the sake of discussion, let us consider two tumblers - the wine tumbler and the regular 8-oz glass tumbler. Forget all the other tumblers mentioned previously.
Why we do not recommend the tumbler?
Here are the reasons why we think it is not a good idea to drink from a tumbler, whether from the wine tumbler or the glass tumbler.
1. Tumblers cancel out the aroma of wines
It is a known fact that our sense of smell dictates much how we perceive the wine. When one wine reviewer tried drinking wine from a coffee mug and a mason jar, she was appalled how the structure of the glass greatly affected the quality of the wine. The flat bottom of the tumbler does not allow for swirling. Swirling is very important for three reasons - to hasten evaporation of unwanted odors of sulfites, allow the wine to breathe, and activate the aromas of the wine.
It's also ridiculous how reviews for wine tumblers can downplay the importance of aromatics. Seriously, who drinks wine through a straw? Do you want to laugh at that? Go on. I had a good chuckle when I read one review claiming just that.
2. Tumblers are thick-lipped
There is actually a science behind the thin design of wine glasses. The thin lip of wine glasses allows you to take sips, not gulps that you will have to take when drinking from thick-lipped glasses. Sipping from a thick glass can be messy and prone to spills. Aside from not tasting the whole flavor spectrum of the wine, gulping wine down means more wine drank, resulting in more alcohol in the body.
3. Drinking wine from a tumbler is a faux pas
Drinking wine in a tumbler is listed in this article as #11 faux pas for the Brits. While some consider it fashionable to drink wine in a tumbler, one wine reviewer also pointed out that the argument for using glass tumblers to be not plausible at all (not the actual words, by the way), in fact, he called the issue of drinking wine from a tumbler is just a talking point.
4. It lowers the value of the wine
One author said that serving wine in a tumbler lowers its value, making it appropriate for the food we serve at home. I guess this claim is quite insulting because no one in his right mind would insult his own home by entertaining his friends with mediocrity unless it's a spur of the moment decision which, by the way, seldom happens.
In conclusion, insulated wine tumblers are good if you want to lug around a serving of wine when going out. It serves the purpose of keeping it cold while giving the wine time to breathe. But we still prefer to serve it in a good wine glass.
Nevertheless, it would still be your call whether to use our wine tumbler or a glass tumbler to drink your wine. There are no really hard rules here, especially if you are not with friends and colleagues. At the end of the day, if you just want to laze around on your couch, put your feet, and just enjoy your day then there is nothing wrong with that. If a good pizza and wine served in a glass tumbler are all you want, then it's totally fine.
However, should you decide to get some good wine glasses to fully enjoy your wine, here are some tips for you.