Crystal Vs. Glass: Which Wine Glass Is The Best?

Crystal Vs. Glass: Which Wine Glass Is The Best?

Choosing the right wine glass in part determines the taste of wine. There is so much argument as to which stemware is better in serving wines - glass vs. crystal. But the most important criteria is your actual use of the glass. 

For the purpose of this article, we will refer to wine glasses as stemware so as not to confuse with the glass as the material for stemware.

As I have pointed earlier, the choice is more on the actual use of the stemware. For one, crystal stemware is more delicate than glass stemware. Unless you want to spend money replacing your valuable crystal stemware if you want to use it everyday, your best choice is a glass stemware. 

Wine Taste

The taste of the wine is dictated mainly by the olfactory senses. Without the arrest of the senses from the wine, it is impossible to really understand the taste of wine. The right glass will highlight the best virtues of the wine.  

1. Bowl 

The bowl is the most important part of the stemware. The bowl size and shape is dependent on the type of wine it aims to serve. The right proportion of the bowl size and shape plays a part in the taste of the wine. These are the parts of the bowl that you should consider when buying a stemware. 

2. Rim

The rim on cheap glasses are thicker, making a larger gulp of the wine than sipping from a thinner rim. The diameter of the rim in relation to the surface area allows for more aroma to be trapped within the bowl for the sensory experience from the wine. 

3. Air Space

The air space is the area from the top of the rim to the surface of the wine. It is not advisable to fill the stemware halfway with wine to allow a bigger air space inside the stemware. 

To achieve the right air space, fill the glass up to the widest part of the stemware. For more volatile wines, it is best to use a stemware with a taller bowl. 

4. Surface Area

The surface area is measured at the widest part of the stemware. This gives the maximum sensory experience to the wine drinker. 

5. Volume

To achieve the proper volume, pour up to the widest part of the stemware as much as you would consider the surface area. A larger stemware is better to use in serving a good wine than using a smaller glass and filling it to more than the apex. This will defeat the purpose of serving the wine. 

Are crystal wine glasses better?

Without going into technicalities, crystal stemwares are just a type of glass stemware that contains lead. The lead content on these stemwares make them heavier than glass stemware. 

Better in the sense that the rim is definitely thinner than in ordinary glass stemware. Aside from that, crystal stemware is more expensive. 

It usually follows that each design has been studied to achieve the best drinking experience. Connoisseurs and wine makers had been involved in the design of the best wine glasses and each were crafted by the best craftsmen to preserve the integrity of the company. 

Does wine taste better in a crystal glass?

The right proportion of the wine glass dictates the taste of the wine as explained earlier. Each of the factors - rim, surface area, volume and air space - all work together for a better drinking experience. 

Another factor that can make the wine taste better in a crystal glass because of its thin rim. The absence of the lip on the crystal stemware lets the wine touch the wine on the tongue. As the tongue should work together with the sense of smell, a gulp of wine makes the proper tasting of the wine. 


So the question remains: are crystal wine glasses better? Not necessarily but it does have its good side. 

Crystal stemware really plays the senses by giving it a better appearance. Crystal stemware, especially those containing lead, refracts light creating a prism that makes the wine in the glass more enticing. 

Crystal stemware can have either lead or is lead-free. While serving wine in lead crystal glasses is not a health issue as it is not stored in it for prolonged periods. However, to be on the safe side, you can always opt for borosilicate glass which is of higher quality and is more durable. 

Here are some crystal stemware you will surely love. It is also best to decant your wines in these decanters before serving to improve its aroma and taste. You can also aerate your wines so you can enjoy your wine faster than just decanting it.


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