Stemmed vs. stemless engraved wine glasses

Stemmed vs. stemless engraved wine glasses

Subject to much debate between wine lovers and connoisseurs, the emergence of the stemless wine glass is as much about personal preference as it is practical consideration. Both styles are perfect as engraved wine glasses, but there are sure to be many discussions regarding the pros and cons of which one to choose. Here is a rough guide to each style that may make the decision easier:

The case for the stemmed

Stemmed glasses can look very elegant, especially when displayed in a cabinet or on a formal table setting. The contents are kept cooler and hand temperature is unlikely to affect the wine.

Appreciating the colour and clarity of wine is much easier with a stem when holding the glass up to the light. Wine can be swirled more effectively with a stem too, releasing more aromas, while the glass remains free from fingermarks.

Lastly, a stemmed glass is dainty to hold, a more attractive and delicate option for formal occasions. There are plenty of different designs, sizes and types available, with a wide range of prices.

Positives for the stemless

Storage is much easier with a stemless glass, especially when space is limited, and the look of stemless glasses is very modern and contemporary, and can complement a table setting.

Red wine can benefit from the gentle warmth of a hand cupping the bowl, and many find that a stemless glass is comfortable to hold and easier to grip. They are less precarious and not as easy to knock over, which makes them perfect for large parties, or gatherings that are held outdoors, where accidents are prone to happen.

Available in a range of different materials, stemless glasses can usually stand up to the rigours of a dishwasher much better. Stemless glasses can also be very cost effective as they are usually less expensive than the stemmed variety.

Points to think about for both

There are a couple of points to remember though, when choosing which style to go for. A thin stem can be prone to breaking, as a stemmed glass is not as stable or sturdy as a stemless. Also, by the very delicate nature of the glass, a stemmed wine glass will not fair well in a dishwasher, so it will be hand washing only – something to consider if hosting a large number of guests.

At the same time, a stemless wine glass is not considered ideal for some white wines, especially if the wine should be drunk chilled. There is also the question of fingermarks, which can make analysing a wine more difficult. Swirling wine is also more difficult without a stem, as the wine can splash out or spill over the rim.

Chosen to suit the table setting, the occasion or just personal preference, stemmed or stemless glasses can just as easily sit side by side and be equally enjoyable to use. Complementing the wine, each in their own way, is what most wine lovers want from a glass, and if choosing a set of engraved wine glasses as a gift, this should probably be the most important consideration.

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