The Battle of Stemmed vs Stemless Glassware

Hello friends! A common everyday question we hear people asking is, “What are the differences, benefits, and non-benefits of stemless vs stemmed wine glasses?” This is a valid and excellent question and can easily be answered! Although picking stemmed or stemless glasses are usually based off personal preference or occasion, here is a breakdown of pros vs cons or the benefits vs non-benefits of each style.

  • Although opinion, most people consider stemmed wine glasses more formal and traditional, with stemless being more casual.
  • White wine should be served chilled which is where the stemmed wine glasses are ideal. Holding the stemless wine glass in your hand naturally heats up the glass, which in return, heats up the wine which alters the flavor and experience. Serving white wine in a stemmed wine glass keeps the wine chilled for longer periods of time since it is held by the long stem and not the bowl. Wine connoisseurs know the temperature in which white wine or champagne is served is crucial to proper enjoyment and overall taste/experience. Red wine is not affected by this since it is served room temperature.
  • Stemless wine glasses are held by the bowl which leaves fingerprints and smudges visible, giving it a cloudy and dirty appearance, especially while eating. Stemmed glasses are held by the long stem, allowing a clean, “crystal clear” appearance throughout its use.
  • Most stemmed wine glasses are handwash only while stemless is usually dishwasher safe.
  • Stemmed wine glasses are easy to swirl your wine in, allowing it to breathe, while stemless can be difficult to swirl, holding it by the bowl. Believe it or not, wine is primarily “tasted” with your nose. When swirling the wine, hundreds of aromas are released and then recognized by your nose. After swirled, the aromas are easier to smell because they attach themselves to oxygen, therefore revealing the savory and rich smell masked beneath. Swirling your wine also allows more of the volatile compounds to disperse (sulfites, etc) while simultaneously revealing the texture, or density, of the wine.
  • Stemless wine glasses have better balance than stemmed. Due to their lack of height and less fragile materials, there’s usually not as much breakage.
  • Although simply preference, stemless can be considered tacky when compared to traditional stemmed glasses and the history it holds.
  • The color and clarity of the wine can be affected and perceived differently by the material and shape of the bowl/glass. Having a stemmed glass allows you to analyze the color and contents of your wine easier when holding it by the stem vs by the bowl.
  • Stemless wine glasses are just that, stemless—making wine glass charms and majority of wine glass distinguishers unusable. Ultimately, making it challenging to differentiate one’s glass from another’s.


We hope this list has helped you determine which wine glass style is appropriate for you or your occasion! Visit our blogs for new tips, recipes, or information regarding everything crystal and alcohol.


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