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By KatieMarie

When you should opt for the stemless glass

The novelty of stemless wine glasses has worn and the glassware has established its presence in the world of wine. However, there is still much debate and judging when to use a glass with or without a stem can be a tough call to make. Some enjoy the ergonomic feel of the stemless glass in hand. Others are reticent to warm the libation with a forced hold of the bowl. Both glasses have merit, and selecting one over the other comes down to a matter of preference and intention.

The stemless glass is a practical and handy option. The glass tends to be durable, and with a lower center of gravity, it is a sturdy option as well. Some call the glass a "tumbler" and find it more comfortable to hold. Without a stem, the glass is compact, and therefore easy to store. And in its storage, less likely to break. To boot, the glass is appropriate for uses other than wine. It has been successfully used to serve cocktails and other non-alcoholic refreshments. Consider this trusty piece of glassware in a number of situations:

  • On-the-go wine experiences, like a picnic

  • Large, social gatherings like block parties or cookouts

  • When preparing dinner, to keep some wine for cooking off to the side

  • In tight spaces, where efficient use of storage is paramount

  • As vacation or second-home getaway glasses

  • During cooler seasons or in cooler climates

The traditional stemmed wine glass is the better option when experience is top of mind. A simple stem makes controlled behavior possible and can make for a truly lovely and sensory experience. Since the glass can be held by the stem, the bowl may remain clear and free of fingerprints. This smudgey look can be distract from the color and legs of the wine, as well as the overall visual aesthetic of the setting. Long, delicate stems and wide bowls set a smart and polished tone. This visual aesthetic can send quite the message without saying a word. Turning attention to the wine itself, holding a glass by the stem also keeps body heat from interfering with the wine's serving temperature. Special occasions and special wines can be enjoyed to their fullest potential when served mindfully in a stemmed glass. Opt for this classic glassware when:

  • Entertaining in earnest

  • Celebrating special occasions

  • Exploring and learning new wine

  • A visual effect is desired, i.e. a photo opportunity

  • Enjoying wine in warmer climates

Much like selecting a wine, the selected glass should be chosen for personal enjoyment. A comfort factor can be taken into account by asking questions like:

  • Where will the wine be enjoyed?

  • Who is sharing the experience?

  • What occasion brings the party together?

  • When/what time of day does the bottle uncork?

  • How will wine, glasses, and people come together?

The choice can come down to a matter of circumstance and personality. There is no wrong choice and it is rare that wine cannot be enjoyed despite its vessel. Glassware may set a tone and create a vibe – a truth to be mindful of, but not to be consumed by as a myriad of options exist. Choose with confidence. And in worst case scenarios, the glassware can always be a fun topic of conversation amongst friends.

Article sources

Gorman-McAdams, Mary. "Do Good Wine Glasses Really Matter? 7 Factors Affecting How a Wine Glass Works." Thekitchen. AT Media, 23 Apr. 2012. Web. 15 July 2016.

"Why Would I Use Stemless Vs. Stemmed Glasses?" Stemless or Stemmed Wine Glasses. Wine Enthusiast Companies, n.d. Web. 19 July 2016.

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