Stemmed or stemless glasses: sip in style this summer

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It’s time to come together for Christmas and cheers to the end of this turbulent year. The question is, will you do so with stemmed or stemless wine glasses?

Stemless wine glasses have created quite a buzz on the vino scene when they made their first appearance a couple of years ago. While some wine-lovers would have dismissed this new style as a fleeting trend that would last a season or two at best, the stemless wine glass has proven that it is more than a fast fad and is here to stay. And we love them!

Stemless glassware are perfect for relaxed poolside chilling and relaxation
Stemless glassware are perfect for relaxed poolside chilling and relaxation

They do, however, have their place and should not be seen as a complete replacement for the stemmed wine glass. So the question is: do you choose stemmed or stemless?

To help you make the right choice for your lifestyle, we spoke to IceCold Online Product Specialist and wine aficionado Darryll Wohlters.

Take a look at some of his expert tips when it comes to investing in stemmed or stemless wine glasses.

Très chic or très chilled

No Christmas table is complete without a beautiful wine glass, be it stemmed or stemless.
No Christmas table is complete without a beautiful wine glass, be it stemmed or stemless.

Wine glasses are not simply holders for wine. They are so much more than that. They are an extension of your personality and a way of showcasing your taste and style.

Before saying “I do” to the glass, Darryll says you should think about the type of lifestyle you lead. “A more traditional lifestyle calls for stemmed glasses. If, however, you enjoy entertaining and spending time outside and live a modern lifestyle, stemless is a good option for you.”

It also all depends on the ambiance and the mood you want to create. If you are hosting a fancy dinner party or a romantic soirée for your beau or bay, set your table with stemmed glasses.

The long, petite stem immediately sets an elegant tone and adds a glamorous touch to the table…and the wine! If, on the other hand, you are inviting your girlfriends over for a relaxing late afternoon poolside chill session to spill some tea or you are planning an informal dinner with friends, then the stemless glass is the perfect choice.

Being stemless also means the glass is less likely to end up shattered on its side as it has a much sturdier balance and is therefore also a better choice for outdoor sipping.

Same same or oh-so different

Dress up your wine this festive season with fresh berries for a touch of Christmas.
Dress up your wine this festive season with fresh berries for a touch of Christmas.

Whether you opt for stemless or stemmed wine glasses, it is important to remember that wine glasses are not a one-size-fits-all type of deal. Darryll explains the science behind the glass shape and size.

“Drinking a specific varietal out of the correct glass does enhance the experience and brings out the body of the wine on both the nose and palette. Your tongue is made of taste sectors.

The shape and aperture of the glass will make sure the wine lands in the desired sweet spot of your mouth, which will bring out the best qualities in the wine.

The Oaked Chardonnay glass, for example, is a wide bowled glass that softens the wooded taste in oaked wines. A narrow glass tends to accentuate the wooded taste, hence why a number of people do not enjoy wooded wines.”

The verdict: drink from the correct glass, and you will have a totally different wine experience.

The minimalist’s choice

Stemless wine glasses can double up as stylish G&T glasses making them a perfect allrounder.
Stemless wine glasses can double up as stylish G&T glasses making them a perfect allrounder.

If you like to keep things simple and easy and don’t have the space or inclination to have a lot of stuff, then the stemless glass might just be the answer!

The beauty of a stemless wine glass is that it is not exclusively reserved for a Chardonnay or Merlot. It can easily double up as a G&T or cocktail glass or even a whiskey tumbler! Pretty neat, right?

The only additional stemmed wine glass we would recommend is a white wine glass. No one enjoys warm white wine and sommeliers might say a stemless white wine glass is a no-no because the body heat from your hand is directly exposed to the bowl of the glass and therefore warms up the wine.

Rather pour white wine in a stemmed glass and hold the glass by the stem to avoid the bowl of the glass from warming up.

Glassware dos and don’ts

So now that you know whether you should opt for stemmed or stemless (or both – you only live once), it is crucial that you know how to clean and store your glasses in order to ensure that they give you many years of cin cin’s to come. Darryll shares some of the most important TLC basics:

  1. RIEDEL glasses are dishwasher safe. I personally wouldn’t put them into a dishwasher because the high temperatures used in the drying cycle can cause your glasses to go ‘milky’. If you insist on washing by machine, Riedel recommends a Miele dishwasher.
  2. If washing by hand, wash the glass under warm water, use washing powder and rinse the glass carefully. Wash 1 glass at a time and do not put multiple glasses in a sink to prevent breaking.
  3. Prevent scratches by avoiding glass contact with other glass or metal.
  4. Try to use a stemware rack – they are worth investing in.
  5. To give your glasses that stunning sheen, make sure to polish them regularly. Use two micro-fibre polishing cloths, and never hold the glass by the base or stem when polishing the bowl.
  6. Avoid glass storage in kitchen cabinets which have strong aromas that translate into glass.
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