This Is the *Only* Wine Glass You Will Ever Need

For red, white, port, Champagne—or, you know, water.

May 26, 2023
Photo by Julia Gartland

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I don’t know about you, but I hate washing up after a dinner party. The thing that gets to me the most is having to hand-wash the wine glasses, two per guest (because my friends are that annoying). And I particularly dislike drying them after. So, imagine my joy when I was shown a wine glass you can thoughtlessly throw into the dishwasher. It's not a graceless glob, either. It's a perfectly dainty glass—with bones of steel.

To know Jancis Robinson, wine expert and author of the book on wine, is to not just love her way with words, but to madly respect her opinion. So, when she says that the glass she’s holding does all of that—adding, “I haven’t broken one in two years, and I’m clumsy”—you nod vigorously (as opposed to say, grabbing it and throwing it against a wall to test the theory).

If this glass did just that, it’d be a lifesaver. But then Robinson adds that this is also the only glass you’ll ever need to own. For any kind of wine. Red, wine, sherry, port, or Champagne. Same. Glass.

Okay, wait, so does this mean we’ve been lied to all along? That all those wine glasses (I have three kinds in four sets) jostling for space in my tiny kitchen need never have made their way in at all? “There’s absolutely no logic to have white wine in a smaller glass than red—it can be just as complex,” says Robinson. So, by the same argument, those vintage Champagne flutes I once spent rent on? Nice to own, but not entirely necessary. “Having a wide brim when you’re drinking Champagne actually makes you enjoy the aromas that much more,” she explains.

Robinson would know. After 44 years of tasting wine, she got pretty tired of switching out glasses for every wine she drank. So she set about to create the perfect wine glass together with tableware designer Richard Brendon. Their camaraderie and shared passion bore fruit: An elegant, handblown glass with the thinnest of stems (there is a stemless option, too) that’s a pleasure to hold and drink from—and sophisticated enough that only four glassworks in Europe have the capability of making them, according to Brendon.

While we had Jancis around, we decided to ask her to continue busting other myths around wine drinking, after all, she's made it her passion to crack open an often-fusty world of wine to make it more approachable (cue her book The 24-Hour Wine Expert).

In a Food52-exclusive video, she gets right to it, reminding us that wine is for enjoying and not being overwhelmed by. “People make far, far too much fuss over food and wine pairings. If you want to drink red wine with a lovely fish, there’s no reason why you shouldn’t." Then she proceeds to quickly dispense with the notion that red and white wine must be served as vastly different temperatures: “There's less separating the ideal serving temperatures than we realize.”

There’s more where that came from (you'll have to watch the video), but I’m going to leave you with this clincher: Robinson says this glass makes any wine taste better. “The nicest email I ever got came from my oldest friend who drinks a glass of cheap Pinot Noir every night or so. And she said: 'I can’t believe how great my wine tastes in your glass!’” She explains that the secret lies in its shape—the thinness of the glass coupled with the perfect width of an opening, for aromas to get to the nose. Or maybe it's knowing that you can toss these glasses in the dishwasher later. Now that would make any wine all the more enjoyable for me.

This article was originally published in December 2019. It was updated in May 2023 to reflect current prices, links, and inventory.

What's your favorite wine glass? Let us know below!

See what other Food52 readers are saying.

  • Anters
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Arati Menon

Written by: Arati Menon

Arati grew up hanging off the petticoat-tails of three generations of Indian matriarchs who used food to speak their language of love—and she finds herself instinctually following suit. Life has taken her all across the world, but she carries with her a menagerie of inherited home and kitchen objects that serve as her anchor. Formerly at GQ and Architectural Digest, she's now based in Brooklyn.


Anters December 14, 2019
I know Jancis is quite fond of the Zalto Universal and its influence is clear in the design of this glass. I’ve always found the Universal a bit unwieldy and too delicate, so I’m glad to see this glass improves on that and additionally has a narrower mouth. My only concern is that the stem looks rather thin.

The vintage decanter looks very smart, but I don’t like the way it’s top heavy...I’d worry about an expensive wine being knocked over!

Is this glass lead free? If it is, then I look forward to trying them out!
Amanda December 10, 2019
Absolutely positive that these glasses are of much higher quality, but honestly they look EXACTLY like my glasses from IKEA, which definitely made my day!
Arati M. December 11, 2019
I do love this glass. BUT, if you've found your spirit wine glass at Ikea, then great! :) Happy holidays to you, Amanda!
GreasyFoodFan1 December 4, 2019
I really appreciate this article! I usually drink alcohol out of my gym water bottle because I always felt like buying wine glasses was too overwhelming but now I can just purchase one and be good to go.
Arati M. December 4, 2019
haha, yes, I hope this will be a serious step up from the gym bottle! Far less bulky in my opinion. And a better experience, overall?
M December 2, 2019
Of COURSE the person who makes a new wine glass will say it's the only one you will "EVER" need. If you want people to throw out a long-standing methodology, you have to have extreme claims that go beyond saving space. Having gone to a wine tasting where wines tasted drastically different in different glassware, and everyone had their personal favourites, I wouldn't blindly follow one person's idiosyncratic "best."

Truth is, people have to stop buying in accordance to an omnipotent wine god and buy for their needs: space, types of wine most poured, level of knowledge and taste, clumsiness, scenario, etc. The usual person can get away with one, just like a restaurant, and this seems like a solid choice. Someone who loves the play between glassware, food, and wine, will want more. Someone who loves to swirl might want a bigger profile. Someone with little space might love this. Someone into cocktails might go retro and use their coupes for champagne, mid-century style. And on and on.
Anne H. January 23, 2020
Just saying - they really do make wine taste better - I have done side by side comparisons and it was true or me. I am definitely an underbuyer who hates to buy anything unnecessary but rate these glasses highly.
Casey S. December 2, 2019
I could watch Jancis Robinson taste and talk about wine all day! These glasses are gorgeous; I cannot wait to buy a set for my parents!