The Only Wine Glass You'll Ever Need

Sometimes it seems like there are more wine glass options out there than wine varietals themselves. What’s an oenophile low on shelf space to do?

Perhaps this sounds familiar: In your favorite wine bar, a pinot noir is poured into a large, wide Burgundy glass. Riesling, on the other hand, is presented in something tall and slender. As for Champagne? It's hardly ever served in anything but a dainty flute. Certainly there's a reason to stock a range of glassware—the shape of a glass can help funnel a wine’s aromas or develop its flavors—but unfortunately, many wine lovers don’t have the storage for a myriad of stemware.

We asked five sommeliers to name the one glass that can handle almost any pour, sparkling included. Here are their favorites.


Riedel’s Ouverture all-purpose red glass is the most versatile, affordable, durable, and practical wine glass. It's a good way to highlight a wide variety of wines with a single glass—and the super reasonable price point makes it accessible to anyone.

I really like the simple, classic style more than those flashy fishbowls, and it's good with sparkling all the way to reds. The shorter stem helps with space and durability, and it's perfect for city folks who don't have much storage space. “ 

—Angie Valgiusti, owner of Birba Wine Bar in San Francisco
Riedel Ouverture Red Wine Glasses, Set of 2, $25 on

“My go-to for at-home consumption would be a Spiegelau Bordeaux glass. At roughly $7 a stem, it’s affordable, practical, and durable, yet the glass still feels elegant in your hand.

Beyond that, I'd pick this glass for its versatility. I do believe that different wines belong in different glasses, but if you had to settle on one style, I think a Bordeaux glass checks the most boxes. Bordeaux glasses have larger bowls than a white wine glass, and although not as wide as a Burgundy glass, are still large enough to allow for plenty of aeration—and therefore the enjoyment of a wider variety of wines.”

—Nick Morisi, sommelier at Yvonne’s in Boston, MA
Spiegelau Winelovers Bordeaux wine glass, set of 4, $30 on

"The glass that most sommeliers I know are obsessed with—and it is nearly impossible to disagree with—is the Zalto Universal Glass.

I would drink pretty much every wine from it: Champagne, rich white, aromatic red. I have ONE at home that I cherish."

—Natalie Johnson, sommelier at Loring Place in New York City
Zalto Denk’Art Universal wine glass, $60 at

"At Gwen, we have custom-made crystal glassware, which were designed by our director of operations, Ben Aviram, and are hand-blown in Austria. Unfortunately, they are not available for retail. Prior to our glasses existing, I'd have to say my favorite versatile Burgundy stemware is Zalto’s.

I always jokingly say, ‘I drink my orange juice out of Burgundy glasses at home.’ I do prefer to drink most wines out of a Burgundy glass—including sparkling. I get such pleasure from ‘watching’ the nose of a wine change and develop in the glass, and Burgundy stemware is well-suited for that purpose."

—Fahara Zamorano, sommelier at Gwen in Los Angeles
Zalto Denk’Art Burgundy wine glass, $64 at

"Riedel makes quality stemware that is affordable and accessible. The most universal is the Pinot Noir / Nebbiolo glass. It’s great for both white and red Burgundy of course, but can be used for many other varietals.

Nebbiolo drinks beautifully out of [this] stem as well as gamay, rosé, and even beer! However, my favorite wine to enjoy out of [it] has to be Champagne and other sparkling wines. I find that these wines have such beautiful, subtle aromatics that are enhanced in [this] stem in a way that a flute cannot achieve. ”

—Sasha Hagenlock, sommelier at Harvest Table in St. Helena, CA
Riedel Pinot Noir/Nebbiolo glass, $30 at

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