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universal wine glass

Guide to Universal Wine Glasses

Wine glasses come in all shapes and sizes. There’s literally one for every wine style and grape. In the thousands of years we’ve enjoyed wine, there have never been so many alternatives in the market. 

Of course, collecting wine glasses is fun, and having specialized stemware for particular wine styles can come in handy. Still, having a universal wine glass should be every wine lover’s priority. 

Top stemware brands, including Grassl, Zalto, Gabriel Glass, Riedel, and Josephine offer universal wine glasses. All of these versatile glasses do the job just fine. The question is: how does one choose a universal wine glass? Here’s a guide to help you find your go-to wine glass for all occasions. 

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What is a Universal Wine Glass?

As you probably know, red wine is best enjoyed in large wine glasses with broad bowls. The shape of the glass allows you to enjoy the more volatile aromas in red wine.

White wine is best enjoyed in smaller wine glasses. White wine is generally less aromatic than red; it’s best enjoyed at lower temperatures as well. Additionally, smaller pours are recommended to enjoy the wine at the right temperature. 

Universal wine glasses are designed to enjoy white and red wines, offering the best of two worlds. Of course, these wine glasses are also suitable for enjoying rosé and even sparkling wine—that’s what makes them universal. 

How Do Universal Wine Glasses Differ From the Rest?

Universal wine glasses are not too large or too small. And the size matters, as does the volume capacity. These are the best universal wine glasses and their sizes.

  • Zalto’s Denk-Art Universal glass, for example, has a volume of 530 ml and a glass height of 235mm.
  • Grassl Versatile, one of the most reliable universal wine glasses on the market, has a volume of 420 ml and a 214 mm height. 
  • Gabriel Glas StandArt wine glass has a similar capacity and a height of 230mm. 

As you see, although universal wine glasses vary, they all share traits, most importantly size and volume. Universal wine glasses differ from the rest by being right in the middle between a standard white wine glass and a red wine glass

What to Look for in Universal Wine Glasses?

Material. 

Wine glasses made with glass are often thick and heavy. Look for crystal or lead-free crystal wine glasses instead.

Craftsmanship. 

Hand-blown wine glasses are of the highest quality, and although they’re more expensive than factory-made glasses, they’re worth it. You’ll be using your universal wine glass often, so make sure it’s high quality.

Mouth Opening. 

The mouth opening in a universal wine glass should be between 5.4 and 6.2 centimeters, right between standard white and red wine glasses. 

Balance. 

Thin stems and bases, along with appropriately shaped bowls, give wine glasses their balance. You want your universal wine glass to be light but resistant — it should handle well on casual and formal occasions. 

Types of Universal Wine Glasses

Although universal wine glasses are meant to substitute for other glasses, there are ways to categorize the most common universal wine glasses. Here are the types of universal wine glasses commonly used in the wine world. 

Restaurant wine glasses. 

Most restaurants can’t afford to have different wine glasses for all their guests. So universal wine glasses are typical for regular wine service. These wine glasses might be made of glass or crystal, but they’re rarely mouth-blown. Riedel Restaurant is an excellent example of this category.

Stemless wine glasses. 

Stemless wine glasses make for excellent universal glasses, and they’re best suited for casual occasions. These vary in quality, but they’re often on the inexpensive side.

Fine universal wine glasses. 

Committed stemware producers make the most delicate universal wine glasses, and these are not an afterthought. Grassl, Zalto, Gabriel Glass, Riedel, and Josephine are good examples of the category.

How to Choose a Universal Wine Glass?

When purchasing a universal wine glass, consider your needs. Are you a red wine drinker, or do you drink primarily white? Smaller glasses are best suited for white wine drinkers, while a larger Bordeaux-style glass could be a great universal glass for avid red wine lovers. 

You also want to consider your universal wine glasses as part of your stemware collection. These probably won’t substitute larger red wine glasses, but your universal wine glass can also be your go-to glass for white wines. Allowing you to have fewer wine glasses while still covering all your needs.

Finally, consider the esthetics. Of course, looks are not the most important thing, but they matter. Follow your heart and find the proper glassware for you. 

Best Universal Wine Glasses Online

If you’re looking for universal wine glasses, you’ll find a wide selection of high-quality stemware online. Shop now and make wine enjoyment more manageable.

The right universal wine glass will undoubtedly enhance your wine tasting experience while keeping your stemware collection manageable. Compare before you buy and look for the right wine glass for you. After all, not all universal glasses are alike.

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