The best pinot noir glass
In order to effectively enjoy the aromas, tastes, flavors, and nuances of a fine wine, you need the proper glass to complement it. Shape, size, and design all influence how a glass enhances -- or diminishes -- the qualities of any given bottle. For those who enjoy pinot noir, there's a glass for it.
Our buying guide explains the characteristics of pinot noir and how they may be affected by the design of the glass you choose. At the end, you'll find a few reviews of some of our favorites for your consideration, including our top pick from industry leader Riedel.
Considerations when choosing pinot noir glasses
Pinot noir profile
Pinot noir is a popular light-bodied red wine (although sometimes it can be closer to medium-bodied). It boasts a medium to high level of acidity and low tannins, which means less bitterness than the most popular red, cabernet sauvignon. Typical pinot noir features red fruit flavors and may include some earthy notes, like mushroom, hibiscus, or clove. Pinot noir is made all around the world.
What is a pinot noir glass?
The proper pinot noir glass is the aroma collector or Burgundy glass. It features a wide, often short bowl with a narrow rim, similar to a snifter. That's because this glass is perfect for trapping aromas, something for which pinot noir is known. These glasses may or may not have a stem and the bowl may be round or angular, but the rim is always narrower than the bowl.
Pinot noir glasses are usually shorter than other wine glasses, which makes them a little bit easier to store. However, while height may not be an issue, their width can be. If cupboard space isn't adequate or safe, consider a bar cart or a wine rack that offers glassware storage.
Wine glasses are almost always sold in pairs, with up to eight in a set. Think about how many people may be enjoying pinot noir at a given time and whether you want any backups as breakage does happen. Keep storage considerations in mind, as well as how many other wine glasses you may have for different varietals.
Stem vs. stemless
The decision to purchase stemmed or stemless pinot noir glasses comes down to personal preference, as it has little to no effect on the taste or smell. Stemmed glasses may be more elegant and traditional, but stemless options are less prone to breakage and easier to hold. Still, stemless glasses may easily get dirty from fingerprints and are not right for chilled wines, as your hand heats up the wine within. Note that pinot noir may be slightly chilled, so don't hold the glass in your hand for too long.
Pinot noir glasses cost around $12 to $15 each, but they're sold in pairs. You can find a quality set of two for around $30 or a decent set of four for around $50.
Q. How else can I enhance the pinot noir I'm drinking?
A. Some pinot noir may need to be decanted first and aerated before it's suitable to drink. Swirling wine in your glass helps it breathe, too. When pouring, fill the glass to the widest part of the bowl -- it leaves substantial space to the rim where the aromas can collect. Most pinot noir is best served around 55°F.
Q. How do I wash pinot noir glasses?
A. Most wine glasses are quite delicate, so it's best to gently wash by hand, although stemless glasses are safer to clean in a dishwasher. Carefully wash with soap and warm water; dry and polish immediately to avoid residue or fingerprints. If using a dishwasher, make sure the glasses can't move around within.
Pinot noir glasses we recommend
Best of the best: Riedel's Vinum Pinot Noir Glasses
Our take: Expertly crafted pair of crystal pinot noir glasses.
What we like: Designed to enhance aromas and embrace the sweetness and acidity of pinot noir. Suitable for some medium- and full-bodied reds as well.
What we dislike: Glasses are tall, wide. Only a pair for the price.
Best bang for your buck: Schott Zwiesel's Tritan Crystal Red Burgundy Wine Glass Set
Our take: Sturdy pinot noir tumblers from a trusted name in glassware.
What we like: Lead-free crystal glassware that resists breakage, chipping, and scratching. Balanced and comfortable in the hand. Dishwasher-safe.
What we dislike: Some may not like the modern, geometric design.
Our take: Elegant, modern, and durable set of six glasses made in Italy.
What we like: This beautiful set of pinot noir glasses are well-made and resist chipping, fading, and even fingerprints. Dishwasher-safe.
What we dislike: Better suited for fruitier New World pinot noir.
Anthony Marcusa is a writer for BestReviews. BestReviews is a product review company with a singular mission: to help simplify your purchasing decisions and save you time and money. BestReviews never accepts free products from manufacturers and purchases every product it reviews with its own funds.
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