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SPY Guide: The Proper Glasses To Use For Serving Any Type of Drink

* Because a quality drink deserves a quality glass
* Here are some sommelier and mixologist-approved glasses
* Choices for champagne, red wines, white wines, beer and liquor

While there was a time when many of us used to use the same red solo cups for every type of drink from whiskey on the rocks to PBR and even red wine, that time was called “sophomore year,” and many of its habits become regrettable further into adulthood.

Serve drinks like an adult this summer, or at least like a graduate, by knowing the proper type of glass for each drink. Connoisseurs will tell you why it’s a faux pas to mix this up at your mixer. Know the difference between a red wine glass and a champagne flute, and what exactly a “tumbler” really is.

1. Champagne Flutes

When it comes to Champagne, the glass should match the occasion. Champagne flutes aren’t just tall and skinny for looks; their shape helps preserve the sparkling wine’s effervescence and flavor. A proper set of flutes will help ensure your next Champagne brunch doesn’t fall flat.


2. Stemless Flutes

The proper glasses for sparkling wines and Champagne at a party, outdoor function or reception, these stemless flutes are fully recyclable, BPA-free and shatterproof, allowing for a rare mix of unimpeachable presentability and easy clean-up.


3. Red Wine Glasses

Developed over the course of literally millennia, the shape of the wine glass is meant to let your red wine get just the right amount of exposure to the air relative to the volume you’ve poured. These lead-free glasses are made in Germany and hold the traditional 23.8 ounces of wine. But of course you wouldn’t fill it to the brim — you’re not a barbarian.

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4. Stemless Red Wine Glasses

A perfectly acceptable alternative, especially for parties and receptions, the stemless red wine glass is a little smaller, but retains the time-tested curvature, assuring proper aeration indoors and out.


5. White Wine Glasses

Wine connoisseurs and sommeliers will tell you that the profile of a wine glass is shaped according to the flavor profile of the wine. White wine glasses are slightly slimmer, with a taller and less bulbous bowl, suited to the different decanting needs of white wine.



6. Beer Glasses

The shape of the beer glass or stein is important too; just as the glass’ shape influences the presentation of wine, so the beer glass should complement the beer’s flavor. This might mean a red cup is just right for the cheapest of cheap college party beer, but your smaller batch brews, IPAs and Belgians demand a more worthy vessel.


7. Whiskey/Scotch

If you’re going to serve whiskey cocktails like the classic Old Fashioned, make sure your presentation is up to par with these true old fashioned glasses. Crafted in Parma, Italy with thick, high quality glass, they preserve the drinks’ flavor and are a sophisticated addition for the home minibar.


8. Rocks Glasses and Cocktail Tumblers

This versatile set helps ensure you’ll never be caught in an embarrassing cup situation. It includes tall rocks glasses appropriate for vodka and gin cocktails, plus shorter tumblers with thick glass bases for a balanced, elegant feel.

The Ultimate SPY Guide to Drinking