Wine lovers seek to understand and enjoy all things grape. And for antique and vintage wine and barware collectors, collecting the right glass for their favorite wine is equally important.

I have found that many wine lovers are quickly becoming wine glass or goblet collectors. Crystal glasses and wine glasses had fallen out of favor with millennials and other spirited drinkers who didn’t want to be presented with the chore of hand washing delicate crystal or storing glassware with every use.

But finding the perfect wine glass from bygone days is fast becoming a new and fun collecting trend.

Wine aficionados say that enjoying wine is as much about smelling it as it is about tasting it. So, your wine glass should be of a shape that allows both senses to work in unison. Here is some information about wine glass shape and its impact.

A wine glass in the shape of a balloon will allow the drinker to experience more aspects of a wine than a glass of a different shape. A small, narrow wine glass will keep wine cooler in the glass and help the drinker concentrate on the wine’s specific traits.

Because more people are regularly drinking easy-to-enjoy wines, such as Sauvignon Blanc, and light reds, such as Valpolicella, collectors are looking for smaller, crystal wine glasses from the 1940s-’50s, as well as larger, blown wine glasses from the early 1900s and the 1970s.

When it comes to bold red wines, just like flamboyant and fantastic Italian paintings, look for a wine glass with a large bowl. The large bowl allows the red wine to swirl around and make contact with the air, breaking down any bitter tannin taste.

This tradition of enjoying a big, hefty glass of red wine has resulted in new trends in the antiques world. Not only are wine lovers looking for appropriate glasses, but they are also seeking out antique and old-style furniture. Many wine lovers are buying freestanding wooden storage cabinetry for vintage wine glasses, barware, and collectible wine bottles.

Wine lovers are looking for sturdy glass stemware that can host a nice, big glass of Bordeaux, Burgundy, or Malbec. So bigger is better when it comes to a complex wine, which means wine glasses of traditional shapes and styles are all the rage now.

Antique collectors are looking to the shape of old glasses from the Renaissance and Baroque periods as models for the enjoyment of bold red wines.

Also, they are amassing collections of dainty, tapered-stemmed wine glasses in cut crystal or glass that recalls the glassware of the 18th century or French Rococo period. These are more suited to delicate white wines.

Why did we drink wine in a stemmed glass in the first place? A stem allows the heat from our hands to be transferred only to the stem and not to the area where the glass hosts the wine. So always hold your wine glass by the stem.

Stemless wine glasses are growing in popularity, yet there are fewer antique and vintage options of stemless wine glasses for collectors to collect. It isn’t as easy to find an antique stemless wine glass, but many people are drinking wines, dare I report, from non-traditional stemless wine glasses of various shapes, most of which date from the 1960s and 1970s.

When it comes to collecting trends, overall, social practices rule, and enjoying wine is no exception. When you are taking of the grape, remember the all-important wine glass shape.


Dr. Lori Verderame is a Ph.D. antiques appraiser, author, and award-winning TV personality who stars on History channel’s The Curse of Oak Island. Dr. Lori presents antique appraisal events to worldwide audiences and reviews objects online at or (888) 431-1010.

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