Stem vs. Stemless Debate

October 24, 2023

Another contested debate in the Zawada house….

April (Pro Stem Wine Glasses)

Pros:  For the best wine experience, a stemmed glass is, in my opinion, preferred over a stemless glass.  First and foremost, stems prevent the wine drinker’s hands from warming the temperature of the wine (assuming it is served at the proper temperature).  The stem allows one to drink the wine at the optimal temperature to get the most out of the flavor profile.  Secondly, it is easier and more effective to swirl a glass of wine from a stem.  Personally, I have short fingers and it is very difficult to grasp a red wine stemless glass at the widest part of the bowl.  I have either dropped or over-swirled and spilled a few throughout my life because of these reasons…

Stems also prevent fingerprints on the bowl of the wine glass.  A symbol of class, elegance, and etiquette.

There is always the understanding that the glass of wine will fit the space and price point.  How often do you see a restaurant serve a $8 bottle of wine in a stemmed glass?  My guess is not that often, if ever. 

Lastly, I would be remiss if I didn’t say that “clinking” the glass is just not the same if you didn’t use a stem!

Cons:  Stemless glasses are less apt to being accidentally tipped over and breaking and can be placed in the dishwasher easier.  They are less formal and convey a message like “just drink the wine and enjoy yourselves”.

Conclusion:  It all depends on what you’re looking for from the wine experience; however, if you are spending $$$ on drinking wine in the first place chances are you want to get the most out of the experience!

Brian (Pro stemless)

Perhaps instead of “pro stemless” it might be better to say, I’m “pro situational”! 

And I will also say that April wrote down her opinion before me and I think she made a strong argument, so I’m partially sold!  😊

With that said…

Pros:  Much easier to wash (dishwasher) and far less likely to be tipped over (especially after a few glasses of said wine!).  They are also – typically – far less expensive. 

If I’m at home having a glass of wine in a super-informal setting, this is my vessel of choice! And for the casual wine drinker, especially at home, I suspect there’s some agreement with my perspective here. 

Cons: I do agree with April on her pros, especially in a more formal setting – nice dinner or wine tasting/event.  The temperature aspect of her argument is solid too and does affect the wine experience. 

Conclusion: I’m pro situational but absent a more formal setting, stemless is my default!

Stem vs Stemless
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