What Are the Pros and Cons of Colored Wine Glasses?

Marco Sumayao
Marco Sumayao

Most people who use colored wine glasses prefer them for aesthetic purposes, the most significant advantage to the glasses being that their hues add decorative touches to the dining occasion. The coloration also makes the glasses easier to tell apart from each other, which is a major benefit in affairs hosting many people. Most wine aficionados, however, frown upon the use of colored wine glasses, as they obscure vision of the wine itself — studying the wine's appearance is a major part of its appreciation. Another con to the glasses is that the colors might prove harder to coordinate with the rest of the decor as compared to clear glasses. Colored wine glasses also tend to be more expensive than their transparent counterparts if the material used to make both glasses is the same.

The biggest advantage there is to using colored wine glasses is that they add vibrancy to an affair's decor. Translucent, frosted, or opaque wine glasses add character to the dining table and can be matched to a party's theme if needed. If the glasses come in an assortment of different colors, it also becomes much easier to differentiate one diner's glass from another's, preventing situations in which guests drink out of the wrong glasses.

The coloration, however, also prevents diners from seeing the wine's full appearance, making the glasses poor choices for wine appreciation. Examining the wine's color and clarity is one of the major steps to wine tasting, with both qualities generally obscured by colored wine glasses. The wine's appearance can indicate many characteristics, such as the types of grapes used to create the wine, the sugar and alcohol levels, and even its age. Transparent glasses are usually preferred in this step, as the glasses are typically held up to the light to give tasters a better view of the contents. This allows tasters to anticipate both the wine's scent and flavor and enriches the overall tasting experience.

Another disadvantage to colored wine glasses is that the tinting of the material often leads to higher production costs, making the glasses more expensive than clear ones if materials are held constant. Many individuals find that the coloration is often not worth the extra expense, especially since it takes away from the tasting experience. One of the pros to colored wine glasses, the easy differentiation between drinkers' glasses, is even simply corrected with the use of inexpensive wine charms. These items are simple tags with unique designs hung around the base of each glass, allowing for easy identification between glasses.

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