Decorated wine glasses can have designs that range from bright and bold to something as simple and elegant as engraved initials. Wine experts usually contend that the sizes of the bowl and the opening affect the taste of the wine. The decoration on the outside of the glass may not change the taste, but serious wine hobbyists usually believe it can be a con, as they contend it alters the drinker's enjoyment. Each person's relationship with wine typically affects whether or not glasses with decorations are desirable. The pros and cons of using decorated wine glasses include factors such as cost, appearance, and overall enjoyment of the wine drinking experience.
People who are serious about wine usually avoid decorated wine glasses. Many experts believe that using anything but plain, clear wine glasses takes away from the drinker's appreciation of the beverage. Color is generally considered an important part of the experience. Decorated or opaque wine glasses are often considered a con when it comes to enjoying the appearance and overall wine quality.
Another con of using decorated wine glasses is the higher cost. While not all decorated glasses will cost more, many do. Larger and more detailed designs will usually cost more than smaller designs with fewer colors. Engraving or designs chemically etched into the surface can also be more expensive, particularly for design details such as custom messages or monograms.
The scope of the design can be a pro or a con on wine glasses. Using wine glasses with designs in certain colors might be more appropriate for some holidays or special occasions than others. Painted wine glasses with Christmas motifs, for instance, may only get used during the holidays. Choosing wine glasses with more neutral designs can help overcome this drawback.
Decorated wine glasses also have some pros to keep in mind. Someone who wants variety or glasses that fit a certain theme should be able to find many different wine glass designs that will work. Holidays, birthdays, anniversaries, and other special occasions are usually represented well on all types of glassware, including stemware. Those who enjoy the occasion more than the wine may find the decorations a definite pro because they can add to the festive atmosphere.
Choosing wine glasses as a gift can be made easier by choosing decorated wine glasses as well. Even if the gift recipient generally prefers clear wine glasses, a fancy set for a special occasion can make a memorable gift. Many people even paint wine glasses as a hobby or craft project for their own homes or to give away. Those who prefer undecorated glasses may overcome the drawback of designs being a distraction by opting for small motifs rather than large patterns that encircle the glass.