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What Are the Pros and Cons of Using Oversized Wine Glasses?

Lainie Petersen
Lainie Petersen

There are both pros and cons in using oversized wine glasses. One significant consideration is that of aesthetics, as there are some situations in which an oversized wine glass can add significantly to the beauty of a table setting, but may also be inappropriate if not well matched with other tableware. Oversized wine glasses may also be more expensive than their smaller counterparts. For wine lovers, however, an oversized wine glass can greatly enhance the appreciation of wine, as it permits a significant amount of air in the glass, increasing the wine's oxidation and enhancing its flavors. On the other hand, the large glass can make it difficult for party hosts and wine drinkers to properly judge the amount of wine served.

Oversized wine glasses can have a very elegant appearance and may look beautiful in both formal and informal table settings. The only drawback to oversized wine glasses may be that, if other glassware owned by a household or restaurant is rather small, there may be a discontinuity in the appearance of the place settings. Another thing to consider is that large wine glasses may cost more than standard size glasses, which can be a significant expense for many people. Restaurants in particular, which may experience a high level of breakage, may not find the large glasses to be a cost-effective option.

Sparkling wine in an oversized wine glass.
Sparkling wine in an oversized wine glass.

Many wine lovers appreciate oversized wine glasses, as they feel that the large bowl of the glass allows the wine to be exposed to oxygen, which can significantly improve its flavor. The large space provided by the glass also allows an appreciator of fine wine the opportunity to properly appreciate the nose, or scent, of the wine, as the walls of the glass contain and concentrate the wine's fragrance. Many wineries and high-end wine bars serve their wine in oversized glasses for just this reason.

A significant disadvantage to oversized wine glasses is that it can be very difficult for individuals to correctly estimate the amount of wine being sold and consumed, as even several ounces of wine may look like a very small serving in huge wine glasses. In a restaurant or wine bar, this could lead to customer ill will if a customer believes that he isn't getting enough wine in his glass. Some oversized wine glasses, when filled, can hold up to three quarters of a bottle of wine or more. On a more serious note, a wine drinker could end up drinking more wine than he planned, because he misjudged the amount of wine in his glass.

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    • Sparkling wine in an oversized wine glass.
      By: Comugnero Silvana
      Sparkling wine in an oversized wine glass.