The Best Glasses for Port & Dessert Wines!

Port Wine Glass

Distinguishing Features of a Port or Dessert Wine Glass

Smaller Capacity

You’ll notice that a port glass holds much less wine than a traditional wine glass.

They are often small narrow glasses, and that is because port wine is fortified, which means that it has around twice the alcohol content of traditional unfortified wine.

Tall, Narrow Bowl

The narrow bowl reduces aeration and forces the glass to be filled almost to the rim, leaving little space for the aromas to gather.

For other wines, this is the exact opposite of what you would want, but port and dessert wines are so strong and so high in alcohol content that you don’t want the aromas to gather in the bowl like a traditional wine.

The aromas coming off of the small surface area and immediately mixing with the clean air above the glass mellows and balances the bouquet so that it can be comfortably nosed without being overpowering.

Narrow Rim

The narrow rim goes back to the high alcohol content of port and dessert wines.

The narrow rim lowers the surface area and ensures that the glass does not collect aromas; otherwise, it would surely overpower the senses when nosed.


Best Glass for a Port Wine

Riedel Vinum Port Glass

The Riedel Vinum Port is exactly what you would think of when you imagine a traditional port glass. They are machine-blown from leaded crystal.

It has a small stem so that you don’t have to warm the wine with your hand. A thin, tall bowl with just a slight narrowing at the rim. A small amount of space for the aroma to develop without overpowering you and a razor-thin lip that delivers the wine evenly over your tongue.

These glasses were picked as the ideal shape when used through multiple blind taste tests by some of the world’s greatest port wine experts. And they would fit well into the home of any true lover of port wines.

Best for Sherry

Schott Zwiesel Tritan Crystal Sherry Glass

The Schott Zwiesel Tritan Crystal Sherry Glass is the perfect glass for any Sherry. Although most people think of a sweet dessert wine when they think of sherry, there are plenty of variations that are quite dry and make a nice aperitif, or pre-dinner drink that stimulates the appetite.

No matter what sherry you love most, you can expect this glass to handle it well and balance the flavors and aromas to compliment the wine.

These glasses are made of patented Tritan Crystal, made of titanium and zirconium oxide. Making them almost twice as strong as traditional crystal.

They can handle spills and bumps and can go in the dishwasher without fear of clouding or etching. They are incredible glasses in aesthetics, durability, and functionality.

Best for Sauternes

Zalto Denk'Art Sweet Wine Glass

The Zalto Denk’Art Sweet Wine Glass is an incredible glass for all sweet wines but seemed to really excel when used while enjoying a sauternes.

This is an expensive glass, but Sauternes are a costly wine, and if you are searching for a glass that will truly bring out the best in a bottle of sweet wine, then you should take the plunge and get this one.

Zalto has gained a cult-like following over the years, and it is because they are known for producing exceptionally high-quality glasses that perform, and you’ll find that this glass holds true to that mantra.

Best Set

Stolzle Specialty Port Wine Glass

The Stolzle Specialty Port Wine Glass is made from hand-blown lead-free crystal and comes in a surprisingly affordable set of six glasses.

With beautiful contours in the body and a flared rim that focuses the aroma of sweet wines and allows the wine’s full complexity to be brought forward.

Stolzle created this design for sweet wine connoisseurs and had it expertly crafted to pull out the sweet fruity notes while dampening the ethanol vapors.

This glass is easy to hold with its long thin stem, and the flared rim makes it easy to drink from. This glass has definitely become one of my favorites.

Best Port Wine Sipper

Port Sipper

This is the Fox Run Port Sipper, and it is a very unique glass. The idea behind this shape is to allow your hand to warm the bowl as you hold it, and then you drink from the little tail like a straw.

You do this so that you’re drinking the port at the bottom of the glass that has been warmed by your hand and has yet to be oxidized like the wine at the top of the glass. This is said to increase the natural full flavor of the port.

This is the traditional way of drinking port and other sweet wines since the 1700s, except back then, the glasses looked more like a smoking pipe, and they were traditionally made of ceramic!

These Fox run port sippers come in a set of 4, and they are hand blown very thin so that your hand can easily transfer warmth, but they are made of borosilicate glass so that they remain durable.

Although due to their small size and thin walls, they are hand wash only.