Wine Glasses for Wine Flavor are the Please The Palate Pick of the Week

With all the wine drinking we do at home, having a good set of wine glasses is a must. But there are so many glasses to choose from. You can go for an all purpose tasting glass or you can buy a glass specific to every type of wine. It is believed that grape varietal specific stemware will deliver the quality and intensity of the wine’s aroma while highlighting the mouthfeel and creating balance in the flavors and finish. If you drink a variety of different wines, like I do, it seems too complicated and too much space is required to have a glass (or a pair or set of glasses) for each grape variety. Now, thanks to the new Flavor First™ line of glassware from Karen MacNeil and The Oneida® Group, you only need three glasses. Each glass corresponds to three key styles of wine: Crisp & Fresh™, Creamy & Silky™ and Bold & Powerful™ and that is why the Flavor First™ line of glassware is the Please The Palate pick of the week.


I have quite a few wine glasses at home. I have many branded glasses from wine events I have attended. I also have a random assortment of crystal glassware from a variety of companies, Bottega del Vino, Riedel, Schott Zwiesel, and Zalto. I have a few different glasses for Champagne and sparkling wine, ranging from a coup to a tulip to a flute. I have all-purpose glasses that I use for white or red. I have red wine glasses, some for Pinot Noir and others for Cabernet Sauvignon. And then I have a set of glasses for Nero d’Avola (random, I know). But, should I not have a glass for Sauvignon Blanc and one for Chardonnay and one for Zinfandel and one for Syrah?

Award-winning author, journalist, wine educator and consultant Karen MacNeil, author of The Wine Bible, tastes thousands of wines and teaches about wine. What she observed was how people talk about wine. Most people describe wine by the flavor, or mouthfeel. They use terms like “crisp and fresh”, “creamy”, “bold red” and as a result she decided to design wine glasses around flavor, and not around grape varieties or wine regions.

MacNeil partnered with The Oneida® Group, a producer since 1880 of fine table and kitchenware to homes and restaurants worldwide, to create a set of three glasses that take the overthinking out when selecting glassware. She looked at 35 major grape varieties and realized that the glass diameter at the widest part of the glass had the greatest impact on the expression of the wines. She explained, “oxygen has a profound effect on wine. For each of our three glasses, the widest part of the glass is at a different position.”

There are three glasses in the Flavor First line of glassware.

The Crisp & Fresh™ wine glass is for Champagne, Prosecco, sparkling wine, Sauvignon Blanc, Riesling, and Pinot Grigio plus light rosés and all wines with a fresh, bright quality. It is designed so that the widest part of the glass is in close proximity to your nose, enhancing the perception of freshness and liveliness in wines. I enjoyed both Riesling and Sauvignon Blanc in my glasses and can attest that the aromatics really exploded out of the glass.

The Creamy & Silky™ wine glass is for Chardonnay, Chenin Blanc, Pinot Gris plus richer rosé wines and Pinot Noir, Chianti, Shiraz and all wines with a round, silky texture. The glasses’ classic egg shape (a dominant form in Nature) enhances the perception of harmonious creamy and silky flavors and textures. This glass shape offers a balanced amount of surface area in contact with oxygen and I enjoyed using this glass with an aged California Chardonnay and an Austrian Blaufränkisch.

The Bold & Powerful™ wine glass is for very full bodied, oaky Chardonnay, Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot, Bordeaux, Zinfandel, Malbec, Barolo, Syrah and all wines that feature a bold texture and firm structural backbone. With a low wide-point, this glass provides maximum wine surface area in contact with oxygen, helping to “open up” and soften powerful wines and allows ample headspace. These are the glasses I enjoyed my aged Barolo and Napa Cabernet Sauvignon in.

The Flavor First line of glassware is American designed and made in Germany from lead-free crystal and it is dishwasher safe. And best of all, it is affordable. A set of six includes: (2) Crisp & Fresh™ Wine Glasses, (2) Bold & Powerful™ Wine Glasses, (2) Creamy & Silky™ Wine Glasses and costs $74.99. The glasses are available at a number of retailers such as Amazon,, Macy’s, Dillard’s, (Canada) and are also available at and

No longer do you have to worry if you are using the correct glass based on the wine grape or wine region you are enjoying. You can select the best glass based on how the wine tastes.