Whether you need them for your clumsy friend that always seems to drop and break something or if you are the clumsy one, having a set of cheap wine glasses around is always a good idea.
Cheap is a Relative Term
For some people, their cheap wine glasses are the ones they bought on sale from Riedel, the quintessential wine glass company. These are the glasses which wine connoisseur Robert Parker states are "The finest glasses for both technical and hedonistic purposes are those made by Riedel. The effect of these glasses on fine wine is profound. I cannot emphasize enough what a difference they make." The price range on Riedel's fine stemware varies from about $40 for a set of four Cabernet Glasses (found on the Wine Enthusiast's website) to over $500 for a set of eight. $10 a glass for Riedel stemware is cheap, but not cheap enough to trust them in the hands of your clumsy friend.
On the other hand, plastic wine glasses from your local 99-cent store is probably a little too cheap. Not only that, you probably stopped drinking beverages out of a plastic cup at about age four. There are some very fine cheap wine glasses that are in between the Riedel glasses and the 99-cent store that won't break the bank and won't make you feel like you should be sitting at the kid's table at your next dinner party.
What to Look For
There are a few things you need to look out for when perusing your local department stores, markets and wine merchants for low-priced wine glasses.
- Heft - You want to make sure that the wine glasses you choose have a little "heft" to them. This means that you should, if you can, take the wine glass out of the box and hold it in your hand. It shouldn't feel light as a feather and the lip of the glass should not be paper-thin. These thin glasses will break if they are accidentally knocked over.
- Malformations - Forgo the wine glasses, no matter how good a deal, if you find they have either indentations in the bowl or air bubbles in the bowl or stem. These areas of the glass are weak, making the glass easily breakable.
Where to Find Cheap Wine Glasses
Choosing which type of glasses to purchase if you strictly drink red or strictly drink white wine is obvious. If you drink both, purchase the all-purpose Bordeaux glass, which is suitable for both red and white wines.
- Wal-Mart - Find a set of four stemless white wine glasses at this retail giant for under $10.
- Crate & Barrel - Buy your stemless red or white wine glasses for the low price of around $2 each. Crate & Barrel also offers traditional red and white wine glasses that range in price from $2 a piece to around $8 a piece. Even if you go for the pricier $8 a piece, you are still only paying $32 for a set of four glasses.
- Target - Both sets of red and white stemless wine glasses go for $20 for a set of four. You may want to opt for going to your local target to check these out before you buy them because one reviewer stated that they were a bit thinner than expected. Target also has a set of Luigi Bormioli "all-purpose" wine glasses (suitable for both red and white). A set of four goes for about $20.
- Overstock - This online company offers a set of eight crystal stemless wine glasses for $35. Another good bargain is their set of 12 Libbey 18.25-oz "Balloon" wine glasses for $54. That averages out to only $4.50 per glass.
Again, Cheap is a Relative Term
For just about any purchase you make, wine glasses included, cheap is a relative term. Think of it this way, if you purchase a set of ultra-cheap wine glasses and find that you are constantly replacing them because they are always breaking, the cost of those continual replacement glasses begins to add up. This makes the overall cost of your "cheap" glasses relatively expensive over time. So, keep this in mind when you are searching for inexpensive wine glasses.