There are two ways to approach great wine and cocktail glassware. The first is to pay close attention to the materials, volume, and curves that influence how we experience taste. The second is to simply judge by looks—the sexier the vessel the better. For the purposes of identifying the best unique wine glasses you can buy right now, we’ve taken both approaches into consideration (though, admittedly, the sexy component weighed heavier).
The collectible-worthy vessels ahead are critic-approved, beautifully crafted, and almost always come with a story. Whether they’re hand blown in Brooklyn, sustainably sourced, or inspired by vintage Japanese glassware, the following finds make any cocktail they carry all the more delicious.
This one’s for the aesthetes. Cheers!
Featured image by Michelle Nash.
11 Unique Wine Glasses to Elevate Any Cocktail Hour
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There’s little that gets us more excited to drink our favorite beverage–be it wine, kombucha, or a spritz-y mocktail—than a great glass. These Guatemalan-made, recycled glass goblets are perfect for whatever evening drink is on tap. They’re elevated while still lending a relaxed feel to the table. And though their gorgeous, wabi-sabi quality may seem delicate, these are some of the most durable, unique wine glasses we’ve found.
Founded in 2012 by French-born, Sydney-based Elise Pioch Balzac, this playful brand of candles and glassware elevates everyday staples with a fashionable bent. (It makes sense, Balzac worked at Hermès before launching her brand.)
Known by many simply as “the bee glasses,” the centuries-old French glassware brand’s best-selling collection sports the iconic Napoleonic symbol and is blessedly dishwasher-safe.
Estelle Colored Glasses
Stephanie Summerson Hall’s tabletop jewels (inspired by the antique treasure hunts her grandmother, Estelle, would take her on in South Carolina) come in an array of gemstone colors and are hand-blown by Polish glass artists.
Mamo x Coming Soon NYC
Coming Soon NYC—both the Manhattan brick-and-mortar and digital store—is a treasure trove of contemporary, design-minded brands, but they do occasionally do exclusives, like this color block collaboration with Mamo.
Italian-based R+D Lab works with artisans and small traditional manufacturers to create ethical glassware informed by architecture, art, and fashion. Below, a collaboration with artist Alice Gao is crafted with jade green Borosilicate glass.
Here’s a fun Fortessa story for you. I once watched a neighborhood garage sale group on Facebook practically crash Nordstrom’s website when an error caused the brand’s colorful, beaded highball glasses to be listed for about a dollar each. Nordstrom canceled the orders (much to my despair), but I’ll never forget the fervor these eye-catching glasses got. They’re absolutely worth the full price.
We’d be remiss in not giving a shout-out to these wabi-sabi beauties from Casa Zuma, Camille Styles’ new line of artisan-made, nature-inspired homewares. Crafted with locally sourced recycled glass in Oaxaca, Casa Zuma has the best stemless wine glasses sized for both water and wine (or even a votive candle—they do it all).
Founded by two female glass artists in Melbourne, Australia in 2019, the HotHaus studio produces delicate home goods inspired by nature and imbued with gorgeous pops of color.
Here’s a glassware-as-art endorsement for you: the Danish-inspired brand is carried at the MoMA Design Store. Hay works with talented designers around the world to craft architectural, worldly pieces, including these delicate, softly tinted glasses.
Sophie Lou Jacobsen
The French-American designer crafts distinctive collectibles that also happen to function beautifully throughout your home. And though Jacobson offers lighting, vases, and even natural linen napkins, unique glassware is her most iconic output.
This post was originally published on January 27, 2023, and has since been updated.