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Nerdy Science in the Kitchen

What’s the Best Wine Glass for a Cabernet Sauvignon



As any wine-lover knows, the shape of the glass affects the character of the wine.
As any wine-lover knows, the shape of the glass affects the character of the wine.

If you are going to pay for a nice Cab, it pays to drink it from a nice glass. The science may be a little boring, what with the volatile esters, temperature fluctuations, and the swirling oenophiles spend years perfecting. But, the main idea is that a Cabernet, perhaps more than most wines, needs a little space to breathe and compose itself.

So, which glass will let you get the most out of your Cabernet Sauvignon? Check out my favorite at Amazon.

More is more when it comes to the choice of which glass to use when pouring your guests a fine Cabernet Sauvignon. Most of the wines these days—particularly the bold, high-alcohol Napa-style wines—need to relax in a decently-sized glass.

Let’s take a look at a few of the best wine glasses on the market today.

Best Wine Glass for Cabernet SauvignonWhy We Like It
1. Riedel airy, light glass is still affordable
2. Fusion interesting bowl shape and stem are break and crack resistant
3. Michley shatterproof plastic means this is unbreakable
4. Luigi Bormioli Crescendo break-resistant glass has a 25-year warranty
5. Nachtmann Vivendi large volume and height really airs out a Cab


Riedel has long been the “go to” glass when it comes to wine. Germans certainly have a “vorsprung durch technik” when it comes to manufacturing, and Riedel has been making stemware in Bohemia since 1756. Based in Kufstein in Austria, they offer countless styles, shapes, sizes, and accessories to improve your wine tasting experience.

Riedel Ouverture Red Wine Glasses, Set of 2

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I highly recommend the Riedel Ouverture Red Wine Glasses for a Cabernet Sauvignon. These make wonderful all-round glasses for other red wines, too. The Ouvertures have all the features that you’d expect from a nice Bordeaux-style wine glass, yet are affordably-priced.

With a big bowl to get sufficient air into even the tightest Cabs, this delicate glass offers a pleasant sipping experience. A thick, heavy glass is usually a sign of lesser quality, but the Riedels are satisfyingly airy and light.

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Wine Enthusiast Fusion Infinity Cabernet/Merlot Wine Glasses, Set of 4

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Fusions also make for excellent wine glasses, and are quite competitively-priced. Fusion might be newcomers to the scene, at least when compared to their Austrian rivals, but they have a huge and ever-increasing following. One of their selling points is that the glasses they produce are resistant to breaking and cracking.

I have used both brands extensively. I can tell you from experience that a Fusion glass is indeed less likely to break. I’ve seen them knocked over onto a marble countertop and survive unscathed. For a Cabernet, the Fusion Infinity Cabernet/Merlot Wine Glasses are ideal.

These glasses have all the features you’d expect from a Bordeaux-style, but are distinguished by the profile of the bowl. The unique shape makes the Fusion Infinity stand out from more traditional glasses.

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MICHLEY Unbreakable Red Wine Glasses, Tritan Plastic Shatterproof Wine Goblets 12.5 oz, Set of 4

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If you find yourself breaking glasses on a regular basis, you might want to go even stronger than the Fusions. They don’t come much tougher than the MICHLEY Unbreakable Wine Glasses. Made of Tritan plastic, these are THE glasses to get if safety is at the top of your priorities. Not only are they shatterproof, they’re also BPA- and EA-certified free.

While some may thumb their nose at plastic glassware, the reality is that sometimes you need something sturdy. If you are entertaining outside, but still want a nice Bordeaux-style glass for your Cabernet Sauvignon, these are perfect.

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Luigi Bormioli Crescendo 20-Ounce Bordeaux Wine Glasses, Set of 2

Luigi Bormioli Styles 20 oz Juicy Red Wine Glasses (Set Of 2), Clear

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This set of Bordeaux wine glasses is an awesome deal. They’re all 20 ounce glasses, made of a unique glass material that makes them extremely durable, break resistant, and crystal clear. The stem of these is also reinforced with titanium. The folks at Luigi Bormioli are so confident in the strength of their glasses, they put a 25 year warranty on it!

It’s guaranteed to stay chip and crack free, and completely clear (that is, free of any discoloration or cloudiness) for years to come. It’s also dishwasher safe, so yes, that lofty guarantee includes hundreds or thousands of wash cycles too. This is an affordable, durable buy.

Nachtmann Vivendi Bordeaux Glasses, Set of 4

Nachtmann Vivendi Bordeaux Glasses, Set of 4,25.75-Ounce - ,Clear

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One more awesome choice I want to share with you comes from Nachtmann Vivendi (which is actually owned by Riedel). This set of glasses is definitely large enough to air out your Cab. The glasses come in at a whopping 27 oz. volume, and a 10 inch height.

They’re made out of fine crystal, but they’re also dishwasher safe, which is a plus. The rim of these glasses seem to be responsible for the rave reviews this set gets online. It’s cut beautifully thin and sophisticated, and is also smooth and polished to perfection. The glasses also have a proportionally weighted base. This set of wine glasses is a beautiful, durable, affordable choice.


A decanter gives red wine the opportunity to open up, before it ever touches your glass!
A decanter gives red wine the opportunity to open up, before it ever touches your glass!

While we’re on the topic of Cabs, it’s worth considering getting yourself a nice decanter. Decanters allow Cabs to start opening up before they even get into your glass. While it’s true you don’t need to decant every wine, it’s equally true that nearly every wine will benefit from decanting. One of my favorites is the Amlong Crystal Lead Free Crystal Wine Decanter. This model is elegant, strong, and pours flawlessly.

Amlong Crystal Lead Free Crystal Wine Decanter, Red Wine Carafe, Wine Gift, Wine Accessories (58 oz), Large (No Stopper)

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“In wine, there’s truth”

The real takeaway here is that Cabernet needs a Bordeaux glass to truly show its depth, breadth, and complexity. A good glass is an investment. A $40 bottle of wine can taste like a $5 bottle if you drink it from a red plastic cup. Meanwhile, a $10 bottle of wine can pass for one twice the price if served in the correct glass.

Any of the models mentioned in this list will bring out the best in a Cabernet. Salut!

For more great information about wine products, check out this post on the best corks for vintners. You might also like this review on the ice machines perfect for any well-stocked home bar.

And, for sparkling wine, head on over here for great appetizers that pair well with Champagne! Then learn how to set out an attractive cheese board with this guide.

Do you brew your own beer? Learn which beer mugs are best for serving up a frosty brew.

Then check out what I found out about the best Thermos Flask on the market.

Image credit via Flickr Creative Commons: Andreas L. and Rod W.

Kitchen Professor author
About the Author: Bryce Heitman

Bryce is not a real professor, but he's real nerdy in the kitchen. He's been barbecuing, chopping, and generally blazing food for many decades. He thinks there's definitely a better spatula or utensil out there that hasn't been invented yet.

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