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Most people have preconceived thoughts about port. Namely that the fortified wine, which has been produced in the picturesque Duoro Valley since the 17th century, is enjoyed exclusively by elderly Europeans. But, the sweet and sticky digestif has recently experienced a renaissance of sorts. What was once considered to be an old-timey tipple has become the after-dinner drink of choice for modern-day movers and shakers.
To get into port, you only need two things: a top-shelf vintage—perhaps a premium tawny—and a pair of dedicated port glasses. Ostensibly a shrunken wine glass, a port glass is specifically designed to showcase the complex flavors of the prized digestif. They feature a small bowl and narrow rim to concentrate the port’s bouquet and feel intrinsically decadent in your hand. The sipper is usually stemmed to prevent your coveted drop from being affected by the heat of your hand and hold a standard pour of port (roughly 3 ounces).
Here, we’ve selected the best sets of port glasses to add to your stemware collection.
Riedel Bar Vinum Crystal Port Wine Glass
Riedel is the poster child of premium stemware. For 300 years, the family-owned Austrian outfit has been delivering world-class glasses, such as this four-piece set. Crafted from the finest crystal, these port glasses are finished to an extremely high standard. Measuring 6.5 inches high, each glass has a generous capacity of 8.5 ounces. This means in addition to port, they can also hold a standard pour of regular, unfortified wine (roughly 5 ounces). Thanks to their generous bowl, you can get a good swirl going and really enhance the characteristics of your chosen vino.
Orrefors More Spirits Glasses
Swedish label Orrefors is has been creating elegant glasses for more than a century, all of them finely crafted by a team of glassblowers, cutters and designers. The brand is meticulous, paying close attention to proportions and scale so as to offer the styles that encase flavors, while also looking good in your hand. Prime example: this four-piece set.
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Lalique 100 Points Glass
Considered to be one of the foremost artistic minds of the Art Nouveau movement of the early 20th century, René Lalique truly capitalized on the leading trend of his era. It was time when compositions replaced geometric symmetry for decorative design elements intended to mirror abstract curves found in nature. And when it comes to port glasses, we know that it’s about grading on a curve.
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Waterford Connoisseur Olann Glasses
When Waterford was founded a little under a century ago, the company quickly established itself as one of the best makers of cut glass, the kinds of decorative designs that really make an impact. Today, the brand has a number of excellent collections under its banner—including Marquis, Elegance and Lismore—that live up to its legacy. But the line that really raises the bar is Connoisseur, evidenced by this beautiful set of port glasses.
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Georg Jensen Crystal Wine Glasses
Georg Jensen is primarily known for its silverware, all of which eschew decorative flourishes, instead focusing on exquisitely streamlined silhouettes. It should come as a surprise, then, that the brand’s crystal stemware, particularly these port glasses, share the same characteristics.
Stolzle Crystal Port Wine Glasses
Somewhat of an outlier on this list, Stolzle’s port glasses are the only ones to feature a tapered rim. This not only makes for a striking stylistic feature, but it also helps to concentrate the complex aromas of your chosen tipple and allows you to enjoy it more fully. Made in Germany, each glass in the set of six measures 6.75 inches tall and can hold 3.5 ounces of port, fernet, schnapps and more. The glasses are also crafted from premium lead-free crystal that looks as good as it feels in the hand.
Schott Zwiesel Port Wine Glasses
Schott Zwiesel’s six-piece set is sure to please even the most exacting port connoisseurs. The glasses were designed by master Portuguese architect Alvaro Siza then authorized by the Port Wine Institute (IVDP), and promise a truly authentic sipping experience. Measuring 6.6 inches tall by 2.8 inches wide, each glass can hold 7.7 ounces and features a quadrilateral stem with a special dimple to encourage a proper grip. Furthermore, they’re crafted from patented Tritan crystal glass. A blend of Titanium oxide and zirconium oxide, this material is both thermal shock and breakage resistant, and will seldom chip or scratch. Since you get six glasses in a set, you can cater to a whole port party.
Royal Scot Crystal Port Glasses
Designed for port enthusiasts who appreciate the finer things, Royal Scot’s two-piece set is nothing short of luxurious. Unlike the rest of the designs on this list, these fine crystal glasses feature a striking hand-cut design of fans and diamonds that was inspired by the Highlands of Scotland. Measuring roughly 4 inches tall, each glass has a 3.5-ounce capacity and a narrow rim to bring your port’s fine flavors and aromas to the fore. On top of that, the set comes housed in a midnight blue satin-lined box and makes for a thoughtful gift.
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