How To Store Wine Glasses

How you store your glassware might be down to habit or simple be in response to the fit of your cabinetry but are you storing them correctly?

Quality storage is essential for keeping stemware in good shape. Storing them in a cupboard is fine if you store them upright. Putting them downwards will increase the risk of chipping.

Saving the cardboard boxes they came in and storing them in those are fine – when you are not using them. It is important to bear in mind however, that crystal glass might absorb some of the smell from the cardboard boxes and you don’t want that to contaminate your wine.

You could also opt for a plastic storage solution for wine glasses. Unlike cardboard boxes, plastic storage boxes are resistant to damage and won’t weaken over time. They are safe to lift and carry, without the risk of the box collapsing or falling apart.

stemware glass box



They also give you the ability to add or remove the number of dividers within each box, allowing you configure them to fit and secure any size glass.

The dividers also help prevent damage, keeping glasses apart without the need for bubble wrap.

See our Glassjack storage solutions for wine glasses. (Dishwasher safe).

Is It Better to Store Glasses Up Or Down?

There are good arguments to be made for both methods. Technically, the right way of storing wine glasses is the rim-side up.


If you store your glasses down, then you run the risk of damaging them where they are most delicate. Storing delicate crystal glasses upright will mean there is less weight on the rim and less risk of breakage.

The rim is the most fragile part of the glass, where chips or cracks are most likely to originate. No one wants drink shards.

how to store wine glasses

It’s is also a good idea to leave as much space between glasses as possible. Wine glass racks are perfect for this. A quality wine rack will not only display your wine glasses in a lovely way, it will also evenly space your glasses to prevent them damage. It’s also a pretty convenient place to dry them after a wash.

Everyday glasses may be fine either way, but you may find storing them upside-down may keep the inside just a little bit cleaner.

If you use and wash them regularly, dust won’t accumulate and if you dry the inside well, moisture won’t get trapped.

How Should You Wash Wine Glasses?

To avoid cloudy glasses, it is better to wash by hand. Use warm, soapy water (a mild detergent or baking soda will do) and a soft sponge to delicately scrub the rim of the glass.

If you scrub too hard then you will end up creating a rough surface which stains will develop more easily on. It can also make the glass dull.

If you use other cleaning methods, just make sure you dry the glasses immediately to prevent water spots.

Using a dishwasher? It may not be the best idea.

Firstly, delicate wine glasses are more likely to crack or break. Secondly, dish washers often leave a residue on the glasses which sometimes cannot be seen. This residue will not only affect the appearance of your glasses but can also affect the taste of wines.

If you’re still not backing out from using a dishwasher then make sure to space out the glasses so they do not clink with nearby plates or cups and use a delicate wash cycle.

Also, take heed of this quote:

“You don’t want to be drinking a rich burgundy that suddenly has high notes of lemon.”

How To Dry Wine Glasses

When it comes to drying your glasses, never use a twisting motion. This could cause a break, especially if you twist the bowl from the stem. Instead, try drying and polishing with a lint-free towel or a drying rack works just as well.

If you have crystal stemware, then you will want to use a fragrance-free detergent to keep the glass from absorbing the smells.

Not cleaning the glasses right away? Make sure there is water in the glasses, so they remain stain free.

Rotate Glasses

If you have a large collection of wine glasses, then it is a good idea to rotate them so you don’t end up re-using the same pieces all the time. Place freshly washed glasses at the back or the rack or cupboard and make sure you other stemware a turn.

Size Matters

Did you know that the size of the glass bowl can directly affect the taste of wine? Our noses play a key role in tasting wine and some wine glasses are better for capturing the aromas.

A wide bowl will increase the surface area of the wine, encouraging evaporation and contributing to the overall aroma. A narrower bowl is often suited to delicate varieties of wine because it causes a small amount of oxidation.


Having a stem on your glasses will prevent heat from your hands from transferring to the wine. A stemless wine glass or tumbler or purely less formal options.

Tapered Mouth

A tapered mouth on a glass will prevent spills whilst swirling and suspend the aroma. A flared mouth will instead, direct the flow of wine toward the front of your palate – important for highlighting rich flavours.

How To Store Wine Glasses

You will find that not even the best cleaning and storage will keep wine glasses in perfect condition. It’s always good to check glasses for dust or other contaminants before serving. Make sure you properly prepare any glass before drinking out of it.

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