I never paid much attention to my wineglasses. For nearly 12 years I dragged the same stemware—a somewhat ornate set that had been given to me as a housewarming gift from my mom for my first apartment—from place to place. That’s until the last one broke a few months ago. I felt a pang of nostalgia, but I had been eyeing Zalto wineglasses for quite some time now.
Oenophiles tout them as the holy grail of the wine world: They’re so light! And graceful! And they are said to make wine taste better! The first time I held one at a NYC restaurant, it felt like lifting a delicate angel wing; the stem was so fine I was surprised it didn’t snap in my grip. The wine itself tasted just as heavenly. I desperately wanted my own—but was I grown-up enough to spend $60 a pop?
Reality sank in quickly: That comes to $720 for a set of 12. I wasn’t making the leap into fancy glassware anytime soon. They’d never survive a game night with my (clumsy) friends. They wouldn’t make it through a cycle in our micro-size dishwasher (and who has the discipline to wash drinkware by hand every single time?). Plus, I wouldn’t have the heart (or the wallet) to replace one if it shattered.
So I did the next best thing: scoured a ton of shops for similar—but affordable—alternatives. After a few hours of research, I landed on CB2’s Rona wineglasses. They clock in at $6 apiece—a 10th of the price! And while they don’t have the ultra-thin stem of a Zalto, they have the same allure: delicate, oversize, elegantly tapered. A pack of 10 cost me the same amount as a single glass if I had splurged. My favorite Sancerres and Barolos taste just fine, and best of all, I don’t hesitate to throw them in the dishwasher at the end of the night.
This story was originally published in January 2020 and has since been updated.