how to store wine glasses

Whether you prefer a rich Chateauneuf Du Pape or a crisp New Zealand sauvignon blanc, one thing is sure. All wines taste better with a good set of wine glasses. Fortunately, you don’t need to spend a fortune to get a good collection of glassware. However, unless you pay close attention to how to store wine glasses, you’ll risk serving out of an odd medley of different styles at your next dinner party after multiple breakages.

Are you running out of ideas on how to safely store these delicate items? Here’s how to keep your fine wine glasses in prime condition. 

Upside Down

The main debate on storing wine glasses boils down to upside down or right way up arguments. If you store your wine glasses upside down, they will remain internally dust and dirt-free, ready to be drunk out of at a moment’s notice.

It is recommended that you store inexpensive everyday glasses with thick rims this way, especially if they are being stored on a shelf or table. However, fine rimmed glasses are unsuitable for storage upside down as this will place the most fragile part on the bottom, increasing the likelihood of chipping or breakage. 

If you are going to store your wine glasses downward-facing, make sure that they are completely clean and fully dry before flipping them over. Otherwise, moisture may become trapped, which could lead to an unpleasant smell developing inside your glassware. 

Right Side Up

Wine glasses on the shelf

If you regularly use your wine glasses or are storing them inside a cupboard, you won’t risk a large amount of dust building up inside. However, you may still want to check them over closely and give them a quick rinse out if necessary. 

Fine rimmed, delicate crystal wine glasses should not be stored upside down. Placing them the right way up on a cupboard shelf is probably the best way to store fine glassware to ensure it remains protected, clean and in prime condition. You may also want to place your stemware on a lightly cushioned, shock-absorbing shelf liner. If you live in an earthquake-prone area, this could also help you to avoid breakages. 

If you are handwashing your stemmed glassware with soapy water and do not have the time to fully dry them out afterwards, it is recommended that you store them standing upwards to allow the moisture to escape fully. 

Wine Glass Racks

If you’re short on space or are looking for quirky storage for wine glasses, a free-standing rack makes a great option. Whether you store your wine glasses upwards or downward-facing on your shelves, they tend to take up an awful lot of shelving that could be used for storing dinnerware or other types of glassware. 

A wine glass rack allows you to optimise your glass storage while ensuring that your wine glasses remain free of dust without putting pressure on their delicate rims. However, while a wine rack may seem like an ideal solution for storing all of your wine glasses, we don’t recommend using hanging racks for expensive collections. It is very easy to break one when putting them onto the rack, or they could be hit by another glass or even curious pets or children.

hanging rack

Wall-mounted or under-cabinet mounted wine glass hanging racks are popular ways to make a design statement while freeing up small kitchen cabinets and cupboard storage space. They can also be used to store your other stemware, including champagne flutes, cocktail glasses and beer glasses, to save space on glass storage. 

In Their Own Box

Seldom used novelty wine glasses or very expensive versions may be better off stored in their original box or presentation case. This will free up storage space and also set your mind at rest, especially if you have a large collection and children or teenagers at home who frequently access your glassware cabinet space. 

If you no longer have the original box for your wine glasses or if you picked them up at an antique market, you may like to invest in some plastic or cardboard boxes specially designed for glass storage and transportation. 

If you store your wine glasses for the long term, make sure that you wrap them in protective packaging and ensure that the box is placed in a safe and stable location inside your house, where it is unlikely to fall or be roughly handled. 

Wash and Dry

Before storing your wine glasses, make sure that you have thoroughly washed and dried them. While inexpensive wine glasses will be fine in your dishwasher on a delicate wash cycle, crystal or finely detailed wine glasses should be hand washed only to reduce the risk of breakage. 

You can leave your wine glasses upright to air dry before storing them. However, this will likely result in water spots. Use a clean microfibre cloth to absorb all water traces and gently polish your glassware to perfection.


Make sure that you rotate your wine glasses often, regardless of how you store them. Once you have used, washed and dried a couple of wine glasses from your set, carefully remove the rest so that you can place the recently used glasses to the rear. 

Doing so will ensure that your wine glasses wear more evenly over the whole set, rather than just using the same glasses week after week while the rest of your set stays looking brand new.

The Right Way to Store Glasses

For delicate fine wine glasses, the best way is to store them right side up in a cupboard. However, you can store less fragile wine glasses upside down on a shelf or wine rack. While there is no single correct way how to store wine glasses, make sure that you clean and dry your glasses after each use and regularly rotate your collection.

We hope this article has been helpful in giving you some wine glass storage ideas. No more broken glasses in your kitchen from now on!

Do you have any hacks or tips for keeping fragile stemmed glasses safely? We’d love to hear it! Please share them in the comments below.

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