German Wine Glasses- A Brief History

German wine glasses are a huge part of history. Pour yourself a glass of Bordeaux and let’s dive in.

I love wine and I love history.  And I especially love it when they get all tangled up together.  I just finished inhaling Wine & War.

This book launched me down a rabbit hole of research about the Third Reich’s drinking habits.  To the Google’s.

I poured myself a glass of wine and dove right in.

Amazing, a must read. It reads like a Tom Clancy novel only wine is the hero.  Sorry Jack Ryan, if I have to choose between you and wine . . .

When the Germans stormed into France in 1940, they weren’t just coming to occupy.  They were coming to plunder all the greatest French wines — Champagne, Bordeaux and Burgundy.  

Ah, but the French are a cunning people. They conceived ways to deceive their German occupiers.

The French walled up entire wine cellars with bricks, buried their wines under gardens, and even sunk their wine in ponds.  

In the compulsory shipments of wine bound for Germany, the French resistance did everything from putting “good” labels on “bad” wines, to diluting wines, or loading full wine barrels onto Germany-bound trains, and then siphoning the contents so the barrels would arrive empty.  

Talk about a risky business!  

But the French were as smart as they were devious.  They didn’t mess with the wines bound for the Third Reich’s top leadership — because apparently, those guys were wine snobs.

german wine glasses

German Wine Glasses, And The Men Who Loved Them

The Führer himself wasn’t much of a drinker.  Only occasional sips of wine and beer.

Apparently, Hitler’s crazy was fueled by cake.  That’s something he and Rasputin had in common. Go figure. But his staff . . . they could put away some good wine.

Joseph Goebbels preferred Burgundy, while Hermann Göring fancied Bordeaux, particularly Chateau Lâfite Rothschild (and also cake).  And Joachim von Ribbentrop loved Champagne.

While Googling all of this, I came across a photo of Herr Führer’s wineglasses.  

They sold at auction a couple of years ago for nearly $13,000.  Yes, three zeros.  So . . . after you shell out $13,000 for the Führer’s wine glasses (assuming you have one hell of a certificate of authenticity), what do you do with them?  

Do you drink out of them?  I don’t think I could drink out of them . . . evil dictator germs don’t just wash off, you know.  

The creepiness factor hovers at about 10 out of 10.  So what does that leave?  Throw them in the china cabinet next to grandma’s Wedgewood?

What do you think?  Could you drink out of the Führer’s wineglasses?

If you haven’t read Wine & War carve out some alone time this weekend and dig in.  You won’t be sorry!

roemer wine glasses

German Wine Glasses

I do have several German made wine glasses in my collection of over 200 glasses because they are quality made and very unique. The antiques are certainly collectibles.

If you are trying to get your hands on quality German made wine glasses, Zwiesel wine glasses are the top of the line.

The German brand Zwiesel has been making top quality glassware since 1872.  Ask any regular wine drinker about glasses, and they’ll bring up Schott Zwiesel as the most reliable and consistent brand. These all-purpose wine glasses are a popular choice for both reds and whites.

Roemer wine glasses are highly searched and sought after. You can buy newer Roemer wine glasses on Amazon of course.

German Wine Glasses FAQ

German white wines reach their potential in glasses with a typical tulip shape because of their fruity and often intense aromas. Wines that are rich in body and tannins should have a round bulb to enhance their attributes.
A rummer (also known as a Römer or Roemer, among other variations) was a type of large drinking glass studded with prunts to ensure a safe grip. They were popular in the Rhineland and the Netherlands from the 15th century through the 17th century. Rummers lacked the flared bowl of the Berkemeyer and had much thinner walls.
The German brand Zwiesel has been making top quality glassware since 1872.  Ask any regular wine drinker about glasses, and they’ll bring up Schott Zwiesel as the most reliable and consistent brand. These all-purpose wine glasses are a popular choice for both reds and whites.
The crystal of choice for the Crawley family at Downton Abbey. Cumbria Crystal’s Grasmere collection is featured throughout all series and films from fine dining scenes to dramatic cocktail hours.

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Spice up your next party with our FREE wine tasting guide! Learn what to look, smell, and taste for while appreciating your favorite bottle. We’ve also included a printable tasting notes template and a tasting wheel.

This field is for validation purposes and should be left unchanged.