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There are two main advantages to clear wine glasses. The first is that a clear wineglass allows wine drinkers to observe the color of the wine. The second is that clear wineglasses are compatible with any decor, occasion or table setting. The use of opaque wineglasses, colored wine glasses or painted wine glasses is primarily an aesthetic choice. For entertaining, clear wine glasses can present a disadvantage in that party guests may have difficulty identifying their glass from those belonging to other guests.
Part of appreciating fine wine is the entire process of opening, pouring, and examining wine before it is even consumed. For this process, clear wine glasses are absolutely essential, as colored wine glasses will distort the color of the wine. True wine lovers will typically appreciate being served wine in perfectly clear glasses that allow for for an examination of the wine's color.
Some people prefer colored or painted wine glasses for aesthetic reasons, as they may like the look of painted or colored glass on their tables. In addition to the disadvantage of not being able to fully appreciate the color of one's wine, these colored or embellished glasses often lack the versatility of clear wine glasses, which can be paired with any table setting, room decor or party atmosphere. If a household does have colored wine glasses, it may find itself having to store several sets of glasses so as to ensure that there is always glassware available that can compliment the other colors in a room. On the other hand, one strong argument in favor of colored or painted wineglasses is that they allow guests to more easily keep track of their wine glass during a party: if all the guests are drinking wine from a clear wine glass, it is easy for guests to get mixed-up and end up taking and drinking out of the glass of another.
In response to the problem of guests being unable to identify their own glass amongst others at parties or wine tastings, some hosts provide wine charms that can be attached to the base of a wine glass. These are typically wire rings with small charms attached. Each guest's charm is distinct from the others, allowing the guests to identify their own glasses. The advantage to these charms is that they can be attached to clear wine glasses, thus not distorting the process of wine appreciation, but addressing a very significant and legitimate challenge for party and wine-tasting hosts.