When hosting a party with more than just a few guests, accidental co-mingling of glasses often occurs. Gross! Metal remedies for this unsanitary problem have existed for a while, but are distracting, boring and dated. Here, we review our five favorite (and more modern) wine charm sets for differentiating wine glasses at your next party.
What are wine charms?
Since many wine lovers own enough matching glassware to host a party and party-goers often forget where they set their glasses, clever entrepreneurs have come up with ways to tell wine glasses apart without detracting from the drinking experience.
A wine charm is simply any type of plastic, metal, or material to discern one wine glass from another. Wine charms may also serve a secondary objective - decorating glasses in alignment with a party theme.
Early wine charms were often constructed out of metal - wire hoops that slip around the wine stem. While these allow for some creativity, it can be annoying to have a metal earring-like objects flopping around on the wine stem during each sip.
Do I really need wine charms?
From diligent research, we’ve found that the increased likelihood of wines becoming separated from their owners and being accidentally consumed by others is positively correlated with increased time at the party and the volume of wine consumed by the participant.
While wine charms add a dose of whimsy and serve a practical objective (keeping drinks associated with guests!), not every wine party needs wine charms. In fact, wine charms are viewed by many as just fun wine glass accessories.
If your wine party is focused on blind tasting where each person has multiple matching glasses in front of them, discreet wine charms may help to organize the wines being tasted. However, simply marking the wine glass base with a washable or ethanol removable marker or Sharpie might be the best route, as wine charms may be too distracting for the purpose of serious wine tasting.
If your wine consuming guests will sit in primarily the same spot throughout the event or evening, then you might not need wine charms. Wine charms become more useful when the party includes various attendees carrying their glasses from food station to food station or throughout a home or backyard over the course of a few hours.
Where can I buy wine charms?
One can find a limited selection of wine charms at wine bottle shops or party supply stores. However if you live some distance from such stores or fear they might not have a good selection, consider purchasing wine charms from online retailers.
How do I personalize wine charms?
With the variety of pens on the market, it has become fairly easy to customize or personalize silicone-based wine charms for your parties. Some wine charms come with instructions and their own pens for personalization. Other are personalized by color, shape, or individualized text.
How do I select and use a wine charm?
Does your party have a particular theme? Will your party be co-ed or be only men or women? Keeping the wine charms in line with your selected party theme is a consideration. Alternatively, you might be looking for multi-purpose wine charms that you can have on hand for any impromptu wine party.
Here are a few more considerations:
Will your party participants like to see something fun or risqué or are they more socially conservative?
Will you use wine charms on stemless glassware or on fine wine glassware with stems? Some wine charms “hug” a wine glass stem and logically won’t work for a stemless glass.
Do you want to re-use the wine charms many times or are you looking for a wine charm form limited use? Note that re-usability was the desired outcome in this review.
How thick are your wine glass stems? If your glassware has a thin or thick stem, and you choose a wine charm that encircles the wine stem, pay attention to how snug the wine charm is on the wine glass stem. Wine charms that are too loose on a thin wine glass stem can fall off during the party, presenting a tripping hazard or choking hazard. Pets or small children might accidentally eat them off the ground.
Do you want the wine charm to be adhesive or magnetic? When using an adhesive, keep in mind that cheap ones may not be easy to remove from the glass. While researching adhesive wine charms, we made sure to select a ‘clingy’ version with many positive reviews regarding any residue being left behind. If adhesives concern you, magnetic wine charms might be a better fit. Also, magnetic charms are often reusable. Cling wine charms are another option with limited reusability (especially if they accidentally end up in the dishwasher!).
Does the wine charm need to be large enough to facilitate customization or personalization with a marker? If you wish to personalize your wine charms, you will want to consider if the wine charm has enough surface area for printing the name or initials of the guest. Otherwise, personalization will be limited to the array of color choices available from the manufacturer, and guests will just need to pick a color.
Five wine charms for your party needs - without the wires and noise
Many wine charms available in box stores and some wine bottle shops are simple wire rings with a dangling trinket. While these may appeal to the Pandora bracelet crowd, we wanted to investigate options that were less dangly, more universal, and more fun!
Best Pool Party Wine Charms
NPW Drinking Buddies Cocktail/Wine Glass Markers
Also available are the Bosom Buddies, of course:
These two-inch scantily clad action figures hang off your glass, gazing into the pool of liquid in your wine glass. They are available in banana-hammock wearing men, bikini-wearing well-endowed women. We’ve seen a diverse array of skin tones in this product line. However, online options seem limited at the moment. There’s even a water-into-wine Jesus action figure for parties of biblical proportion!
Fun conversation starters
Great office prank or white elephant gift
Works well on thin-rimmed glasses
As they attach to the glass rim, thickness of wine glass stem doesn’t matter
You can personalize the swimming trunks with a fine-tip Sharpie or Magic Marker
The action figures might not be able to grasp thicker rimmed wine or martini glasses
We wish more skin and hair color tones were available online (perhaps they were out of stock?)
Keep away from pets and small children (choking hazard)
Best Wine Charms for Stemless Glasses
Simply Charmed Swarovski Crystal Magnetic Wine Glass Charms Set of 12 Glass Markers
These magnetic wine charms are the most elegant of the wine charms we reviewed. They don’t require a glass stem, so are ideal for stemless glasses.
We were a little skeptical… magnets? The magnetic wine glass charms arrived in a classy white box with a clear lid. Twelve wine charms were attached to cardstock inside the box. When we removed a wine charm from the cardstock, we were pleasantly surprised at how strong the magnetics were.
To install, simply place one magnet on the outside of a stemless or traditional wineglass near the rim. Place the second magnet on the inside of the glass behind the crystal.
The magnetic wine charm worked like a charm across glassware of different thicknesses as well as on plastic cups.
Classic, elegant, timeless, attractive, innovative
Good for gift-giving, especially for hostess gifts
Take up little space in your kitchen drawer
Strong magnet - stronger than expected, heck they even survived a dishwasher run
Some users report the “stones” separating from the magnets after many uses
Might be difficult to apply for people with limited manual dexterity (or long fingernails!) due to small size
Best Wine charms for Fine Wine Glasses with Stems
Looking for something a little more casual? These silicon wine glass charms slip around the stem of your favorite champagne or wine glass.
With the magnetic wine charms, we were a little nervous testing it on my thinnest-rimmed wine glasses, so these would be good for people who are careful with their glassware! The non-adhesive construction is perfect for entertaining with fine wine glassware.
We liked that there were 12 different colors, and also that there was enough space to personalize with a fine tip Sharpie.
Easy to slip on and off
Reusable, food-safe silicon
With ultra-thin stemmed wine glasses, they might slip off. Good with thicker-stemmed wine glasses.
Keep away from pets
Best Static Cling Wine Glass Tags (with the Best Sense of Humor)
These static cling wine glass tags come in a variety of themes suitable for cat lovers, dog fans, and several party themes. Guests can choose from a variety of sayings (“You’ve got to be kitten me!”). We liked their ‘cling’ nature - no adhesive!
Works on plastic and glass
Reusable as long as they stay clean
A few online reviewers mention accidentally receiving the wrong static clings (e.g. ordered “cat” and received “Christmas”)
And Our Top Wine Charm Prize Is…
The Simply Charmed Swarovski Crystal Magnetic Wine Glass Charms, Set of 12 Glass Markers
The wine charms did not move around during use, so we were not nervous about having them around children or pets. We liked that this wine charm set had 12 different colors, allowing some personalization for guests. Also, we liked the simple touch of ‘bling’ from an aesthetic viewpoint. Another bonus was the small size and ability to work with all glass types. (This brand also carries holiday-themed charms, which we review in our ultimate gift guide for wine lovers!).
Of all the wine charms reviewed, we concluded that it was the one we would re-use the most. The wine charms are easy to store in a small box no larger than a necklace box.
Eager to know your top wine charm choice! Let us know in the comments below!