Entertaining (and being entertained) al fresco is fabulous. What’s not so fabulous is pouring a refreshing glass of Pinot Grigio while setting up the patio for a dinner party, only to return to a lukewarm glass of wine. Or perhaps you’ve attended attended a holiday market with mulled or gluhwein only to find it cold in just a few minutes. Also, wine glasses can shatter on patios or at poolside, which is why most outdoor venues don’t allow glass. All good reasons to invest in an insulated wine tumbler, either for yourself or as a gift for a fellow wine lover!
Before Buying a Wine Tumbler
At KnowWines, we love pairing a beautiful outdoor setting with a great wine. If you also enjoy outdoor entertaining, outdoor concerts and sporting events, camping, and/or boating, an insulated wine tumbler is essential. This tumbler would also make a thoughtful gift for a wine enthusiast, especially if they also the outdoors.
Here’s what to consider:
The ability to maintain desired temperature should be your first concern when purchasing a wine tumbler. Other factors to consider are the conditions in which you’ll be using the tumbler, durability, look, feel, and ease of cleaning.
You’ve probably experienced double-walled beverage mugs for keeping coffee warm. In the past few years, similarly constructed tumblers became available for wine. We supposed you could put your coffee mug on double duty and use it for wine, but this is less than ideal aesthetically. Also, you don’t want residual coffee flavors to interfere with the wine’s flavor and aroma. Disposable cups are also not ideal. A tumbler is a great upgrade.
Does your wine tumbler need a lid? Lids are only needed if the tumbler will be used in areas where flying insects, splashing water, or sand could get in the wine tumbler (like the beach). Remember that using a lid when drinking wine can greatly diminish the pleasure of drinking wine, especially aromatic wines like Riesling and Pinot Noir.
From our own experience and from reviewing dozens of wine tumblers online, our number one recommendation is the YETI Rambler 10 oz. Insulated Wine Tumbler.
The Yeti Rambler 10oz Insulated Wine Tumbler
Yeti is a trusted and premium brand for not only outdoor coolers, but also outdoor gear and drinkware. The brand has been around since 2008 and is considered the market leader. Their cooler and beverage products have a reputation for durability. The Yeti 10 oz. Rambler Insulated Wine Tumbler was officially released in spring of 2018.
The Yeti 10 oz. Rambler Insulated Wine Tumbler is designed to have the look and feel of a premium product while also keeping wine cool (or warm in the case of mulled wine) and remaining durable in outdoor conditions. It is also made to clean easily and resist wine stains. The tumbler comes in a box and care instructions and a registration card for a five-year product warranty.
The product is for wine lovers looking for a premium tumbler to keep their wine at an enjoyable temperature for an extended period of time. The product is not for people who want a lid for their wine tumbler included with purchase.
Keeps wine at the desired temperature range when compared to traditional drinkware
Premium look and feel
Trusted drinkware brand
Limited number of colors
Some users want a lid included with purchase (sold separately)
Some users report a “stainless steel” smell during first few uses
Reduced ability to swirl wine in the tumbler when compared to traditional wine glassware
Features and Benefits
We tested a YETI 10 oz. Rambler Insulated Wine Tumbler that was part of a two-pack. Standard colors are sold as two-packs or singles, and tumblers in seasonal or trendy colors are sold as singles. The two-pack is secured by an adhesive glue to the sturdy cardboard box to keep the tumblers from rolling around during shipping and while sitting in store displays. We found the tumblers easy to remove from the package. Some online comments indicate that the adhesive can be difficult to remove, but we did not find that in our case.
Upon removing the wine tumblers from their box, we found product inserts in each tumbler. These inserts provide instruction on how one can register their product on the YETI website. Washing is by hand or dishwasher.
The tumbler is 4.5 inches tall and 3.5 inches wide. The weight is about 8.12 ounces when empty.
Look and Feel
Before placing wine in the tumbler, we took some time looking at and feeling the tumblers. We noticed a consistent and visually appealing paint job with no bumps or thin spots in the paint. The YETI logo is prominent in two places on the tumbler, on one side as a raised logo and the other side in stainless. The logo is tastefully done and does not detract from the minimalist aesthetic.
The tumbler is narrower at the top and rounder at the bottom, replicating the look of luxury stemless glassware. However, when peering into the tumbler, we noticed that the walls of the tumbler are not bell-shaped like the exterior of the tumbler. The lip of the tumbler was much thinner than that on other insulated beverage containers like coffee mugs, however it was thicker than most wine glassware. We knew we would need to test swirling and the impact on aromas of this design (more on that below!).
Our testers had medium to large hands. We found the tumblers easy to handle and did not notice any sharp edges. The texture of the paint was smooth and pleasant. One tester had recently put on hand lotion and commented that this might make the tumbler slippery in the hand. We also noted that friends with smaller hands might find the tumbler a little on the large side.
Our testers appreciated that the tumbler is not clear, so no one can see what you are drinking. One tester does not drink alcoholic drinks, and liked the idea of having the tumbler at parties and filling it with cool sparkling water or fruit juice.
The tumbler uses YETI’s double-wall and vacuum construction aimed at keeping cold beverages cold and warm beverages warm. We wanted to see how long the YETI 10oz Rambler Wine Tumbler would keep the wine at ideal drinking temperature.
We tested the YETI Wine Tumbler in two situations: keeping a serving of Pinot Noir cool on a warm day and keeping a serving of gluhwein warm on a cool day.
Warm Weather, Cool Wine
We compared the performance of the YETI Rambler Insulated Wine Tumbler to our favorite Riedel glasses. Many consider the ideal drinking temperature for Pinot Noir to be between 55 and 60 F, which is difficult to maintain long-term in warm conditions in traditional glassware.
We refrigerated a bottle of Pinot Noir overnight. The next afternoon, we removed the Pinot Noir from the refrigerator. When the wine was 48 F, we weighed 5 oz of the wine and placed it in the room temperature YETI Rambler Insulated Wine Tumbler. We weighed 5 oz of the same wine and placed it in the Riedel glass.
We took the tumbler and glass outside on the deck, where it was 78 F and partly cloudy with humidity 35%. We used a dual probe thermometer to monitor temperature. We placed one probe in the wine in the YETI tumbler and another probe in the Riedel glass of wine and waited for the warm up.
Within 20 minutes, the Riedel glass wine was up to 60 F, and by 45 minutes, the Riedel glass wine was up to 65 F. It took the YETI tumbler 1 hour and 15 minutes for the wine to get to 55 F, and after 2 hours, the wine in the YETI tumbler was 60 F.
Cool Weather, Warm Mulled Wine
Most North American users would use the YETI Rambler Insulated Tumbler during the warmer months, however drinking mulled or gluhwein in the winter months is popular with the increasing number of outdoor holiday markets throughout the world (Christkindlmarkt, as they are called in Germany). Many consider the ideal drinking temperature of gluhwein to be 130 F.
To simulate cool weather conditions for Christmas markets, we heated gluhwein to 185 F. We measured 5 oz of the hot gluhwein and placed it in a room temperature YETI tumbler, and placed another 5 oz of hot gluhwein in a room temperature traditional Christkindlmarkt mug. For those events, it would be nice for the wine to stay warm for an extended period of time.
We placed the YETI tumbler and the Christkindlmarkt mug into a 42 F refrigerator to simulate a cool December afternoon and used a dual probe thermometer to monitor the falling temperatures of the gluhwein.
Within ten minutes, the gluhwein in the traditional mug had cooled to 130 F and within 20 minutes, the temperature was a lukewarm 105 F. It took 20 minutes for the gluhwein to cool to 130 F and it was 45 minutes until the gluhwein was lukewarm at 105 F.
In conclusion, the YETI Rambler 10 oz. Insulated Wine Tumbler kept wines within ideal drinking temperatures at least twice as long as traditional wine vessels.
The YETI tumbler tumbler holds 10 oz of liquid. For context, most bartenders and sommeliers serve a 5-oz pour.
Since the tumbler performed quite well in its ability to hold the temperature of wine at ideal drinking temperatures, we wanted to test the impact of the tumbler on aromas and taste compared to drinking from a premium wine glass.
First we swirled the wines in the tumbler and glass. Swirling in the tumbler is just not as fun and impactful as using the Riedel glass, as the side walls in the tumbler are too straight.
Secondly, we sniffed the wines. There was a perceptible difference between the aromas in the YETI tumbler and the Riedel glass. The Pinot Noir’s fruity aromas and spice from oak aging were more distinct in the Riedel glass.
Third, we tasted the wines in the tumbler and glass (we know, hard work!). Drinking out of the YETI Wine Tumbler was not the same as drinking wine out of a Riedel glass. However, drinking wine out of the YETI Wine Tumbler was more pleasurable than drinking it out of a coffee mug or plastic cup. We did not smell any off aromas or detect off flavors in the tumbler.
Cleaning the Tumbler
Washing instructions indicate that you can clean the YETI Wine Tumbler by hand or in the dishwasher. We washed the YETI Wine Tumblers thoroughly before use, as some online reviewers indicated a stainless steel smell when first using the tumblers.
During our testing we put one YETI insulated wine tumbler into the dishwasher three times and the other one we washed by hand. We didn’t notice any change in color or feel of the paint.
The YETI website claims that the tumbler does not stain, and we found this to be true.
In addition to our own testing, we did online research and discovered that the reviews were overwhelmingly positive. The most positive reviews are in line with our experience — people love the look and feel of the YETI insulated wine tumbler, and it keeps their favorite wine and other beverages cold. The few negative reviews we found were from individuals looking to replicate the fine wine experience they are used to in a glass. Like them, we found that swirling can be a little difficult and some wine aromas are muted when compared to traditional glassware. Our tumblers did not have the “stainless steel” smell to them that very few other reviewers found.
Overall, we found the YETI 10 oz Rambler Insulated Wine Tumbler a great fit for drinking “everyday” wines in outdoor conditions. Here we indicate a few more premium options if the size of the YETI tumbler does not fit the place you intend to use it (say, in your beach chair’s cup holder).
For those with smaller hands and/or wanting more pastel color options, we recommend the Hydro Flask 10 oz:
For those who want a more “grippy” and textured surface, the Gold Armor:
For those who are concerned about a stainless steel smell or taste and want to see wine in the tumbler, or who want to use the tumbler for wine slushies and have concerns about a metal tumbler sweating, we recommend Tervis:
For those wanting a fine wine drinking experience with an insulated wine tumbler similar to that with your favorite glassware, you might be out of luck. We’ve yet to find a super-thin rimmed insulated wine tumbler on the market.
The YETI 10 oz Rambler Insulated Wine Tumbler keeps your wine within the ideal drinking window at least twice as long as premium wine glassware. The tumbler is ideal for use in areas where premium wine glassware is not allowed or could easily break. With its sleek design, the YETI 10 oz. Rambler Insulated Wine Tumbler has the look and feel of a premium tumbler and is available in classic and limited trending colors. The YETI 10 oz Rambler Insulated Wine Tumbler is easy to clean by hand and in the dishwasher.
We recommend the YETI 10 oz Rambler Insulated Wine Tumbler for drinking value, mid-priced, and premium wines. We would not recommend them for super-premium and luxury wines as the lip width and interior vessel shape are not optimal for enjoying fine wine.
Buy the YETI 10 oz Rambler Insulated Wine Tumbler (and its lid) here:
Enjoy those outdoor beverages.
Cheers from KnowWines!