Wine Glass Guide

Wine Glass Guide

The best wine glasses for each wine

You can drink wine from whatever vessel you want, be it a wine glass, coffee mug, mason jar, or dixie cup. But, if you’re trying to taste your wine then certain glasses do work better than others. Using the right glass improves the taste of wine.

It makes things a little more special to have both red wine and white wine glasses, as well as the correct glasses for sparkling wines and the smaller ones for sherry or port if they are included in the wine selections. But … if you are only going to offer reds and whites, then just bring the glasses that will be used to the table. And remember, you should also have glasses for water.

If you don’t have enough glasses, consider borrowing rather than buying for one event, and don’t worry about everything matching.

Wine glasses are designed top to bottom to elevate the drinking experience. Different glass shapes affected the density and position of vapours at the openings of different glasses. Vapours carry aromatic compounds into your nose. Aromatic compounds are responsible for producing the vast majority of flavours in wine.

It doesn’t really matter if your glass is stemmed or stemless. It’s more about how the shape of the vessel collects aromas and deposits wine into your mouth. But my preference is they should be stemmed. Holding a wine glass from the stem helps ensure your wine will taste how it’s supposed to for a couple of reasons. First, it keeps your body heat away from the bowl, meaning you’ll be able to drink the wine at its optimal temperature. Second, it puts distance between your hand and your nose as you sip. Stemless wine glasses may deliver function and style for today’s modern world. However, because you’re holding the bowl of the glass, your wine may warm up more quickly, so stemless glasses are best used to grow herbs in, or when you have a place to set it down.

When holding a wine glass, it’s best to grip it from the bottom of the stem and as close to the base as possible. Try to avoid cupping the bowl or holding near the rim.

The shape and size of the bowl affects how aromas are released and collected. The wider the bowl, the more aromas the glass will collect.

Never fill all the way to the top. In order to taste flavours in wine you really need space above the wine to collect aromas.

To get a proper swirl, pour wine to roughly one third of the bowl’s height. Then, swirl the wine to release its aromas, and draw the nose to the glass after swirling and before sipping.

For bold reds, it’s best to look for a large glass that can aerate and oxidize the wine to let the complex flavours breathe. The greater the surface area that’s exposed to air, the more undesirable compounds, such as ethanol and sulfites, evaporate, letting the good scents and flavours shine.

For white wines, you want to preserve their naturally crisp flavour, so preventing oxidation is ideal.

Champagne flutes, the narrowest wine glasses, are slender to maintain the bubbles.

The rim should be large enough in diameter to smell the wines in diameter to smell the wine’s aromas.

The size and shape of the rim directs the wine to the ideal area of the palate. Narrow apertures allow wine to flow to a specific part of the tongue to highlight or reduce specific notes. For instance, a small opening can enhance sweet flavours while balancing out acidity. Furthermore, narrow rims also help keep aromas inside the glass and direct your nose in to keep your sense of smell engaged.

For wines with more complexity and less acidity or fewer tannins, a broad opening is often used to spread the libation across your palate. Regardless of shape, the thinnest rims allow for the best tasting experience since the wine transitions seamlessly from the glass to your palate.

Different types of wine glasses are designed to enhance different wine varietals. So when stocking your glassware collection, keep in mind the wines you enjoy the most.

Need help determining which wine glass is best for your favourite varietal? We’ve put together a wine glass guide with a few important factors for selecting each type of wine glass. Use the wine glass guide below to learn which glass to choose.

Crystal is made to be lighter and more delicate because of its durability, Crystal is a stronger material than glass, so crystal wine glasses are thinner yet durable. Generally speasking, thinner glasses are less obstrusive while tating wine. The thinness of a crystal glass’s rim allows for a seamless transition onto the tongue. Not only does crystal heighten the feel of the tasting experience, it elevates the appearance as well by refracting light for a sparkling effect. Because crystal is a porous material, it’s best to hand wash. Some lead-free crystal glasses are dishwasher-safe, so check the care instructions for your chosen glass before washing.

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Sparkling Wine Glasses

Bubbles are essential to a good glass of sparkling wine. To maintain the fizzy effect, bubbly wines such as Champagne, Prosecco and Cava are best consumed in a glass with a narrow bowl and smaller mouth. The shape preserves the bubbles by limiting oxidation, while also keeping the sparkling wine cool. They also enhance the bouquet of sparkling wines. Plus, it’s fun to watch the bubbles rise to the top.

A pointy base of the bowl will develop a single stream of fine bubbles.


Flute glass preserves the bubbles the most and is ideal for bone-dry (Brut, Extra Brut and Brut Nature) Sparkling wines such as Champagne, Crémant, Cava, etc.

Vintage/Coupe glass was the popular style used in the 1950s. The bubbles disperse quickly making the wines taste softer and fruitier. This is a fun glass shape to try with sweet sparkling wines such as Asti Spumante.

Tulip Flute glass collects more floral aromatics with its wider bowl shape and is ideal for more aromatic, fruity sparkling wines suc as Prosecco, Rosé, etc.

Wide Tulip Glass collects more the aged flavours of biscuit and brioche found in fine Aged Sparkling Wine such as Vintage Champagne, Franciacorta, and Gran Reserva Cava.

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White Wine Glasses

One type of white wine glass is better at maintaining a cool temperature. The other is better at collecting aromas.

White wines are typically served in smaller bowled glasses to preserve floral aromas, maintain cooler temperature and express more acidity in wine. It delivers more aromas (even at cooler temperatures) due to proximity to nose. With heavier oaked wines a slightly larger bowl may be better.

It keeps young Chardonnay, such as Chablis, tasting fresh, while enhancing a mature wine’s spicy, nutty taste.

Light-Bodied and Aromatic White

This tye of glass goes with everything but is specially perfect with light, crisp white wines. Don’t be fooled into thinking this is just a smaller Cabernet glass. With its straight sides and delicate tapered shape, it’s just right to show off the complexities of even the lightest wines. Sauvignon Blanc, Pinot Grigio and Riesling and other white wines are best consumed in a glass with a narrow bowl. While their red counterparts are enhanced by oxidation, too much air can compromise the light, bright flavours characteristic of a white wine. The narrow bowl, combined with a narrow opening, also helps to keep white wine chilled. The wine is focused on the centre of the tongue to highlight light flavours while reducing any acidic notes.

Full-Bodied Big White

This type of glass keeps young Chardonnays tasting fresh, while enhancing a mature winés spicy, nutty taste. The large bowl of a Chardonnay glass balances out oaky notes. Furthermore, the greater surface area exposed to air lets the wine open up to reveal other tastes. The wide aperture evenly spreads the wine across the palate, which brings the complex layers of flavour into focus. You’ll notice that full-bodied white wines like oak-aged Chardonnay, Viognier, White Rioja, and orange wines are better with a larger bowl. The larger bowl, originally introduced by Riedel as a “Montrachet” glass, better emphasizes a creamy texture because of the wider mouth.

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Rosé

The wide hip of the Rosé glass expedites the alcohol’s rate of evaporation, which helps the fruity and floral notes of the wine come out. Furthermore, it helps produce a proper swirl to release the aromas. Then, the narrow opening keeps them contained within the glass.

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Red Wine Glasses

The choice of a red wine glass has a lot to do with the type of wine being served. The primary red wine glass shapes help moderate high tannin wines, deliver more aromas, or make spicy-tasting wines more rounded.

The choice of a red wine glass has a lot to do with mitigating the bitterness of tannin or spicy flavours to deliver a smoother tasting wine.

Red wines tend to taste smoother from a glass with a wide opening. Of course, the distance to the actual fluid affects what you smell.

A great glass for medium- to full-bodied red wines with spicy notes and/or high alcohol.

Spice is softened because flavuors hit your tongue more progressively from the smaller opening.

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Light-Bodied Red

To let the fruit and spice flavours in the wine shine, the Zinfandel glass directs the wine to your palate through a smaller opening. Its smaller bowl tempers the taste and smell of ethanol present in Zinfandel varieties with a medium- to high-alcohol content. Because some Zinfandels have more tannins, the narrow opening helps to balance out any potential mouth-drying effects. This type of glass tempers the alcohol while also enhancing the fruit and spices in the wine. Use for Zinfandel.

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Mediun to Full-Bodied Red

Use this type of glass for Medium- to Full-bodied with spicy or peppery notes such as Syrah (Shiraz), Petite Sirah, Sngiovese, Malbec and Garnacha.

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Mediun-Bodied Red

With a prominent fishbowl shape, a Burgundy glass traps the aromas,  enhances and balances acity and intensity of the medium- to full-bodied wine, such as Burgundy. Since the wine comes from thin-skinned grapes, it does not need to be swirled quite as much to enjoy the aromas. The narrow rim mitigates acidity by targeting the wine to the centre of the palate.

A great choice for lighter more delicate red wines with subtle aromas. The large round bowl helps collect all the aromas. The large bowl of the Aroma Collector “Bourgogne” Pinot Noir glass releases the wine’s subtle and delicate aromas by allowing a large surface area of wine to be exposed to oxygen, and the distinctive shape traps the aromas in the glass. The glass targets the wine to the front of the mouth, which accentuates the sweet flavours while regulating acidic ones. This type of glass creates the perfect balance of highlighted sweetness, and regulated acidity. Use this type of glass for red wines with floral aromas such as Pinot Noir, Gamay, Zweigelt, St. Laurent, Schiava, Freisa, Valpolicella blends, and Nebbiolo.

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Full-Bodied Red

Often used as a universal red wine glass, Cabernet glasses have a large bowl and tall stem. A larger bowl gives the wine more surface area, allowing it to oxidize, or breathe. Oxidizing softens the tannins found in reds, improving the overall flavour, and releases the wine’s natural aromas. This is essential, since the aromas are a large part of what you taste when drinking wine. The shape directs the wine to the centre of the palate, which helps mitigate the effects of tannins, compounds that produce a mouth-drying feel. This type of glass moderates acidity by directin the wine to the centre of the tongue. Use for Cabernet Sauvignon and Merlot.

In contrast with Burgundy glasses, Bordeaux glasses are taller, allowing you to maximize the surface area of wine exposed to air as you swirl the liquid up the edge of the glass. Produced from thicker-skinned grapes, Bordeaux wine is best when it’s swirled and allowed to breathe. The shape also helps reduce the effects of tannins by concentrating the wine to the back of the tongue. Lets younger wines breathe, and the thin rim lets wine flow onto the tongue smoothly. This glass shape is best with bolder red wines, such as Cabernet Sauvignon, Cabernet Franc, Alicante Bouschet or Bordeaux Blends.

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Dessert

Dessert wine glass fetures an elegant shape and narrow bowl to elevate the sweetness of dessert sweet wines. Also used to Ice wines.

Port glasses, also known as dessert wine glasses, are recognizable for their tiny size. Because Port has a much higher alcohol content — usually 20% ABV — a smaller pour is served. Additionally, the diminutive stature of the glass allows the body heat from your hand to release aromatics that are preserved in the round bowl for nuanced savouring.

Insisting on a good glass isn’t snobbery— it makes drinking wine so much more enjoyable. Understanding the different types of wine glasses and what makes them ideal for one type of wine over another is essential to letting your wine show its full flavour potential.

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Universal Glasses

This is a great idea for the space-saving, pragmatic enthusiast who doesn’t want to bother with all the different shapes.

A wine glass has to suit your personal style.
If you prefer a classic look, there are a wide range of wine glasses with traditional rounded shapes and long stems on the market.
If you veer more modern, you’ll find many stemless options and glasses with cylindrical shaped bowls.
Whatever your preference, if the glass feels good in your hand, fits your kitchen storage parameters and requires the right amount of maintenance for your lifestyle—and you enjoy drinking wine out of it—it’s the right fit.

Note: I get really excited about cheese and wine, so it’s difficult for me to be brief when there is so much wonderful information to share!

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Reference: Content and images based on information from: https://www.wikipedia.org/ https://cheese.com https://www.cookipedia.co.uk
https://culturecheesemag.com https://www.gourmetsleuth.com https://winefolly.com/ https://www.tasteatlas.com https://www.wine.com/ https://winemonger.com https://www.terroir-france.com/

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