Are you ready to step up your wine game and learn which wine glass is most appropriate for your preferred varietal? We've compiled a complete reference for your convenience.
Are you a wine lover expanding your wine collection and educating yourself on all things wine? Or perhaps you are one of the many casual wine drinkers who just want to get it right when serving guests.
Either way, knowing more about the types of wine glasses will only make you more confident at your next wine tasting. It will ensure that you enjoy the taste of every drink you pour. So feel free to pull your favorite red wine from the wine rack or enjoy a glass of sparkling wine as we walk you through everything you need to know about the types of wine glasses.
Why does the same type and brand of wine that you drink at home taste better at a restaurant? Is it the luxury of being served somehow making for a smoother and better wine? Believe it or not, using suitable types of wine glasses can make all the difference.
Some experts believe that combining the proper glass shapes of the wine glass with the suitable types of wine makes is the only way to make wine taste as it should. Using the appropriate vessel with the proper size, shape, and opening can help optimize flavor.
The taste profile of wine varies widely, from full-bodied reds and crisp whites to sparkling wine and dessert wines. Using the proper types of wine glasses makes sure you make the most of each wine’s tastes and flavors.
Are you ready to step up your wine game and learn which wine glass is most appropriate for your preferred varietal? We’ve compiled a complete reference for your convenience. Continue reading to learn about the essential elements to consider when deciding between the many varieties of wine glasses available.
What Are the Types of Wine Glasses?
Different wine glasses’ designs are used for each wine variety. So while building your glassware collection, bear in mind the wines you like the most. If you enjoy the rich taste of red wine, for example, try investing in a couple of different styles of red wine glasses to optimize your tasting experience.
Everyone is acquainted with the two significant varieties of wine: red and white, and their wine glasses. However, to get the most out of your wine tasting experience, you need to get familiar with the many types of wine glasses. You may be surprised how they may improve your wine tasting experience.
You might also be wondering how much wine all the types of wine glasses hold. Even though they vary in shape, most wine glasses will contain similar amounts. You can count on a white wine glass to hold around 12 oz, while a standard red wine glass will hold a little more between 12-14 oz.
Proper wine glasses feature a bell-shaped bowl that enables the wine to oxidize or interact with the air around them. This process begins as soon as you open your bottle of wine; you are just assisting it by pouring the wine into a decanter or wine glass of appropriate size. All you need to know is that oxidation affects the scent and flavor of the type of wine, which is a good thing.
Use our wine glass guide to understand the unique wine glass names and which types of wine glasses correspond with specific varietals. Our guide covers the most popular red and white wines and the perfect wine glasses to drink them in. We will also cover the ideal sparkling wine glass and what wine glass to use for your favorite dessert wine.
Red Wine Glasses
Standard red wine glasses come in various styles, but they all have things in common. Red wine glasses are taller than white wine glasses. These wine glasses types usually have a larger bowl because they are full-bodied wines. The flavors are bolder and more robust and need more space for the flavors and aromas to hit the palette and nose correctly. The shorter stem on the red wine glass allows the heat from the hand to slightly warm the wine and improves the flavor.
Cabernet Sauvignon glasses are recognized for their large bowl and a long stem. This style is designed for Cabernet Sauvignon, but it is acceptable to use it with all varieties of red wine. If you can only choose one type of red wine glass, the cabernet wine glass is the obvious choice. With cabernet wine glasses, the wine has more surface area to oxidize or breathe, which allows it to taste better. Oxidizing red wines helps soften the tannins, improving the overall taste and aroma. The fragrance is important since smell accounts for a large portion of what your tastebuds notice when you drink wine. The large bowl shape drives the wine directly to the center of the palate, which helps to lessen the effects of tannins, which are molecules that cause a drying sensation on the tongue.
This type of wine glass is perfect if you are looking for one standard red wine glass and usually serve a lighter-bodied red wine, like a pinot noir. You will recognize a Burgundy glass when you see its distinguishable wide bowl similar to a fishbowl shape.
This round bowl shape helps retain the floral aromas of delicate red wines. This shape also helps tone the wine’s intense flavors. When using a Burgundy glass, you will find that you do not need to swirl the wine as much to enjoy the aromas.
Another helpful characteristic of burgundy glasses is how the thin rim helps lower the acidity of the wine. Wine glasses with rounder shapes help direct the wine to the palate’s center, resulting in a balanced flavor.
A Bordeaux glass is the tallest red wine glass available. This large glass typically has a long stem, but stemless glasses are also available in the Bordeaux style.
Bordeaux glasses have higher sides, enabling you to maximize the surface area of wine exposed to air by swirling the liquid up the edge of the glass as you drink. This tall glass promotes swirling, and Bordeaux wine is made from grapes with thicker skins that are best enjoyed after being agitated and given time to air.
The Bordeaux wine glass shape also has the additional benefit of reducing the effects of tannins by concentrating the wine towards the back of the mouth. The Bordeaux glass is also considered a top choice for a standard red wine glass f you are only going to purchase one style from the red wine glasses. The Bordeaux glass is best suited for full-bodied red wines.
The Balloon wine glass is best known for its round bowl. This extra round shape is almost exclusively used for red wine. This large wine glass may seem like it’s for long pours, but the wide bowl has a purpose. The types of wine glasses with big bowls allow the wine to breathe and circulate more air.
Pinot Noir Glass
The Pinot Noir glasses have a big bowl that helps unleash the wine’s subtle and delicate scents by exposing a vast surface area of liquid to air. In contrast, the pinot noir glass, with its unusual shape, helps retain these aromatic compounds. The pinot noir wine glass directs the wine to the front of the palate, enhancing the sweetness of the wine while balancing the acidity. If Pinot Noir is your favorite wine, it is worth investing in this type of wine glass. But, if you only drink it on occasion or have limited space for wine glasses, you can always successfully serve Pinot Noir in a Burgundy wine glass.
White Wine Glasses
White wine glasses are recognized as being smaller than their red wine counterparts. They have a smaller bowl and more petite curves to the sidewalls. The white wine glass also has a more narrow mouth. White wine needs less air to circulate than red wines, so the white wine glass will have a small opening compared to the red wine glass. Most glasses designated for white wine will also have longer stems. This allows the hand to hold the stem further away from the wine without warming it up.
The broad bowl of chardonnay glasses helps balance out the oaky flavors in this type of wine. The increased surface area exposed to air allows the wine to open up and show flavors. The large aperture allows the wine to spread evenly over the tongue, bringing the rich layers of taste into sharp focus. The smaller bowl keeps it chilled versus a red wine served at room temperature.
Standard White Wine Glass
Some white wines are best served in a specific style of wine glass developed specifically for that type. However, many white wines are acceptable to drink from a standard white wine glass. The narrow bowl with a smaller opening than the traditional white wine glasses is ideal for serving many famous white wines like Sauvignon blanc, pinot grigio, riesling, and other dry wines. In the same way, oxidation brings out the best in red wine’s aroma; too much exposure to the elements may dilute the delicate, crisp notes that differentiate white wines from their red counterparts. White wine glasses help preserve freshness in part because of the shallow bowl and the narrow entry of the wine glass. A white wine glass will focus the wine down the center of the tongue to highlight gentle flavors while simultaneously minimizing acidic overtones.
Sauvignon Blanc Glass
Sauvignon blanc is a type of wine known for its intense aroma so that the best wine glasses can keep the beautiful fragrance in the glass. The types of wine that benefit from this shape of the wine glass are acidic ones that need to be balanced. This wine glasses type allows the wine to miss the side of the tongue, which would only add to its cutting and tart taste.
The wide hip of the rosé wine glass accelerates the rate of evaporation of the alcohol, allowing the wine’s taste of fruity and floral notes to come through more clearly. Furthermore, it aids in producing a good swirl, which allows the aromas to be released. Then, because of the smaller opening of this wine glass, the beautiful scents are kept confined inside the glass.
Sparkling Wine Glasses
A glass of sparkling wine must include bubbles to be considered excellent. And to maximize those bubbles, it’s necessary to have the right glass style for the task. The glass shapes will make all the difference when it comes to bubbles. Traditionally, a Flute shaped wine glass is used for sparkling wines like Champagne. Recently a coupe or tulip-shaped wine glass is often used because it allows for swirling and allowing the beautiful nose to come through. If you are extremely short on cabinet space in a pinch, a standard white wine glass is okay to use for your sparkling beverages.
Nothing says celebration more than the iconic Champagne flute. Champagne glasses are wine glasses with a narrow bowl and opening. The glass’s design helps maintain the bubbles by minimizing oxidation while keeping the sparkling wine at a comfortable temperature. This unique shape makes it ideal for serving sparkling wines such as Champagne, prosecco, and cava to keep the effervescent effect. While the flute is still widely used to serve up a Champagne toast, other sparkling wine glasses are now acceptable.
Coupe glasses are not a new addition to the scene, but they are a classic example of vintage wine glasses being popular again. The Coupe wine glass, also known as Champagne saucer or champagne coupe, is a stemmed glass with a wide, shallow bowl often used to serve Champagne. First used in the 17th century, it has remained out of the limelight for quite some time. Coupe glasses have returned in recent years, thanks to a resurgence in craft cocktails and all things vintage. The coupe glass can be used for various occasions and will be a welcome addition to your bar cart in place of the Flute style of wine glasses.
The champagne tulip is distinguished from the flute because of its broader flared body and tapering mouth. Wine enthusiasts sometimes prefer Tulip glasses because they allow the drinker to taste more complete scents than they would with a flute. The small mouth small prevents rapid loss of carbonation.
Dessert Wine Glass
Dessert Wine is a sweet wine category served at the end of the meal. The after-dinner drink can be alone or with dessert. The Dessert wines are presented in a wine glass that is easily distinguished by its diminutive dimensions. In other words, they are adorable!
Dessert wine glasses can be many different shapes, but their small size with a narrow rim lets you know this is for a special dessert wine.
Dessert wine often has a strong flavor and a higher alcohol content. For example, port wine has a substantially greater alcohol content, typically 20 percent ABV, so it is served in smaller portions. The petite size of the dessert wine glass helps prevent too much alcohol from being consumed in one glass.
Dessert wine glasses can be a fun addition to your wine bar. Still, if space or budget doesn’t allow for your dessert wines to have their own glass, you can always use a Universal wine glass in its place.
Other Wine Glasses
You might think you need to be a seasoned wine connoisseur or professional sommelier to care about pouring the perfect wine glass. However, using the proper wine glass will make the most of everyone’s tasting experience.
Check out our easy wine glass chart below for a quick visual reference for pairing the right wine glass with the most popular types of wine. There are many wine glasses types to choose from, but it isn’t complicated once you recognize the simple shapes and characteristics.
Modern Wine Glasses
Stemmed wine glasses are considered traditional wine glasses, while stemless wine glasses are called “modern glassware.” They take away the anxiety of having to hold a stem. They are less traditional and often used in less formal settings. Often airlines use this type of wine glass to help prevent spilling because the stemless base is more stable. There is nothing worse than a red wine stain, except maybe a red wine stain on your traveling clothes!
Crystal Wine Glasses
There are two types of materials used in wine glass production. Wine glasses materials are usually glass or crystal. Most people won’t tell the difference in taste between wine in crystal glasses or regular glasses. However, there may be times when you want to use crystal wine glasses.
Because crystal is thinner than regular wine glasses, it is used to make wine glasses with a thin rim. This process almost removes the edge of the lip of the glass. This thinner glass allows you to fully taste just the wine without the interference of the wine glass.
Genuine crystal contains minerals, like lead, which give them strength and allow them to be formed into a wine glass shape. However, lead-free crystal glasses are available for those concerned with lead poisoning.
If you don’t want to clutter your cabinets with multiple types of wine glasses, you can purchase a Universal glass. The type of wine you can successfully serve in a Universal Wine glass is any kind you like!
They fall somewhere in the middle between red and white glasses. They have medium-sized bowls so the wine can still breathe. The tapered rims still allow for the delicate aromas to be enhanced.
If you cannot locate a Universal wine glass, try substituting a Pinot Noir glass that is very similar.