Choosing the Best Type Of Wine Glass

Wine glasses can come in a variety of sizes and even shapes that are dependent on the type of wine you are drinking. When shopping for glasses there is a vast array of sizes, styles and shapes to glassware, it can be incredibly overwhelming. The reason? There is a style of wine glass for every type of wine. Glasses can be specific to Chardonnays, Pinot Noirs and so on.

Wine will vary in taste depending on the vessel it is poured into. Some glasses will subdue the shape while others will enhance it. Some will do neither, but just maintain the neutral balance of the wine itself. While there is an overwhelming amount of wine glasses to choose from, unless you’re an aficionado there are a select few you can purchase that will meet all your needs.

In general, red and white wine glasses will differ in both shape and size. Red wine glasses are generally a bit taller with a larger cup or “bowl” then other glasses. These glasses are designed for bolder wines, with bigger flavor. This larger space allows all the aromas to fully emerge in a red wine.

Glasses to use for Red Wines

Red wines are best served in a taller glass with a larger “bowl” than normal glasses. These glasses are designed for bolder wines, with bigger flavor. This larger space allows all the aromas to fully emerge in a red wine. The rim will also be rounder with a larger opening or similar, this allows you to sniff the wine or dip your nose into the glass to sample the aroma. The larger surface also allows more contact with the air so that the red can more fully develop as it is in your glass.

Red wines can have other sub classes of glasses including:

  • Bordeaux
    The Bordeaux glass is a taller glass with a smaller bowl, this design is for heavier, full bodied wines. Merlots fit this bill, also Cabernets. A tall glass allows the wine to hit the back of the mouth when you drink it, this maximizes the flavor profile.
  • Burgundy
    This glass is not as tall as the Bordeaux, but it is designed for lighter wines like a Pinot Noir. This design directs the wine to the front of the mouth, there it will hit the tip of the tongue.

Glasses to use for White Wines

White wine glasses are more upright, they allow the wine’s aroma to be released. This glass design also allows the wine to remain cooler. The larger opening will direct the wine to the sides of the mouth and the tip of the tongue to enhance the flavors of the wine itself.

Champagne / Sparkling Wines

Flutes are the glass of choice for sparkling wines, champagne being the most common example. The narrow design allows it to capture the carbonation.


There are two types of wine glasses that are available for use with Rosé, stemmed glasses with short tapers, also stemmed glasses with shallow bowls. You can also use the same glass that is used for white wines.

These are examples of just a few wine glasses but for those who may not be a true aficionado you can generally have two sets of wine glasses. These can just be a combination of glasses related to size, smaller for white wine and larger for red wines.

Larger glasses are better for wines with a full, deeper body, smaller for the more flavorful wines. Using this guide will help build your collection of stemware and raise it to the level beyond novice.

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