Types of Wine Glasses

A Guide to Types of Wine Glasses and the Best Wine Glasses to use for Different Types of Wine

Different types of wine glasses are needed for various types of wine. Wine glasses that are chosen can enhance the flavor and the characteristics of wine. This guide provides information on the best wine glasses to use with a variety of wines.

The Glass
Most types of wine glasses follow the same basic design: the base keeps the glass upright. The stem allows the wine taster to hold the glass without placing body heat to the wine. The bowl holds the wine. The best wine glasses are those that are made of crystal or thin glass. Cheap wine glasses are generally composed of thicker glass and can negatively influence the taste of the wine.

All wine glasses are designed to direct the wine to the parts of the mouth and taste buds where the flavor of the wine can be most appreciated.

Types of Wine Glasses
There are many types of wine glasses available on the market today. There are personalized wine glasses, unique wine glasses, cheap wine glasses, fine wine tasting glasses, handpainted wine glasses and everything else in between! It can become confusing when choosing the best wine glasses to serve with different types of wine. There are four basic wine glass types that every wine lover should own:

Red Wine Glasses are taller and the bowl is wider to accommodate the complexity of the different types of red wine. Important at tastings ,the red wine glass allows as much oxygen as possible into the glass to aerate the wine, which in turn releases the aroma and flavor of the wine into the mouth.

For full and rich bodied types of red wine such as a Merlot or Cabernet, a Bordeaux wine glass is recommended. The shape of this wine glass will allow the wine to be swirled, thus releasing the aroma of the wine as it is directed to the nose as the wine is sipped.

Bordeaux Wine Glass
For other types of red wine such as Burgundy, Pinot Noir or Syrah, Burgundy wine glasses are recommended. These red wine glasses are slightly shorter but with a larger bowl to allow the wine to reach the tip of the tongue where it is easier to taste the more delicate aromas of these types of wine.

Burgundy Wine Glass
White Wine Tasting Glasses are smaller because most white wines do not need to like red wine does. Also, a smaller bowl in a white wine glass helps to keep the wine cool. For younger and crisper white wines such as a Pinot Grigio, the types of wine glasses that are best are thinner in shape with a narrow opening to allow the wine to travel to the tip and the sides of the tongue to better taste the sweetness of the wine.

For a more mature or fuller bodied white wine such as a Chardonnay, a taller and straighter white wine tasting glass is recommended because that type of wine glass allows the wine to dispense to the back and sides of the tongue where on can taste the bolder flavor of this type of wine.

White Wine Glass Champagne Flutes are narrow, tall and thin so as to reduce the exposure of the carbonated bubbles of Champagne or Sparkling Wine to air, which causes this type of wine to become flat. The long stem is for holding the glass so that body heat does not transfer the liquid.

Champagne Flute
Champagne Flutes are narrow, tall and thin so as to reduce the exposure of the carbonated bubbles of Champagne or Sparkling Wine to air, which causes this type of wine to become flat. The long stem is for holding the glass so that body heat does not transfer the liquid.

Stemless Wine Glasses
Stemless wine glasses have become a popular type of wine glass since they were introduced in 2004 by Riedel wine glasses. There are pros and cons to using these types of wine glasses and it comes down to personal preference.

Most connoisseurs of wine prefer wine glasses with stems when tasting wine. For obvious reasons, the stem of a wine glass keeps the body heat from the wine which can change the taste of wine.

The bowls of stemless wine glasses are similar to their stemmed counterparts; red wine glasses have widerbowls while white wine tasting glasses have narrower bowls.

However, it’s not to say that stemless wine glasses don’t have their place in a wine glass collection. These types of wine glasses can be practical for casual entertaining. They can be used for wine and other beverages. They’re more durable, are stackable and can go into the dishwasher without the worry of wine glass stems breaking. It also eliminates the need for hand washing fine wine tasting glasses. For serious wine tasting, a stemmed wine glass is still the most popular choice. But, for casual entertaining, it is perfectly acceptable (and fun) to use stemless wine glasses.