Different Types Of Wine Glasses Explained


If you've ever gone into a home goods store or been twenty-one for more than five minutes, you've probably recognized there are a plethora of wine glasses on the market. At its most basic, a wine glass has four parts: the base, the stem, the bowl, and the rim. The base is where the glass gets stability. From there, the stem elongates the glass, providing the drinker something to hold onto without raising the temperature of the wine and simultaneously preventing fingerprints from getting on the bowl of the glass. The bowl sits on top of the step and is arguably the essential part of the glass. The bowl should be large enough to allow the consumer to swirl the wine without splashing wine everywhere. 

But that's just the average wine glass's anatomy. There are a ridiculous amount of glasses on the market. Before you go out and buy every type of wine glass on the market, we're going to talk about each one so you can make the most informed decision. 

Why Is the Right Glass Important?

Here is the truth about wine glass shape and its influence on wine taste: it has not been exhibited to have any impact. The rumor goes that in 1973, a Mr. Claus Riedel of Riedel glass company was anxious to sell more of his wine glasses. So, he designed his Riedel Sommelier series, which included ten glasses he claimed were ideal glassware for various types of wine. According to Riedel, the glass shape would support the drinker and experience the wine's aroma, while the shape would direct the wine to the precise parts of your mouth that would enable you to taste the glass of wine the best. Fortunately for Riedel, sales skyrocketed. 

However, unfortunately for Riedel, in 2004, his claims were ridiculed. In an article composed by Gourmet Magazine, studies essentially said that Riedel's claims were nonsense. So while his stemware was undeniably beautiful, his larger bowl red wine glasses and smaller bowl, narrow rim white wine glasses ultimately did not scientifically improve your wine experience. 

At Bev, we're not sure where we stand on this front. As a company that makes their wines in cans, we think our wine is perfect and can be equally as enjoyable in a can as in a glass. However, if you are a real wine enthusiast and know how to taste and enjoy wine correctly, we can see how different shapes can make an impact on the wine tasting experience. Essentially, wine glasses are produced to 'seize' the aroma of a wine. Therefore, choosing the correct wine glass can be crucial for increasing the taste and aroma of the wine you choose to drink.

White Wine Glasses

In general, a white wine glass's basic anatomy is that the bowl is more u-shaped and upright than a red wine glass. The narrow bowl is intended to enhance and preserve white wine's aroma while maintaining its cooler temperature. There are four types of white wine glasses, Sauvignon Blanc, Montrachet, Chardonnay, and a Riesling Sweet and Standard Sweet Wine Glass. 

Sauvignon Blanc Glass

These glasses are tall with a slender bowl and narrow mouth intended to capture the nuances and delicate aroma and guide them directly to the wine drinker's nose. The sides of the mouth detect acidity, and therefore, this glass makes the tongue form a U-shape that directs the wine down towards the center of the palate and thus produces a smoother taste. 

Wines to be enjoyed with this type of glass include light-to medium-bodied, fruity or floral wines. Namely: Sauvignon Blanc, white Bordeaux, Fume Blanc, Loire, Vinho Verde, Chenin Blanc, Muscadet, Muscat Blanc, and Pinot Grigio. 

Montrachet Glass

The second white wine glass, a Montrachet glass, has a large opening that enables the drinker to smell the complex aromas and facilitates the wine to flow to the edges of the tongue and either side of the palate to taste sour and acidic flavor spectrum. 

Wines with elaborate notes, such as Montrachet, White Burgundy, Corton-Charlemagne, Meursault, are best enjoyed with the Montrachet glass. 

Chardonnay Wine Glass

The third type of glass is the Chardonnay glass that creates sufficient aeration to strengthen the aroma while the more substantial surface area out the palate's sweetness and acidity. 

Chardonnay is obviously best enjoyed with a Chardonnay wine glass. However, other bolder, full-bodied wines like Semillon and Viognier are also delightful with this glass. 

Riesling Sweet and Standard Sweet Wine Glass

Last but not least is the Riesling sweet and standard wine glass. This glass is smaller overall and guides wine towards the center and back of the mouth to ensure that the consumer is not overwhelmed with its sweetness. 

Riesling and other sweet dessert wine varietals, like Zinfandel, Sauvignon Blanc, and Gruner Veltliner, are meant for the Riesling sweet and standard wine glass.

Red Wine Glasses

General red wine glasses have full bowls with wider bowl openings that enable you to better engage with the aroma for an enhanced drinking experience. The bowl also provides air contact for the complex aromas and flavors. 

There are four red wine glasses: burgundy, Pinot Noir, Bordeaux, and Cabernet Sauvignon. 

Burgundy Wine Glass

A Burgundy wine glass has a large bowl with a more narrow top that directs wine to the tip of the tongue, allowing the drinker to detect flavor nuances better. The broad bowl also allows aromas of delicate red wines to accumulate. 

Pinot Noir Glass

Like the burgundy glass, the Pinot Noir glass has a wide bowl that enables the wine to come into contact with air, improving red wine's flavor and aroma. 

Light red wines and Pinot Noir should be enjoyed with a Pinot Noir glass. 

 Bordeaux Glass

The Bordeaux glass is the tallest red wine glass. The height creates a distance between wine and mouth, allowing oxygen to soften the wine's tannins. The glass itself directs wine to the back of the consumer's mouth, minimizing bitterness and maximizing the flavor spectrum. 

Heavy red wines with tannins like merlot or syrah are best enjoyed in Bordeaux glasses. 

Cabernet Sauvignon Glass

The last red wine glass is the Cabernet Sauvignon glass. While it is a tall glass, it is not as tall as a Bordeaux glass. The Cabernet Sauvignon's goal is to enhance the smell of wine, which is done through the broad bowl that enables the wine to breathe. Bold wines, like Cabernet Sauvignon, are best enjoyed in Cabernet Sauvignon glasses. 

Sparkling Wine Glasses

In general, sparkling wine glasses are upright and have slender bowls that preserve bubbly carbonation and flavor. There are three sparkling wine glasses, the champagne flute wine glass, tulip wine glass, and Vintage and Coupe Glass. 

Flute Wine Glass

A Flute wine glass has a short- to medium-length stem and a small bowl that retains a sparkline wine's carbonation. 

Younger sparkling wine and champagne are best enjoyed in flute wine glasses. 

Tulip Wine Glass

A Tulip wine glass has a slim base that opens up to a broader bowl then narrows towards the opening. The narrower opening prevents carbonation from escaping while directing aromas towards the tongue instead of up the nose. 

Young or mature champagne, such as Cava, Franciacorta, Prosecco, and Asti, is enjoyed in Tulip wine glasses. 

Vintage and Coupe Glass

Vintage and Coupe glasses are long-stem glasses with a small but deep and shallow bowl. The bowl allows the wine to come into contact with plenty of air. Sweet champagne, Cava, Franciacorta, or Prosecco are enjoyed in these glasses while they are also used to serve cocktails.