19 Best Types of Wine Glasses for Your Taste
Have you ever wondered why there are so many types of wine glasses?
From flutes to goblets, from short stems to narrow openings (and let’s not even get started on crystal vs. glass), there are enough wine glass types to fill a wine cellar in the fanciest of restaurants.
Believe it or not, the size, shape and opening of each type of wine glass affects and maximizes the flavor and aroma of different wines. A 2015 study in Analyst, published by the Royal Society of Chemistry, confirmed that drinking vessels did in fact change the distribution of alcohol vapor and concentration depending on shape.
In simple terms, whether you prefer red, white, sweet or sparkling wine, you can learn how to choose the perfect vessel for the perfect pour. Below, we’re exploring which types of wine glasses will help you get the best tasting wine for your next party, anniversary or Wine Wednesday.
Jump to Section
- Red Wine Glasses
- White Wine Glasses
- Dessert Wine Glasses
- Sparkling Wine glasses
- Other Types of Wine Glasses
Red Wine Glasses
When learning how to hold a wine glass, such as during an in-person or virtual wine tasting event, you'll learn that red and full-bodied wines need a glass with a fuller bowl that allows you to swirl the wine. Swirling brings out all those rich and robust flavors. Plus, doesn’t it just look so fancy?
1. Bordeaux Glass
Bordeaux types of wine glasses have a beautiful streamlined shape and are recommended for wines like merlot or malbec. They are slender and have a smaller bowl than most red wine glasses. The tall glass ensures that the wine reaches the back of your mouth when you drink out of it. This makes it easier to taste the flavors and keeps it from being too bitter.
2. Cabernet Glass
Cabernet glasses are one of the tallest types of wine glasses. A wide bowl tapers up to a narrow mouth. Designed to enhance the aroma of the wine, the wide bowl allows the wine to breathe, and then the narrow opening captures all the fruity fragrances for the sipper to enjoy. Use these types of wine glasses with cabernet sauvignon and other bold red wines.
3. Pinot Noir Glass
Pinot noir wine glass types are similar to Burgundy wine glasses, but they have a “flared out” design at the rim. This design sends the flavors and aroma to your nose and mouth. The wide bowl offers more contact with air (improving the flavor and fragrance) and swirling ability. They have shorter stems than other types of wine glasses.
4. Burgundy Glass
Burgundy wine glasses have a wider bowl than a Bordeaux that narrows toward the top. This shape allows the sipper to first taste the wine on the tip of their tongue before reaching the rest of the mouth. The bigger bowl accommodates the aromas of delicate wines like Italian Barolo, Barbaresco and Beaujolais while enhancing the acidity and intensity of medium to full-bodied red wines.
The narrow top and thin rim of the Burgundy glass make it one of the easiest types of wine glasses to drink from. The long stem allows the wine to be swirled, which incorporates air to achieve the best taste and aroma.
5. Syrah/Shiraz Glass
A large bowl and a narrower top of these types of wine glasses bring out the silky texture and balanced flavor of a syrah such as Hermitage and Côte Rôtie.
6. Red Zinfandel Glass
Zinfandel wine glasses have a small bowl that tapers to a narrow opening. This helps to release the wine’s hints of berry and spices. A thin rim sends wine to the center of the tongue where it’s easier to taste the mix of fruit flavors, tannins and acidity.
White Wine Glasses
In general, white wine types of wine glasses have smaller bowls than a red wine glass. This helps to preserve the floral fragrances, maintain a cooler temperature, show off more acidity and deliver more aromas from sweet, dry and oaky white wine.
7. Chardonnay Glass
Smaller than some types of wine glasses, chardonnay glasses have a U-shaped bowl and an upright appearance. The bowl provides aeration while the larger opening balances the flavors of sweet and acidic wines such as sémillon, Montevina and Raveneau. The larger opening sends the wine to the sides and tip of the tongue, rather than the back of the mouth. This allows you to taste the sweetness of the wine.
8. Montrachet Glass
The best types of wine glasses for Montrachet — and other wines with complex notes such as white Burgundy and Meursault — have large openings that allow you to enjoy the aroma. This also lets wine flow from the edges of the tongue to the sides of the mouth so that you can taste the whole spectrum of sour and acidic notes.
9. Riesling Sweet Glass
Riesling types of wine glasses are smaller than most and have a smaller rim. This lets the wine go to the center and then back of the mouth to prevent the sipper from being overwhelmed by the sweet flavor of wines such as auslese, kabinett and spätlese.
10. Viognier Glass
With a smaller bowl and a more open rim, viognier types of wine glasses are used for sweet, citrus and crisp white wines. The bowl needs to be small enough that it doesn’t come into contact with a lot of air, which can destroy the delicate and natural notes of viognier wine, which includes peaches, pears and violets.
11. Sauvignon Blanc Glass
The perfect types of wine glasses for sauvignon blanc are tall with a slender bowl. The shape of the glass causes the tongue to form a U-shape, which sends the wine from the front to the center of the mouth (making it smoother to sip). This glass goes well with light to medium-bodied fruity or floral wines like muscadet, fume blanc and chenin blanc.
Dessert Wine Glasses
Dessert wine glasses are usually smaller due to the high alcohol content in dessert wines. The small size and narrow opening in these types of wine glasses help to reduce evaporation.
12. Madeira Glass
Madeira types of wine glasses have a flared shape just below the top. They also have a shorter stem. While Madeira wine is used for cooking, it’s also very popular for drinking. It’s made from distilled grape spirits, similar to the way brandy is made, and has a high alcohol content like port and sherry.
The narrow mouth of these glasses limits evaporation and puts the accent on the aroma of sweet Madeiras like malvasia or bual. For a drier Madeira like sercial, you could use a standard white wine or sparkling wine glass, but that’s not nearly as unique.
13. Sherry Glass
Sherry glasses have a unique and lovely shape similar to a very slender hurricane glass. They have a long stem and a skinnier bowl than most, designed to send the aroma to the nose and the wine to the back of the mouth. Moscatel, oloroso or pedro ximénez are excellent choices for pairing with sherry types of wine glasses.
14. Port Glass
Port types of wine glasses are smaller and thinner but similar in shape to a Bordeaux glass. It has a shorter stem, but it’s still tall enough for swirling, and has a narrow opening. The design sends the wine down the center of the mouth and to the back so you can taste the sweetness of the port.
Sparkling Wine Glasses
Bring on the bubbly! Sparkling wine and Champagne glasses are much narrower than most types of wine glasses. They’re also completely upright. This shape allows carbonation and that “bubbly” effect we all love. A small opening lets the wine touch your tongue on the first sip.
15. Flute Glass
What else would you toast in the New Year with than a flute glass? This tall and slender glass has a long stem (which prevents the heat of your hand from affecting the wine or Champagne) and a V-like shape. The height of the glass keeps it carbonated and makes the drink appealing to the eye. There’s a bead at the base where the bubbles gather to rise up through prosecco, cava or Asti.
16. Tulip Glass
Tulip glasses have a slim base that opens up to a wider bowl and then gets narrow at the top. The wide bowl allows the flavors to open up while the narrow top prevents carbonation from escaping too quickly. There’s usually a bead at the base where the bubbles gather and rise. Tulip glasses have a very elegant look and are the perfect types of wine glasses for Franciacorta sparkling wine.
Other Types of Wine Glasses
From rosé glasses to stemless tumblers and aerating glasses, there are many types of wine glasses besides the ones listed here. Let’s check out a few more of them for even more wine-drinking opportunities.
17. Vintage Glass
The intricate patterns of those vintage glasses from Grandma’s china cabinet may not have much science behind them, but they are simply beautiful and a treat to drink out of. If you’re feeling nostalgic or fancy (or both), find one with a wide bowl and sip a fine red wine. If you’re drinking a wine that shouldn’t come in contact with so much air, it might not taste quite the same, but it is lovely, nonetheless.
18. Flared Lip Rosé Glass
The long stem, smaller bowl and flared-out lip give these types of wine glasses a glamorous look. The flared lip allows the wine to hit the tip of the tongue first so that you can enjoy that sweet taste. Use it for rosé or crisp young white wines.
19. Aerating Glass
Don’t have a decanter? No worries. Both functional and intriguing to watch, these types of wine glasses aerate right in the glass. All you have to do is pour and drink. The wine gets poured into an internal “cell-like” piece in the center of the aerating glass. From there, it showers out into the glass, releasing all the flavors and aromas of the perfect red wine.
Investing in a couple different types of wine glasses will help you take your wine tasting enjoyment to the next level. Whether you’re sampling wine, sipping on Champagne or enjoying an after-dinner port, we hope you’ve gathered some tips on choosing the perfect types of wine glasses and other stemware.
For even more ways to enjoy fine wines, check out other experiences happening on Cozymeal.
FOOD FOR THOUGHT?
Join the conversation.