Types of Wine Glasses
Whether you like to enjoy a glass of wine with dinner or entertain guests regularly, there are three types of wine glasses you should have in your cabinet—red, white, and Champagne. Here are the main differences between the types and why having all three are so important:
White Wine Glasses
White wine glasses (above left)
are shorter with a narrower bowl than red wine glasses. They also feature more of a U shape, which allows the aromas to be released while keeping the wine cool (most white wines are served chilled). There are also different types of white wine glasses
depending on the variety.
- Considered the standard white wine glass, chardonnay glasses have the widest bowl, which is designed to direct the wine to the tip and sides of the tongue to maximize the taste of the sweetness. They usually have long stems designed to keep the wine as cool as possible.
- Other white wine glasses—meant for bolder white wines, such as riesling and sauvignon blanc—feature narrower bowls to direct wine to the back of the mouth to maximize the wine's bold flavors and acidity.
- Montrachet or white Burgundy glasses look similar to wide red wine glasses but are shorter.
Champagne glasses (above middle)
feature a taller, narrower bowl (called a flute) designed to highlight the richness and complexity of the sparkling wine. The smaller opening retains the carbonation longer and directs the wine to the tip of the tongue to maximize its flavor. The most common type of Champagne glasses feature the flute shape pictured above, however the flute can also be more V-shaped or have a very short, wide bowl, called a coupe
. Types of wine that can be served in Champagne glasses include sparkling wine, cava, prosecco, and asti.
Red Wine Glasses
Red wine glasses (above right)
are taller and have a wider bowl than white wine glasses. In general, red wines are bolder, so they need bigger glasses to allow all of the flavors and aromas to emerge from the wine. There are different types of red wine glasses
, as well.
- Considered the standard red wine glass, Bordeaux glasses are designed for heavy, full-bodied wines (like cabernet, Bordeaux, and merlot). They are taller and have smaller bowls than Burgundy red wine glasses. The height of the glass directs the wine to the back of the mouth to maximize the flavor.
- Meant for light, full-bodied wines (like pinot noir and Burgundy), Burgundy glasses are shorter but have a much wider bowl than other red wine glasses. The wider, almost balloon-shaped bowl directs the wine to the tip of the tongue, where it is more sensitive, to taste the delicate flavors of lighter wines.
- Shiraz glasses are the tallest of the red wine glasses and feature a distinct taper inward toward the lip of the glass.
Dessert and After-Dinner Wine Glasses
Sweet dessert wines and after-dinner wines, including port, sherry, and ice wine, should be served in a short, narrow glass, which directs the wine to the back of the mouth so the sweetness doesn't overwhelm the palate. See all dessert wine glasses