Types of Wine Glasses

Types of Wine Glasses

Types of Wine Glasses

Different Shapes or Sizes

Wine glasses come in different shapes and sizes. You may have typically been so busy consuming whichever delicious wine you've picked out to pair perfectly with your dinner that you've never stopped to wonder why these glasses come in different shapes or sizes.

The main point of a glass' shape is to emphasize a wine's flavor and aroma, or its bouquet as it is known in the world of wine enthusiasts.

Let's start with the basics though. There are three main parts to a wine glass, a base, a stem and a bowl. The base is the most basic part of the glass and does just what the name implies, serves as a base.

The stem allows you to hold your glass without transferring the heat from your hands to the wine, as well it keeps from getting smudges on the bowl of the glass, which distracts from the visual beauty of the wine.

The bowl is where all of the fun is when it comes to wine, and it is here that you will find the most deviation among the different types of glasses. In both red and white wine glasses the bowl of the glass must by wide enough to swirl your wine around in order to aerate it. This isn't just something that wine snobs do for fun; it actually has some functional purposes. The following are some summaries of what each type of wine glass has to offer.

Red Wine Glass

The bowl on this glass will be fuller and rounder with a larger opening. This is to allow you to dip your nose into the glass and inhale the aroma of your beverage. This wider opening also allows more wine to come into contact with more air, letting the flavors "breathe" There are two main types of glasses that are suitable for red wine

    Bordeaux - this glass is taller, however the bowl is not quite as large as its compatriot. It is designed mostly for full bodied red wines such as Merlots and Cabernets. The height of the glass allows wine to proceed quickly and directly to the back of the mouth where its flavor potential can be maximized
    Burgundy - This is for lighter full bodied red wines such as a Pinot Noir. Not quite as tall as the Bordeaux, but the bowl is definitely larger, this directs the wine to the tip of the tongue where its maximum flavor potential can be released.

White Wine glass

The bowl for this glass will typically be more U-shaped as well as upright. This allows aromas to be released while keeping your beverage at a cooler temperature. Here also you will want two different types of glasses, one type for a younger or crisper white and one for the more mature or fuller wines.

The one for younger wines is going to have a slightly larger opening in order to direct the wine to the tip and sides of the tongue in order to accentuate its sweetness. The glass for the more mature white wines will be taller and straighter in order to disperse to wine to the back and sides of the tongue where it is able to reach its full flavor potential.

Sparkling Wine

This glass is going to be upright and narrow, this is in order to keep its carbonation levels high as well as capture the flavor in the beverage.

Dessert Wine Glass

This is a glass that should be smaller in order to direct the wine to the back of the mouth so its sweetness doesn't overwhelm your taste buds. Due to the higher alcohol content in dessert wines, smaller glasses are usually recommended.