It is crucial to find the right wine glass for your tastes. It can be challenging to find the perfect wine glass for you, especially if you are not a connoisseur or don’t have lots of money to spend on wine glasses. But taking a few minutes of your time and doing some research can save you from spending too much money or getting frustrated with endless searches.
Wine glasses are designed to meet the needs of various wine connoisseurs and taste different people. This article will break down the different types of wine glasses and what they offer.
What are the Different Types of Wine Glasses?
There are many different types of wines that are served in a variety of other wine glasses. Here’s a list of the most common types of wine glasses and their functions:
1. Standard Wine Glass
Perfect Fit: Red & White Wines
- This is the most common type of glass available in the market today; it is considered an all-purpose wine glass with one long stem, and its bowl is slightly narrow on top while marginally wider at the base, making it perfect for both red or white wine.
- It’s also called Bordeaux due to its resemblance with the classic French wine glasses used during sommelier training courses conducted in Bordeaux.
- You can find this type designed for use by amateurs or professionals; however, smaller ones are also great for children since they fit perfectly in the palm of their hands.
2. The Champagne Glass
Perfect Fit: Sparkling Wines, Rose, White Wines.
- This is a prevalent type used to serve champagne and sparkling wines. It has a curvy shape and looks like a tulip glass with a broader bottom or foot, an inwardly tapered bowl, and a thin, delicate stem.
- These types come in various sizes, so you should choose the one that suits your requirements and preferences.
- But these are fragile glasses and you must be careful when you are entertaining friends at home, especially if you have little ones running around your house daily.
3. The Port Glass
Perfect Fit: White Wines, Dessert Wine.
- This type of glass is very similar to the wine glass, but it has a smaller base that goes inwards towards the stem; this makes it perfect for drinking ports or other fortified wines such as sherry or marsala.
- They come in various sizes and quality levels that can be used during casual occasions or when hosting guests at home on special festive events.
4. The Flute Glass
Perfect Fit: Sparkling Wines, Delicate White Wines.
- This type is mainly used for serving fine sparkling wines such as champagne. It features delicate thin structures which make it look elegant when filled with bubbles.
- The bowl or cup looks tiny compared to other types, while the stem appears more prominent due to its unique shape being narrower at the bottom where it meets the foot before widening near the top where there’s usually a tiny, round ball.
- They are available in various sizes so you should choose one that best suits your needs. Some have dimpled designs on their base, which increases stability by reducing slippage. In contrast, others are crafted with ridges that help trap carbonation at the top of the bowl, holding on to small quantities of bubbles.
5. Stemless Wine Glass
Perfect Fit: Red Wines, White Wines & Dessert Wines.
The stemless wine glass is a more modern alternative to the traditional wine glass. It helps you drink wine in a more stylish and contemporary way.
The stemless wine glass is an innovation that has been around for quite some time. There are different variations of it available in the market these days, but they all have one thing in common – they do not have any stem to hold. They are simply the bowl of the traditional glasses without any base.
Stemless wine glasses are becoming more popular due to their durability, convenience and design.
Variations in the Shape of Wine Glasses
The choice of which shape of the glass to choose depends on the wine type that will be served inside the glass. As a general rule remember that good wine glasses should have a tulip shape with a wider bowl and a narrow top to allow the wine to aerate and flavors to collect in the bowl.
1. For Champagne and other Sparkling Wines
- A stemmed glass with a slightly wider bowl is better than the narrow bowl like the Flute Glass.
- This allows the aromas and taste to reveal themselves.
2. For White Wine & Rose
- Light bodied white wines like Sauvignon Blanc, Riesling are best served in narrow bowls with slim stem.
- These feature small openings that trap aromas and prevent those wonderful smells from escaping into the air. They also help keep the wines cool for longer durations.
- Full bodies, delicate and aromatic whites can also be served in a wider bowled glass.
3. For Red Wines
- Red wines are served in glasses with bigger bowls like Burgundy and Bordeaux.
- Light bodies Red Wines like Piot Noir must have a wide bowl or globe shape i.e. Burgundy glass that allows plenty of oxygen into the glass for full aroma release and gives it a thicker base that prevents it from tipping over easily.
- Full Bodied Red Wines like Cabernet Sauvignon, Shiraz, Malbec are best served in larger glasses i.e the Bordeaux glass.
4. Sweet Dessert Wines
- They are served in smaller glasses as generally only small qualities of this wine is served.
How to Find the Perfect Wine Glass for Your Personal Taste?
There are many factors to consider when choosing wine glasses. These include; aesthetics, durability, and practicality.
The glass thickness is measured across its diameter rather than from top to bottom, so it does not indicate whether a glass is thin or thick at its rim. A thin-walled glass has a diameter of less than 20mm, allowing more air to come into contact with the glass instead of traditional vintage champagne coupes.
The rim of a glass is also a key consideration. Rounded glasses allow aromas to be retained, whereas angular rims release wine vapors more quickly, diminishing aroma and flavor intensity. The ability of the glass to maintain aromas with each sip you take is referred to as its mouthfeel. Glasses with wider openings emphasize fruitiness due to the tremendous space available for aromatic diffusion from the nose into the center.
Consider how delicate your wines are when looking for wine glasses that suit them best- Wines such as Sauternes, Madeira, and some Pinot Noirs benefit from being served in tulip-shaped glasses narrower than other reds and whites.
If you are looking for glasses that are ideal for both red and white wine, the best option is to purchase a glass that has a slightly taller bowl than the average width. This allows enough space for an ample bouquet of delicate aromas yet still lets one enjoy the fruitiness of lighter wines.
When purchasing wine glasses, it is essential to consider how durable they are. The best glasses have a perimeter that sits nicely in your hand, offering just enough grip without having to tighten your fingers to the point where they become fatigued after only one glass of wine. They also come with indentations on the bottom, making them virtually impossible to slip out of your hands.
The last criteria while buying wine glasses is the budget you have to work with.
Choose the right kind of wine glasses and enjoy each your glass of delicate Pinot Noir or Chardonnay, or an intense Cabernet Sauvignon, with its optimum intensity.
Do check this guide to learn how to hold your wine glasses correctly.