What’s In A Glass: Different Types of Wine Glasses
So, you’ve started with your wine journey and are now in the market to find the right stemware to appreciate your wine in. Selecting the proper stemware for wine is just as important as how wine is stored and how it is served to you, as it will affect how you taste and enjoy your wine.
Everything from the size, shape and material of the wine glass will affect your perception of wine. Finding the perfect vessel for your wine that’s within your budget is not that complicated if you pay attention to some important factors.
The material of a wine glass is important. Crystal is preferred to regular glass, as crystal is stronger. It can be made into thinner and more elegant designs. Another important factor is that the surface of a crystal glass is coarser, allowing the wine to develop more intense aromas when swirled in the glass.
A regular glass can be also delicate and intricate if handblown. Glasses should be smooth and free from embellishments or imperfections to enable you to see your wine clearly from the glass.
Check the diameter of the opening of the glass. For red wine, you want the opening to be wider and for white wine, you want the opening to be narrower than the red wine glass. Also, a thinner lip of the glass is preferred as it gives the wine a more delicate feel as it approaches the mouth. Lastly, A thinner rim lip will help you achieve a faster dispersion of the wine through the mouth versus a thicker lip.
White & Red Wine Glass | Photo credit: wineenthusiast.com
Thinner stems are also preferred versus thicker stems as they are more elegant and do not actually affect the taste of the wine. Thinner stemmed glasses are more expensive and also more delicate than thicker stemmed glasses so this is something to be taken into account when purchasing your glasses for your home.
In the past, flutes were in fashion for sparkling wines, especially champagne, as it looks sexy and celebratory. These tall and narrow glasses also help contain the carbon dioxide, keeping them bubbly. Flutes such as the Flute Champagne Glass from Luigi Bormioli are still accepted for sparkling wines like prosecco and cava.
Nowadays, for champagnes, a white wine glass is much more suited. This is because flutes restrict the aromas one can sniff due to the small surface area. The wider surface of the white wine glass allows more of the aromas to come out, especially in vintage champagnes.
Atelier Flute Champagne Glass
WHITE WINE and ROSÉ WINES
White wine glasses tend to have smaller bowls to help retain the wine’s cool temperature. These types of glasses also preserve the fragrant aromas of white wines and express its acidity. Luigi Bormioli’s White Wine Glass is a great vessel for your white wine with the thin lip and narrow rim. Rosé wines can also be served in these white wine glasses, as rosé wines are made similarly to white wines and also needed to be kept at a cool temperature.
Atelier White Wine Glass
Older or vintage and fuller-bodied white wines like White Burgundies are better served in glasses with bigger bowls.
A red wine glass with a wide opening and a bowl that is fuller and rounder is preferred to let you appreciate more of the aromas emanating from the wine. Red wines need a larger surface area to be exposed to oxygen and breathe, allowing wines to soften and alcohol to evaporate, creating the wine’s aroma. Wines will change its chemistry as soon as it hits the glass, opening up the wine to express its complexity.
There is a Bordeaux glass which is taller and allows the wine to proceed directly to the back of the mouth like the Bordeaux Red wine Glass from Vinophil which is made in Austria. There is also the Luigi Bormioli Red Wine Glass which is also Bordeaux shaped and more triangular with a bigger bowl. Either of these can be your all-purpose red wine glass. There is also a special Burgundy-shaped red wine glass which has a fuller balloon and rounder at the bottom to allow the varied aromas from delicate wines such as Pinot Noir to shine.
Vinophil Bordeaux Wine Glass (Left) & Atelier Red Wine Glass (Right)
Many types of wine fall under this category, including some fortified wines like port or sherry, so choosing a different glass for each of these is not ideal. Choose a smaller glass than the white wine glass, in both rim diameter and bowl size. Dessert wines usually have a higher alcohol content so the smaller size glasses reduces evaporation and also ensures a smaller serving to be drunk.
Other factors to consider are storage space for the glasses, ease of cleanliness (washing machine vs. hand wash) and cost of the glasses. If you don’t have a lot of storage space, consider getting an all-purpose glass. If you would rather place all your glasses in the dishwasher versus washing the glasses yourself, consider a more affordable and sturdier and thicker glass. Crystal glasses are better washed by hand since they are more delicate.
There are many fantastic glasses in the market for every budget, so remember our tips when searching. You can also check out our stemware section to you find for your perfect companion to your favorite wine.