Types of Wine Glasses

Exciting Types of Wine Glasses Every Wine Enthusiast Must Own

Connoisseurs of wine will love to see their favorite wine served in the most presentable manner. In fact, choosing a wine glass is as important as choosing the right wine for the occasion. This article lists the different types of glasses based on the wine and design.
A wine glass is a hallmark of refined taste and elegance with which wine is served. It can drastically affect your perception of a drink or its taste. Good wines can be distinguished from the rest by their taste, smell, look, and swirl. All these features are augmented by the use of the right kind of glass. Different wines are enjoyed best when they are served in specific types of glasses.

There are three typical components of a wine glass: the base, which supports the entire body and maintains its uprightness; the stem, where you hold the glass (without transferring body heat to the wine or leaving any marks on its surface which may affect the wine's appearance); and the body, which essentially retains the real flavor of the drink. All the glasses are designed to direct the flow of wine into the part of the mouth where its flavor would be most appreciated. The design for all the glasses is slightly tapered towards the top and wider at the bottom. This shape helps to direct the wine's aroma and flavor towards the nose and mouth respectively.

There are four general types of glasses globally used, though the norm may differ in certain cases.
  • Red wine glass: It is fuller and more rounded in shape than the other types. This type is characterized by a shorter stem as most people tend to hold the bowl while drinking. Red wine does not get affected by body heat easily. Further, the bowl is larger to allow the wine more exposure to the air in order to release its bold aroma and flavor. The complex flavors of red wine are smoothened when exposed to air. The glass can be classified into two styles:
    Bordeaux glass: This is a tall glass with a broad bowl designed for full bodied red wines like Cabernet and Merlot. As the glass is tall, the wine is directed to the back of the mouth for maximum flavor.
    Burgundy glass: In this case, the bowl is bigger in order to accumulate the aroma of delicate wines such as Pinot Noir. This shape allows the wine to be lined towards the tip of the tongue, where the sweetness is enjoyed the best.
  • White wine glass: The shape is slender and has a long stem. It is more U-shaped so that the aromas are streamlined and the wine remains cooler for a longer time. The slender shape ensures less body contact with the glass, as white wine is more sensitive to temperature change. The lip is designed to direct the flow towards the side and the front of the mouth to relish the sweetness of the wine. However, there are many variants of this glass, depending on whether the wine is crisp and young or mature and full.
  • Sparkling wine glass: This type is mostly similar to the one used for white wine, with the only notable difference of having a slightly elongated bowl. The shape helps in pouring the drink without losing its unique carbonation. The long stem and the narrow features prevent heat from escaping due to body contact, while the flavor is retained just like in the case of white wine.
  • Dessert wine glass: It is also known as aperitif glass used to serve ports, sherries, liqueurs, short shooters, and aperitifs. The glass has a standard 120ml shape, which is a small size so that the wine is dispensed to the back of the oral cavity and the sweetness does not overwhelm the drinker. As the alcohol content is high, smaller glasses are perfect for serving dessert wines.
The glasses are also classified on the basis of their design. Although this is a recent trend, the use of most of these is catching up across the globe.
  • Crystal: The crystal design is the most common type that has been in use for many years. The maintenance and design is not an issue as these are readily available in the market. This glass can be etched or made stemless depending on the user's choice.
  • Etched: This intricately carved glass can be in different customized designs. The deep etching gives a distinctive appeal to the glass.
  • Stemless: As the name suggests, the normal stem on the glass is absent in these types. This glass is rounded and shaped like a tumbler. Generally, it will have a flat bottom and is slightly thicker compared to other glasses.
Another novel type is an ice-glass made from a mold placed in a deep freezer. This ice-glass is used for serving white wine and makes a great value addition to a bar setting. It can also be used to serve ice wine (a dessert wine) which tastes best when served chilled. People who love quality wine will swear by the use of right glasses, but it is not a necessity. The important thing is to enjoy your wine the way you like.
Stemless wine glass
crystal wine glasses
Dessert wine glass
Sparkling wine glass
White wine glass
Burgundy glass
Bordeaux glass