Battle of the Wine Glasses

What kind of wine glasses does one need to enjoy their favorite bottle of fermented grape juice? The truth is, it only matters if it matters to you. But if you’ve taken the time to pick out a special wine, or even age one in your cellar, getting the best possible sip from a wine glass can, in fact, make a difference. The truth is, not all wine glasses are created equal. The style, size, mouth, and material of a wine glass all plays a role in how a wine pours. So, if you are wondering whether you really need a separate glass for reds and whites, or if you want to make sure you have all the necessary stemware to impress, we’ve done the research for you! Read on.

Champagne

When it comes to busting out the bubbly, flutes are the way to go. They are the perfect vessel for your celebratory toast, and they look festive on a serving tray, too. The long stem and narrow shape allows the bubbly to retain its carbonation, but they do not necessarily enhance the aromas of the wine. Expert tip: hand wash these delicate glasses to make sure they don’t break.

White Wine Glass

Your basic white wine glass is usually shaped like a tulip. The glass has a round bowl that goes straight up before tapering slightly at the top. The shape concentrates the aromas of the wine at the rim and traps them ever so slightly to help you get a sniff of the fruit characteristics of the wine. The smaller bowl size also helps to keep the wine cool longer.

Burgundy Wine Glass

Shaped like an upside-down mushroom, these glasses have wide bowls and taper at the top to create a narrow rim. The large surface area of the bowl allows for fervent swirling and the top ensures the presence of the aromas in the pinot noir or nebbiolo. Expert tip: Never pour wine past the bulge of the glass or you will spill the wine as you swirl it.

Bordeaux Wine Glass

This glass is like the tulip shape of the white wine glass—but super-sized! The taper at the top of the glass is less pronounced than its white counterpart, but it’s the perfect shape to sip a cabernet, syrah, or even a tempranillo. The straight sides and large bowl allow for oxygen to penetrate the wine as you swirl, softening the tannins and opening the wine to make it more approachable.

Dessert Wine Glass

As the name implies, these dessert wines are meant to be served after dinner. And because most are extremely sweet and higher in alcohol compared to other styles of wine, the glass is much smaller is size. The petite size allows the drinker to capture the rich aromas and flavors.

Editor’s Picks

Best Stemless: Riedel O Wine Tumbler

Best Splurge: Zalto Denk’art Burgundy Wine Glass

Best Rated: Schott Zwiesel Pure Collection

Best Insulated Wine Glass: Vinglace

Best Value: Libbey Vineyard Reserve Wine Glass Set

Most Unique: Crate and Barrel Camille Long Stem Wine Glass

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