“I’m a wine enthusiast. The more wine I drink, the more enthusiastic I get!” – Anonymous
Congratulations! If you’re interested in the types of wine glasses available, you, too, are a wine enthusiast. Or perhaps an enthusiastic wine drinker at the very least.
The wine enthusiast enjoys trying new wines, learning about acidity and tannins*, and deciphering those subtle notes and flavors such as coffee, chocolate, raspberry, vanilla, clove, pepper, etc.
Or perhaps you want to know what types of glasses go with the various types of wines.
Either way, discovering the different wine glasses available is a fun study in art, science, movement, temperature, design, personal preference, and, of course, budget.
The number of different wines glass types is subjective. Some say 11. Depending on your specificity, it could be as high as 18.
In this post, we will focus on the seven most popular types of wine glass shapes. We think wine connoisseurs with discerning taste buds most often use the outliers.
*Sidenote: tannins are introduced naturally during the winemaking process through the grape skin, seeds, stems, and barrel wood. Tannins give the wine dry and bitter qualities.
Table of Contents
Red Wine Glasses
The following are the most common types of red wine glasses:
- The Cabernet Glass
- The Burgundy Glass
- The Bordeaux Glass
Other wine glasses in the Red Wine category are the:
- The Zinfandel Glass
- The Pinot Noir Glass
- The Rosé Glass
(Rosé wine as a beverage is often lumped into the white wine category, but the glass is included in Red because it is made with red grapes.)
Remember: Just because the name of the glass affiliates with the name of a specific wine varietal does NOT mean that glass is only used for that type of wine- far from it.
Nothing is easy, not even glassware.
The Burgundy Glass
The Burgundy glass is the show horse of the red wine glass types because of its large bowl. This allows more air to enter the glass. Red wines must aerate to achieve their ultimate enjoyment.
The glass should boast a thin rim that allows the wine to flow easily. The bowl should be slightly narrow. This subtle tapering of the bowl directs the wine to the tip of the tongue. In addition to Burgundy wine, this glass can be used with Pinot Noir and Beaujolais – your medium-bodied wines.
The Bordeaux Glass
You can think of this as The Jason Momoa glass (tall and broad!). Reach for this glass for your big, bold, heavier wines. These include Cabernet Sauvignon, Malbec, and Bordeaux and Bordeaux blends.
Interestingly, the taller the glass, the longer the distance between the wine and your mouth. Thus, the longer the distance between the wine and your taste buds. Ethanol and oxygen come into play. The shape moves the wine to the back of the mouth.
The Cabernet Glass
This wine glass is tall but not as tall as the Bordeaux glass. It features a broad bowl but not (necessarily) as wide as the Burgundy. At the fear of repeating ourselves, all reds want to breathe. This enhances the smell and the taste.
Both the Cabernet and Bordeaux glass is considered the most traditional wine glasses.
White Wine Glasses
Here are the three most common white wine glasses:
- The Chardonnay Glass
- The Sauvignon Blanc Glass
- The Riesling/Sweet Glass
Again, the names are a guide, and each type of wine glass has its own family of wines that can be enjoyed- even if the wine does not explicitly have that name on the bottle. Whew.
The Chardonnay Glass
The Chardonnay glass (also called Viognier or both) is the most traditional white wine glass type. It will have a smaller bowl than a red, which helps keep the wine colder, and it will be more narrow than broad. These are considered full-bodied white wines. The bowl works to both aerate the wine (but not too much) and concentrate the aromas for your nose.
The Sauvignon Blanc Glass
Sauvignon Blanc is increasingly popular along with its first cousins, Pinot Grigio, Chenin Blanc, and White Bordeaux. They can be fruity, often with notes of apple or citrus; light- or medium-bodied; and floral with hints of roses and elderflowers. It is summertime in a glass.
The glass may feature a long stem. Many people enjoy their white wine chilled. Using a long-stemmed glass helps keep hands away from the bowl, which would warm the wine.
The glass is designed to lead the wine to the center of the mouth. It can do this because the bowl of the glass is tall and slender.
Try it – the tongue forms a U-shape that moves the wine exactly where the winemaker wants it to go.
The Riesling/Sweet Wine
Don’t think you can’t drink sweet wines because they are not relaxed or sophisticated. There is a place for all wines, and some of us like the taste.
The Sweet Wine glass is designed so that dessert wines are directed toward the center or back of the mouth so the sweetness can be enjoyed but is not overwhelming. In this way, the glass should be smaller with an even smaller rim.
Universal Wine Glasses
Finally, if all of this has your head spinning (and it’s not from drinking the wine), purchase a Universal glass and be done with it. In size, if stemmed, this type of wine glass falls somewhere between the Chardonnay and the Cabernet.
Not a huge bowl, and on the tall side. Great for all your wines, red, white, and even sparkling.
For stemless, warmth from your hand will affect the wine’s temperature.
Again, a search for a Universal or Standard type of wine glass will yield a lot of excellent choices.