Some wine glasses are more effective than others (science backs this up). What are the best wine glasses?
Wine can be enjoyed in any vessel, including wine glasses, wine mugs, wine mugs, mason jars, and dixie cups. You can even skip the glass and just drink directly from the bottle!
The right glass can make wine taste better. They are also affordable and won’t set you back a lot. (Unless of course, you’re obsessed…)
A Proper Glass is Essential
Although there are many wine glasses available, the basic shape of the wine glass is the same.
Now, there is scientific evidence to support the importance of glass shapes.
In 2015, a Japanese medical group used a special camera to record images of ethanol vapors in different glasses. In their study, the research group showed how different glass shapes affected the density and position of vapors at the openings of different glasses.
Why do vapors matter? Well, they carry aromatic compounds into your nose. Aromatic compounds are responsible for producing the vast majority of flavors in wine.
Why are there so many wine glasses?
There are many wine glasses on the market, but you will find certain shapes that are more suitable for certain wine types.
It doesn’t matter if your stem is stemmed or not. It is more about the way the vessel collects aromas and deposits wine in your mouth.
Below is a list of primary glass shapes and wines that perform well in them.
Nope. It may look like a wineglass, but it’s not.
Let’s start with the basics. Do you remember those stemmed glasses that are filled all the way to their tops? These aren’t wine glasses. These are hipster cups.
You need to have space over the wine in order to smell the aromas.
One type of white wine glass is better at maintaining a cool temperature. The other is better at collecting aromas.
White Wine Glasses
White wines are usually served in smaller bowled vessels. Smaller glasses:
- Preserve floral aromas
- Maintain cooler temperature
- Wines with more acidity should be expressed
Because of its proximity to the nose, it delivers more aromas even at lower temperatures.
A larger bowl will make full-bodied white wines such as oak-aged Chardonnay, Viognier, and White Rioja more enjoyable.
The larger bowl, originally introduced by Riedel as a “Montrachet” glass, better emphasizes a creamy texture because of the wider mouth.
The 3 primary red wine glass shapes help moderate high tannin wines, deliver more aromas, or make spicy-tasting wines more rounded.
Red Wine Glasses
The choice of a red wine glass has a lot to do with mitigating the bitterness of tannin or spicy flavors to deliver a smoother tasting wine.
We’ve found that red wines taste better in a large-opening glass. This is despite tasting many different wines over the years. Of course, the distance to the actual fluid affects what you smell.
Large “Bordeaux” Glass
This glass shape works best with bolder red wines such as Cabernet Sauvignon or Cabernet Franc, Alicante Bouschet, and Bordeaux Blends.
More aroma compounds are produced than ethanol when it is farther away from the nose.
- To let ethanol evaporate, you need a larger surface area
- Wines that have a wider opening taste better
- Red Wine Glass “Standard”
This glass is great for the best liquor dispenser that is medium to full-bodied and has spicy notes.
Because the opening is smaller, spices are more subtle. This glass is great for wines such as Zinfandel and Malbec.
Glass Aroma Collector “Bourgogne”
This is a great option for delicate, lighter red wines that have subtle aromas. All the aromas are captured by the large, round bowl. This glass shape is great for Pinot Noir, Gamay and Zweigelt as well as Schiava, Freisa and Valpolicella blends.
Specialty wine glasses
There may be a reason to get a few special wine glasses, depending on your preferences.
We cannot live without our Port glass (shown on the right). The wine’s high alcohol content is reduced by its small size and narrow mouth.
That said, I’ve broken almost every Champagne flute I’ve purchased. (flailing arm syndrome)
What about “Universal” glasses?
A few glass companies, including Zalto or Gabriel-Glas, offer a “universal” glass.
This is a great idea if you are a space-saver and don’t want all the shapes. These glass brands offer exceptional quality, starting at $30 per stem. It’s difficult to notice the subtle differences in taste delivery.
However, if you “only drink bold reds”, a Bordeaux glass of the right size (such as the one shown above) might be a better choice.