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A Full Guide To Different Types Of Wine Glasses

Beginner At Drinking Wine? This Wine Glass Guide Is Just For You!

More goes into choosing a wine glass than simply if you enjoy its appearance. You may be surprised to find out that you’re altering the flavor of a wine by selecting a wine glass.

There are different recommendations for wine glass shapes, from white wine glass choices to red wine glass options. You’ll even taste a difference when using the correct wine glass for delicate red wines.

Continue reading for a complete guide on wine glasses, from which types of wine glasses to choose to whether or not the material affects your drink.

Why Is It Important To Use The Proper Wine Glass?

Using the correct wine glass allows you to enjoy the wine entirely. It affects your smell and taste senses. Wine glasses, unlike martini glasses, have a smaller opening at the top. This allows the aromatics of the alcohol to sit at the rim, slightly away from your nose. By altering where the aroma of alcohol sits, you’re enabling yourself to smell the other aromatics of the wine.

As for taste, it depends on the opening size of your glass. We tend to drink wine differently depending on the glass shape. Glasses with smaller openings cause us to lean our heads back, while glasses with larger rims allow us to tilt down to drink wine. This changes how quickly the liquid and flavor reach our mouths. It also alters where the wine hits on your tongue.

Our tongues have different taste receptors that pick up on various flavors like salty, sweet, sour, etc. You’ll pick up on specific tastes more clearly by changing where the liquid lands.

The Classic Wine Glass Shape

The difference between wine glass shapes starts with two varieties – stemmed glasses and stemless wine glasses.

Here’s a quick guide on the three parts of a stemmed glass.


The main reason for including the base, otherwise known as the foot, is for stability. It helps keep your glass from tipping over on the table.


If stemmed wine glasses didn’t have a stem, there wouldn’t be anything to hold on to. It’s also the connecting piece between the base and the bowl.


The bowl is the section of the glass that you pour the wine into. Start by filling the bowl to the broadest part for the best flavor. Overpouring leaves you with less air and space for the aromas to collect.


The rim is the part that you drink out of. It’s where the alcohol smell gathers as you’re sipping on wine.

White Wine Glasses Types

Chardonnay Wine Glass

If you mainly drink chardonnay or full-bodied white wines, you’ll want to reach for this type of glass. Chardonnay glass shapes feature a shorter stem with a shorter and wider base. This allows the perfect amount of air to sit above the wine.

Chardonnay Wine Glass

Sauvignon Blanc/Riesling Wine Glass

Sauvignon blanc and Reisling require a smaller glass than what you would drink red wine out of, with a thinner bowl and a longer stem. The goal is to have a smaller amount of oxygen in each glass so you can smell the aroma better.

Red Wine Glasses Types

Cabernet Sauvignon Wine Glass

You’ll want to opt for a tall glass with sufficient room for more oxygen in the bowl. A medium to large base and a thicker stem is required to balance out the weight of the larger bowl.

Bordeaux Wine Glass

A Bordeaux glass is identical to what you would use for cabernet sauvignon. They’re bold wines that require more room for oxygen, so the ethanol evaporates, leaving behind a smoother, fruitier wine flavor.

Burgundy Wine Glass

Burgundy glass options should be short (for a red wine glass) with a smaller stem and a wide bowl. You’ll want to taste the bold flavors of burgundy wine, and this type of glass allows the wine to hit the right part of your tongue.

Pinot Noir Wine Glass

A pinot noir glass should be similar to Burgundy glass. This red wine also has a bold flavor. Choosing a wine glass with a large bowl means your wine can aerate better.

Zinfandel Wine Glass

You’ll want to opt for a standard red wine glass for zinfandel. A classic red wine glass should hold about 12-14 ounces of liquid. This type of glass is excellent for wines with a medium body and spicy notes.

Since these glasses usually have a smaller opening, it allows the spice of the wine to mellow out as it will hit your tongue more slowly.

Sparkling Wine Glass

The type of sparkling wine glass you choose will also vary depending on the wine you’re drinking. Generally, a flute works best with most sparkling wines, especially dry ones.

This type of glass helps stop the wine from going flat too quickly for a better wine-drinking experience.

Dessert Wine Glass

Dessert wines should be served in the smallest glasses. These wines are usually very sweet and contain much higher alcohol content. However, drinking too much of any dessert wine will overwhelm your tastebuds.

Opt for sippers when purchasing dessert wine glasses; they have a short stem and help the flavors and aromas stand out.

Are There Any “Universal” Wine Glasses?

Yes, there are universal wine glasses. They are somewhere between the large Bordeaux glasses and the smaller chardonnay glasses. They’re lightweight and still aid in bringing the aromas and flavors of your favorite wines. 

If you enjoy various wines, this option will allow you to skip a cabinet full of wine glasses and stock up on one glass.

Wine Glasses Materials


Crystal wine glasses require hand washing and are the priciest option. However, they provide a more elegant feel and look when drinking a glass of wine. They also have a thinner material than glass, yet they’re durable.

Machine-Made Glass

Machine-made glass is thicker than crystal and handmade glass, which can slightly affect the flavor and aroma of the wine. However, it’s more affordable than crystal and is typically dishwasher-friendly.

Mouthblown Handmade Glass

Mouthblown handmade glass is thinner, like crystal, offering a better wine profile when you use it. These glasses are typically well-balanced and offer a more visually appealing look than machine-made glass. These glasses are usually dishwasher-friendly, though handwashing them with warm soapy water is recommended.

Acrylic Materials

Acrylic wine glasses look identical to machine-made glass, but they’re nearly unbreakable and the most affordable option. They’re also dishwasher safe. This option will be your best bet if you have kids or pets who tend to knock items off counters.

Which Type of Wine Glasses Should You Buy?

Consider the types of wine that you drink – do you lean toward one or two kinds of wine? If so, you’ll do best purchasing the wine glasses that align with your preferred beverage.

For those who enjoy multiple types of wine, consider getting a universal wine glass. They’ll allow you a better flavor than drinking Chardonnay from a burgundy glass.

When deciding which wine glass material to spring for, consider your budget, available space, and material care before deciding which fits your lifestyle best.

Any Other Wine Accessories To Consider?

If you enjoy wine and want to elevate your wine-drinking game, you can add a few accessories to your repertoire. Here are a few to consider.

  • Corkscrew wine opener for more effortless wine bottle opening
  • Wine cooler or ice bucket for chilling white wines
  • Decanter to allow your wine to breathe
  • A dedicated wine refrigerator so you can always have chilled wine on hand

Do you want to Try New Wines Regularly? Try Wine Clubs!

Wine clubs are great for those who enjoy trying different types of wine but need help figuring out where to start. 

Using wine clubs each month, a selection of wine will arrive at your door to taste. Some wine clubs require a short quiz to match you with wines, some send seasonal wines, and some allow you to choose your wines.

You can find more information and discounts on our Wine Club Coupons page.

Final Notes

Now that you know the type of glass that aligns with each wine, you can expertly choose which glasses work best with your lifestyle. 

You’ll be able to avoid staring at the various wine glasses on the store shelves with the above information, so you can continue shopping for your other items in no time.

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