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Cheers! Here’s how to the choose the best wine glass for every occasion

If you are a wine connoisseur, you would know that choosing the right wine glasses is as important as choosing the right kind of wine. Here’s your ultimate guide to wine glasses and red wine glasses that will come in handy for every occasion.

Wine is one such exquisite drink which not only has to be stored right, but also has to be poured and drunk right to elevate the entire experience. While some wine glasses are minimalist and just do the job, some are extravagant and statement. You will find a number of different kinds of glasses in the market, especially in the online space. But we are here to answer all your wine glass questions with this comprehensive guide.

Types of wine glasses

Bordeaux, Cabernet or Merlot red wine glasses

red wine glass
Image: Courtesy Amazon/Riedel Wine Series

This is custom built for the bolder varieties of reds, such as Bordeaux, Cabernet and Merlot. This variety is the tallest, with a broad base, a medium to large stem and a large bowl that closes at the opening. It allows a significant amount of oxygen to be in contact with the wine.

Syrah, Shiraz, Sangiovese or Malbec red wine glasses

Image: Courtesy Amazon/Riedel Wine Series

This looks almost the same as the previous one, but it is shorter and has a smaller bowl. These glasses are for medium to full-bodied red wines where they take the edge off the harsh flavours and spice of the wine and make the wine hit your palette slower because of the smaller opening.

Burgundy or Pinot Noir red wine glasses

Image: Courtesy Amazon/Riedel Vivant

This is most commonly used for Pinot Noir and Burgundy and is the shortest and widest among them all. The wide bowl and shorter stem collects the bolder aromas and lands all the intense flavours to the correct part of your tongue.

Sauvignon Blanc or Riesling white wine glasses

red wine glass
Image: Courtesy Puccini Riesling Wine Glasses

White wine glasses are different. This type of wine glass has a mid to long stem and a narrow bowl that closes in slightly.

Chardonnay wine glasses

Image: Courtesy Riedel Veritas Chardonnay Wine Glasses

These kinds of glasses are absolutely opposite to the above type of glasses. Chardonnay glasses have a wide bowl, ideal for full-bodied white wines and a much shorter stem.

Universal wine glasses

Image: Courtesy Nachtmann Vivendi

If you are just starting out and do not want to invest in high-end white or red wine glasses, this is your ideal choice. It’s perfect for red wine and white wine.

How to choose the best wine glasses?

As we mentioned above, choosing the right kind of wine glass is just as important as choosing the right kind of wine. The style, shape and thickness of a wine glass is of utmost importance in determining how the wine presents itself and tastes.

There are three things to keep in mind when choosing a wine glass. They are:

Bowl shape

This is the determining factor of how much air gets into the wine, which influences the overall taste and aroma of the wine. The smaller the bow, the harder it is for the aroma to escape. When you are drinking from a glass with a smaller bowl, you will notice more aromas hitting your nose. So, wine glasses with smaller bowls are more suited for white wines.

When it comes to red wine, they have bolder character and aroma which need more aeration in order to release the flavours. So, they need a wider bowl that allows more oxygen in the air to reach the wine.

For sparkling wines and champagnes, they need a glass with a narrow flute in order to preserve the bubbles.

Thickness of rim

The thickness of the glass at the rim determines the flow of the wine from the glass to the mouth. A glass that has a thin-cut rim with no lip will make sure the wine reaches your mouth more smoothly than a glass with thicker rims.

Stem or no stem

Stemmemd glasses are the first choice for wines. That is because the temperature of the wine can greatly impact the taste. When you hold the glass by the stem, there is no direct body contact with the glass and the temperature of the wine stays unaffected. This stem is important espeically for white wines like Sauvignon Blanc or Chardonnay, which taste the best when slightly chilled. Whereas, red wines are best enjoyed when they are at room temperature. So, how to hold a red wine glass doesn’t matter as much in case of red wines, as much as it does for white wines.

What is the difference between red wine glass and white glass?

One of the major difference between red wine glass and white wine glass is the length of the stem. White wine glasses tend to have longer stems, so that there is more space to hold the glass. Whwreas, red wines can be had in glasses with shorter stems or no stems at all.

Another point of difference between these glasses is that red wine glasses have a broader rim and bowl than red wine glasses.

Best wine glasses

Here are some of the best wine glasses you can add to your arsenal for the best wine experience.

Hero Image: Courtesy Kelsey Knight/Unsplash; Featured Image: Courtesy Lefteris kallergis/Unsplash

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

Question: Why are red wine glasses different?

Answer: Red wines will typically have bolder tasting notes and benefit from being able to breath more, so a larger bowled glass allows the red wine to come into contact with more air, helping them to open up and display more aromas and tasting notes.

Question: Is red wine in a big glass?

Answer: If you are drinking red wine, try and have a glass with a larger bowl that allows the wine to breathe

Question: Can you use white wine glasses for red wine?

Answer: It is better not to drink red wine in white wine glasses, as white wine glasses are smaller and narrower.

Question: What is the etiquette for holding red wine glass?

Answer: You should grip your wine glass by the stem, pinching it between your thumb, pointer, and middle fingers. Your other two fingers will sit naturally on the base of the glass.

Question: How do you serve red wine?

Answer: Red wine should be served cool, between 60 to 70 degrees.

Question: How do you drink red wine?

Answer: To drink the wine, take a small sip and swirl the wine in your mouth, so you can fully absorb the flavor with your taste buds. You can hold the wine for about five seconds, then swallow, and savor the aftertaste. Fine wines linger on the palate for longer. This is especially true when drinking red wine.

Question: How long should you let red wine breathe?

Answer: Most red wines improve when exposed to air for at least 30 minutes.

Question: How do you hold a red wine glass elegantly?

Answer: Hold all stemmed wine glasses towards the base of the stem between your thumb, forefinger and middle finger. You'll find that your other fingers will just rest on the base naturally.

Question: Are you supposed to hold a wine glass by the stem?

Answer: Yes, you are supposed to hold a wine glass by the stem.

Cheers! Here’s how to the choose the best wine glass for every occasion

A journalism student who studied the subject only to meet SRK in person, she settled for the best way to meet him. Covering Entertainment throughout her career, and now Food, Health and Lifestyle as well, Sreetama is also a self-proclaimed plant mom. In love with all things slow and quiet, she can often be found hunting for quiet corners with a glass of wine in hand. Other loves include little, inconsequential things, like neatly tucked-in bedsheets and big, significant things, like whole cheesecakes. She dreams of being a baker and writing about food someday.

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