18 Types of Wine Glasses (Red, Wine & Dessert with Charts)

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2 red wine glasses

Most people have one, maybe two set of wine glasses for all types of wine.  This is generally more than sufficient.

However, if you wish to take your wine appreciation to the next level, one step to take is to learn about the different types of wine glasses and buy sets for each type of wine you serve.

Below you’ll find custom illustrated charts, photos and write-ups showing and explaining your wine glass options.

A. Types of Red Wine Glasses

Chart illustrating the different types of red wine glasses

1. Cabernet

Cabernet red wine glass with a sleek interface a tall and slim stem.One of the tallest of all of the red wine glasses, cabernet wine glasses are specially created to intensify the smell of the wine. They magnify and focus it because of their shape, making drinking from them an experience that you are sure to enjoy. In addition, because the bowl of the glass is so wide, it allows the wine to breathe properly. The aroma then is captured by the narrow mouth.

It’s important when you are using a cabernet wine glass that you do not overfill it as it is much better for the taste, smell, and enjoyment of the wine to have smaller amounts poured into the glass. This ensures that the wine is as fragrant as possible when you drink it. This is a common problem for people because the wine glasses are so large that it makes it easy to overpour; however, you never want to pour more wine than can fill the widest part of the bowl.

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2. Burgundy

Burgundy red wine glass with a shallow but wider bowl and a slim stem.These special glasses have a wider bowl than Bordeaux glasses do. The bowl is bigger so that it can accommodate some of the aromas of wines that are bit more delicate. Due to the shape of the glass, the drinker will experience tasting the wine first on the tip of the tongue, then throughout the mouth.

Having the wine directly at the tip of the tongue ensures that you can fully taste and smell even the most delicate wine and keeps you from missing any of the amazing nuances that may be in a particular glass of wine. Some of these glasses have a shorter stem that will keep the wine glass from being at risk of toppling over but these stems are still long enough that you can easily swirl the wine to incorporate air and enjoy the best possible taste and smell.

The lip on these glasses is often quite thin, which doesn’t just help keep the wine at the front of your mouth but also makes them very easy to drink out of.

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3. Bordeaux

Bordeaux wine glass has a small bowl but a tall and slim stem.Bordeaux wine glasses have the honor of being the tallest red wine glass but with a much smaller bowl than some of the other available glasses.

They are perfect for full-bodied wines such as a Merlot or Cabernet and their shape ensures that you will have the best possible drinking experience when you use them. Since the wine glass is so tall, when you drink out of it, the wine will easily travel to the back of the mouth instead of remaining up near the tip of your tongue.

This ensures that you taste all of the amazing flavors of your wine without it being bitter or too much to drink. Wine drinkers find that this especially helps if the wine that you are drinking is a little young or does not have the full, rich flavors traditionally associated with Bordeaux.

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4. Zinfandel

This Zinfandel glass with a large rim is handcrafted to perfection.The perfect wine glass for Zinfandel is a little shorter than the Bordeaux wine glass and has a slightly larger rim. This ensures that you experience the full flavor and smell of your wine. You will want to look for glasses that have a thin rim as anything thick or bumpy will detract from the overall experience of the wine that you are drinking.

Thicker rims will actually impede how the wine flows into your mouth and with a lighter wine such as Zinfandel, you want to make sure that there is nothing in its way. The bowl is also smaller than the Bordeaux or Cabernet wine glass but still large enough that the wine is able to breathe. This will improve the overall flavor of the wine and your whole drinking experience.

While you can use a Bordeaux glass to drink a Zinfandel wine, you will enjoy your wine much more when you use the correct glass even though many people think that they are so similar as to be interchangeable.

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5. Pinot Noir

Pinot Noir wine glasses looking sleek and fine.Pinot Noir glasses are gorgeous and have the widest bowl of any of the red or white wine glasses. This ensures that the wine has as much contact with the air as possible and will greatly improve its aroma and flavor. The bowl is large enough for you to swirl it and a crystal-clear glass will allow you to observe the wine during this action.

These glasses have slightly shorter stems than other red wine glasses. The easiest way to tell them apart from other types of red wine glasses is to pay attention to the rim. It is turned out from the glass, which directs the flavors and smell of the wine directly to your nose and mouth. While you can drink Pinot Noir from any kind of glass that you want to, if you want to fully enjoy this wine, then you will only drink it from a special glass.

You want to be able to capture the intensity of this wine and only a Pinot Noir glass will be able to do that; everything else will allow you to drink your wine but you will find that there is not much enjoyment in it.

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6. Rose

Rose crystal wine glasses with slim stems.Rose glasses have a long stem that ensures that the heat from your hand does not affect the wine. You want your wine to remain at a cool temperature and the stem allows that. There are two main kinds of rose glasses that you can find: ones with a short bowl and flared lip and others with a short bowl and a short taper.

Either one is fine for drinking this delicious wine but the flared lip is preferred when you are going to be enjoying a younger wine. These wines are generally less sweet than their aged counterparts and the flared lip will direct the wine to your sweet-sensitive taste buds. This minimizes any unpleasant aftertaste and maximizes the sweetness of your drink. More mature rose will be perfectly served in a glass that has a short taper.

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B. White Wine Glasses

Chart showing different types of wine glasses

1. Chardonnay

Chardonnay glass has that smooth U-shaped bowl.In general, glasses specifically designed for white wine will have a more upright and “U”-shaped bowl than those created to enhance the enjoyment of red wine. A great Chardonnay glass will be similar in shape to the Pinot Noir glass but will be smaller. It’s perfect for younger white wines as the opening is slightly larger, which will direct the wine that you are enjoying to the sides and tip of the tongue instead of the back of the mouth.

This way, you will be able to enjoy the sweetness of the wine. This is a great way to enjoy wine that otherwise may not seem sweet enough as the larger opening can help you really taste every sip that you take. These glasses have a fairly wide bowl with a top that only narrows a little bit. The shape of this glass, similar to the Pinot Noir, ensures that you fully enjoy the intensity and deliciousness of the wine.

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2. Viognier

Viognier wine glass has a small bowl and a wider rim.The Viognier wine glass has a smaller bowl than a sweet wine glass and a slightly more open rim. It’s important that your Viognier glasses have a small enough bowl that the wine will not be in a lot of contact with the air as the oxygen can quickly destroy the aromatic notes for which this wine is so prized.

The aromatics of this wine commonly include violets, peaches, pears, and minerals and it’s important that you do everything to protect these amazing aromas. These wines are typically drunk a little young and can tend to be sweeter so the shape of the glass ensures that you have the best drinking experience. You won’t have to worry about missing some of the amazing floral aromas in this wine when you choose a high-quality Viognier glass to enjoy your drink.

In addition, the shape of the glass itself and the broad base that is common with these glasses ensures that you will not have an accident as they rely on a lower center of gravity to keep from being easily knocked over.

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3. Sparkling

Slim and small wine glass for sparkling wine or champagne.

Sparkling, or champagne, glasses are going to be much narrower than other white wine glasses and perfectly upright. This shape helps the glass retain the carbonation of the wine and will allow it to play on your tongue when you drink. People love these wine glasses because they are designed to promote carbonation while others with wider bowls would cause the wine to quickly go flat.

You will enjoy the taste and the aroma of the wine when you have your first sip, thanks to the shape of the glass and the small opening, as the drink will hit the tip of your tongue immediately. The shape of the glass also allows the aromas of the wine to flow upward, making it easy to smell and enjoy. A wide base is important as it ensures that your tall glass does not accidentally tip over and spill or get broken.

These special-occasion flutes often come beautifully decorated and make every drink that you enjoy feel as if it is a cause for celebration. Some producers are even making sparkling wine glasses that have the bowl extend all the way through the stem.

While there are people who enjoy the look of these glasses, they will unfortunately warm up your sparkling wine when you are drinking it. This will cause it to lose carbonation and go flat much faster than if you were using a glass with a long stem.

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4. Sweet Wine

Slim and small handcrafted wine glass perfect for sweet wine.Designed for sweeter and dessert wines, these glasses are smaller and have a much smaller rim than other white wine glasses. This makes them ideal for directing the wine to the back of the mouth. This ensures that the sweetness of the wine is not overwhelming and that the taste and feel of the wine can still be enjoyed.

In addition, swirling the wine will emphasize the acid content, which will also help combat the extreme sweetness that you can find in some sweet wines. Since dessert wines often have a higher alcohol content than other white wines, you will enjoy a smaller serving and the petite size of these glasses makes them the perfect size for an after-dinner drink. Thanks to the taper on their rim, they are easy to swirl and will keep a great balance between the air and the wine.

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5. Vintage

A set of vintage wine glasses made of lead crystal.While vintage wine glasses have a lot of charm, they aren’t always the best glass to drink out of. Because they are not specially designed to improve the flavor and smell of the wine that you are enjoying, they will make some wines taste better than others will so it may be a little hit or miss when drinking out of them.

Even knowing this, many people choose them because they are so attractive and conjure up happy memories. They come in a variety of designs from plain glass to cut crystal so you can make your drink as fancy as you’d prefer. The main problem with these wine glasses is that the bowl is so wide that the wine has a lot of contact with the air. In addition, this wide bowl can be tricky to balance and so spilling your wine is much easier than with a taller, more streamlined glass.

If you want your wine to have plenty of contact with oxygen or are more concerned with appearance than with function, then you will love the way that these wine glasses look. Make sure that they have a wide and heavy enough base to help counteract the heavy liquid that they will be holding and always pick them up by the stem so that you are not inadvertently warming them with the heat from your hand.

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6. Rose White

These long stemmed glasses are so designed so that you do not accidentally warm your drink with the heat from your hand. You can buy two kinds of Rose glasses – ones with short bowls and tapers or ones that have a short bowl with a flared lip. They both work perfectly well, but if your Rose is younger then you will want to use a glass with a flared lip as this will help intensify the sweetness of the wine. If you are going to be drinking a more mature Rose then you can opt for a glass with a shorter stem and one without a flared lip.

Buy it on Wayfair here

C. Other Wine Glasses

1. Port

Traditionally, these glasses are a little smaller and thinner than a Bordeaux glass but similarly shaped. Although the glass can usually hold between six and 12 ounces, it’s important that you don’t fill it more than halfway to ensure that you can really enjoy the aroma of the wine.

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2. Sherry

Sherry wine glassMade specifically to hold and serve sherry, these glasses are very similar in appearance to port wine glasses. They have a very long stem to protect the quality of the drink while it is being enjoyed and a very small opening for the mouth. This directs the aroma of the sherry to the nose of the drinker and ensures that they are able to enjoy even the smallest nuances in their drink.

Buy it on Houzz here

3. Balloon

Balloon wine glassCommonly used as large wine glasses, balloon glasses are great to have on hand because they are so versatile. They can be used for reds that need plenty of air to breathe as well as white wine such as chardonnay, as the fairly large opening will allow a lot of the aroma to escape the glass. Users love the long stem on these glasses since it will keep the drink from accidentally getting too warm.

Buy it on Houzz here

4. Flute

Flute wine glassTaller and skinnier than all other wine glasses, this protects the carbonation and ensures that your wine stays bubbly while you enjoy it. The long stem ensures that the heat of your hand does not negatively affect the quality of your drink. The height of the glasses does more than simply ensure that the beverage stays well carbonated, it also improves the appearance of the drink and makes it more appetizing.

Buy it on Houzz here

5. Stemless

Blue bar glass with detailed, droplet designs. Stemless glasses have gained a lot of popularity recently but it’s important that you are careful when using them as you don’t want the warmth of your hand to heat up your wine. While you won’t have to worry about accidentally knocking them over since they do not have a stem, you will have to decide if that safety is worth worrying about the temperature of your wine.

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6. Aerating

A wine glass you can use to aerate the wine manually.If you want to make sure that your wine is well aerated before drinking it, then this glass is perfect for you. Instead of having to aerate your wine and then pour it into your glass, you can easily aerate it while pouring yourself a drink. Look for ones that combine function and beauty.

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