Types of Wine Glasses - Harvey Ltd

Types of Wine Glasses

Whether sweet or dry, white or red, robust or light, wine requires very specific serving procedures in order to reach its full flavor potential. In addition to proper serving temperatures, each type of wine requires a specific style of glass for service.

Red Wine Glasses

The typical characteristics of a red wine glass are:
  • Large glass with a full, round bowl and large opening
  • Opening enables you to dip your nose inside to detect the aroma
  • Full bowl provides air contact for the complex aromas and flavors
  • Increases the oxidation rate, which smooths out the complex flavors

    Burgundy Wine Glass

    • Type of wine: lighter, more delicate red wines, like Pinot Noir, Beaujolais, red Burgundy, and Dolcetto
    • Large bowl (broader than Bordeaux glass) with narrower top directs wine to the tip of the tongue, allowing the drinker to detect flavor nuances
    • Broad bowl allows aromas of delicate wines to accumulate
    • Thin rim makes it easy to drink from



      Pinot Noir Glass

      • Type of wine: Pinot Noir and other light red wines
      • Similar to Burgundy glass; easily interchangeable
      • Wide bowl that enables the wine to come into contact with plenty of air, improving flavor and aroma



        Bordeaux Glass

        • Type of wine: full-bodied, heavier red wines with high tannins, like Bordeaux blends, Petite Sirah, Cabernet Sauvignon, Cabernet Franc, and Malbec
        • Tallest red wine glass; has a broad bowl, but not as broad as other red wine glasses
        • Height of the glass creates distance between wine and mouth, which enables ethanol to dissipate on the nose, allowing more oxygen to soften tannins (tannins contribute to wine’s bitterness)
        • Directs wine to the back of the mouth, minimizing bitterness and maximizing the flavor spectrum



          Cabernet Sauvignon Glass

          • Type of wine: Cabernet Sauvignon and other bold wines
          • Tall glass, though not as tall as a Bordeaux glass
          • Broad bowl; some variations have a very narrow rim
          • Enhances the smell of the wine. Broad bowl enables wine to breathe, and the aroma is subsequently accumulated by the narrow mouth



            Standard Red Wine Glasses

            • Type of wine: medium- to full-bodied red wines with or without spicy components, like Zinfandel, Shiraz, Carignan, Merlot, Chianti, and Malbec
            • Due to the small opening, flavors meet the tongue in a continuous flow as opposed to all at once, which softens the spiciness and rich flavors


            White Wine Glasses

            The typical characteristics of a white wine glass are:
            • Bowl is more u-shaped and upright than a red wine glass
            • Slightly smaller bowl than red wine glass
            • The shape enhances and preserves aromas while also maintaining the wine's cool temperature

                Sauvignon Blanc Glass

                • Type of wine: Sauvignon Blanc and other light- to medium-bodied, fruity or floral wines, like white Bordeaux, Fume Blanc, Loire, Vinho Verde, Chenin Blanc, Muscadet, Muscat Blanc, and Pinot Grigio
                • Tall glass with slender bowl, which captures the nuanced, delicate floral and fruit aromas and guides aroma straight to the nose
                • Sides of the mouth detect acidity the most; this glass causes the tongue to form a U-shape, directing the wine down the front towards the center of the palate, causing a smoother sip



                Montrachet Glass

                • Type of wine: white wines with complex notes, such as Montrachet, White Burgundy, Corton-Charlemagne, Meursault
                • Large bowl allows the heavy complexities to interact with sufficient air and open up
                • Large opening enables drinker to smell complex aromas and enables wine to flow from edges of tongue and either side of the palate to taste sour and acidic flavor spectrum of air, improving flavor and aroma



                Chardonnay Wine Glass

                • Type of wine: Chardonnay and other full-bodied wines, like Semillon and Viognier
                • Larger opening guides wine to the tip and sides of tongue, enabling the palate to detect the sweetness of the wine
                • It’s a balancing act: bowl provides just enough aeration to concentrate the aroma while the larger opening balances out the sweetness and acidity on the palate



                Riesling Sweet and Standard Sweet Wine Glass

                • Type of wine: Riesling sweet and other sweet varieties, such as Zinfandel, Sauvignon Blanc, and Gruner Veltliner
                • Smaller overall, including a smaller rim, which guides wine towards the center and the back of the mouth to avoid overwhelm from the sweetness


                Dessert Wine Glasses

                The typical characteristics of a dessert wine glass are:
                • Usually smaller due to the high alcohol content of dessert wines
                • Dessert glasses usually also direct wine to the back to the tip and back of the mouth to allow for adequate sweetness detection

                      Port Wine Glass

                      • Type of wine: Port or other dessert wines
                      • Narrow mouth reduces evaporation and concentrates the aromas
                      • Tall enough to allow sufficient swirling to release the aromas
                      • Designed to lead wine slowly down the center of mouth towards the back to enable just enough sweetness detection



                        Sherry Wine Glass

                        • Type of wine: sherry, cordial, and other dessert wines
                        • Small size is ideal for dessert wines, which have a higher alcohol content
                        • Directs wine to the back of the mouth so the sweetness doesn’t overwhelm


                          Sparkling Wine & Champagne Glasses

                          The typical characteristics of a sparkling wine and champagne wine glass are:
                          • Upright, narrow bowl to preserve carbonation and flavor

                            Flute Wine Glass

                            • Type of wine: young sparkling wine or champagne, including Cava, Franciacorta, Prosecco, and Asti
                            • Short- to medium-length stem with long, narrow, upright bowl
                            • Bowl successfully retains the carbonation and captures the flavor
                            • Bead at the base prompts bubbles to gather and quickly rise



                            Tulip Wine Glass

                            • Type of wine: young or mature champagne, such as Cava, Franciacorta, Prosecco, and Asti
                            • Slim base that slightly opens up to a wider bowl then narrows towards opening
                            • Bead at base makes bubbles rise, while the wideness allows room for flavor complexities to open up
                            • Narrower top prevents excess carbonation from escaping while directing aromas towards the tongue instead of up the nose



                            Vintage and Coupe Glass

                            • Type of wine: sweet champagne, Cava, Franciacorta, or Prosecco; is also used to serve cocktails
                            • Stemmed glass with short, yet broad and shallow bowl
                            • Reminiscent of the speakeasy era; originally used during the roaring '20s to serve bubbly dessert champagne that was made with a heavy dosage of syrup
                            • Bowl enables wine to come in with plenty of air; less popular as a champagne or wine choice today because air exposure quickly dissipates bubbles and aromas
                            • Holds a small amount of liquid; ideal for themed events or cocktails


                            Rose Wine Glasses

                            The best rose wine glass depends on whether you are drinking a young or mature rose. Below we go through the characteristics of a flared lip glass or a glass with a slight taper.

                              Flared Lip Rose Glass

                              • Type of wine: young, crisp rose or young white wine
                              • Long stem ensures that heat from the hand will not warm the wine
                              • Flared lip directs the wine first to tip of tongue where taste buds are most sensitive to sweetness. Enhances the sweetness of crisp wine; balances flavor and minimizes any bite



                              Slight Taper Rose Glass

                              • Type of wine: mature, full-bodied rose
                              • Short bowl that is rounded at the bottom with a slight taper instead of a flared lip
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