Wine glasses have been craftily engineered to vary in size and shape over time. Expert wine-makers and tasters have found that different shapes of wine bowls provide optimum experiences for different types of wines. Here are a few common wine glasses with their appropriate pairings, and some extra terminology to heighten your wining experiences.
Parts of a Wine Glass
A wine glass is composed of a foot, stem, and bowl. The foot is the glass’s base and stabilizer, and the stem is the glass that extends vertically from the foot. The bowl is the chamber that holds the wine, and allows aromas to become suspended in the air with a few swirls of your glass.
Sparkling Wine Glasses:
- Flute: A thin glass with a distinctive U-shaped bowl. This glass is best for preserving bubbles in the driest champagnes and sparkling wines.
- Tulip: A type glass that appears in similar size and delicateness of a flute, but has a wider bowl to catch floral, fruity aromas.
- Wide-tulip: A glass that looks like a mini-white wine glass. It’s used to catch the rare aromatics of aged sparkling wines, like baked-bread, brioche, honey, or straw.
- Coupe: A popular sparkling wine glass of the 1950’s. This glass is more for show. Bubbles dissipate more quickly and make wine softer.
White Wine Glasses:
- White wine glass: A very U-shaped glass, where the rim and bottom of the bowl is slightly narrower in circumference than a red wine glass. It appears to have the characteristics of a large flute, but just with a wider bowl.
- Chardonnay glass: A chardonnay glass has a wide U shape, where the rim and bottom of the bowl are also wide.
Red Wine Glasses:
- Pinot Noir Glass: A large glass with a U-shape that’s wide at the bottom and middle, but slightly narrower at the top.
- Standard Red: A glass that is shaped like a classic U, but larger than a typical white wine glass
- Cabernet Sauvignon: A glass with an elongated U shape that nearly equally wide at the bottom, middle, and top
If you are ever wondering why a wine-tasting server leaves an ample amount of space in your glass, it’s not because they don’t like you. It’s quite the opposite. Space above wine is necessary for aroma to build and add to your wine experience, so be sure to steep in the smells and connect the fragrance notes to your palate.
If you ever have questions about the best wine glass for a wine you will serve at a party, simply call your local winery and ask them some questions. Wineries are more than happy to make serving recommendations based on your needs, and suggest tastes that you may enjoy from their own inventory. Now that you have polished up on some basics, feel free to get creative and pair your polished, articulate wine tasting knowledge than with some food and friends. Wine is a universal joy, and glass engineering has come far in development. Reap the benefits of modernized wine experience, and know your glasses.