The Difference Between Wine Glasses

It’s no secret that we love our wine, it’s basically all we talk about. We’re not ones to discriminate- we like reds, whites, sparkling, rosés, you name it. Wine is our specialty and we’re always up for trying something new and maybe a little different.


But the one thing that never changes is what kind of glass we serve our wine in. Okay, so that sounds like a minor thing to be serious about but we mean it! No two red wines are the same and they should be savored in their own uniqueness so they should always be served in the right glass.



Here, we’ll explain, because we realize this sounds crazy.


Every kind of wine glass has a purpose that serves its particular wine in a specific way. Many are shaped to exaggerate the best qualities of the type of wine going into it, so it’s important to pay attention to that.

On a very basic level, there is a drastic difference between a red wine glass and a white wine glass. A red wine glass will be taller and have a much bigger bowl to emphasize the bold, rich flavors of the red wine. Whites are best served in shorter, stouter glasses to keep that citrusy punch you get when you take a sip. If you’re not ready to build a massive wine glass collection, at least start with the very simple red and white wine glasses.


Now, amongst red wine glasses, there are many others that are suited for their own particular varietals. A Pinot Noir glass looks like a very standard red wine glass with the large bowl and wide rim. This is to allow the broad range of aromas and complex flavors from the Pinot to emerge with the right ratio of oxygen, which allows it to spread evenly across the palate.


A Bordeaux glass is the second most common kind of red wine glass and can be used for any Bordeaux-style wines like a Cabernet Sauvignon. It’s going to be taller and narrower, which allows for a targeted expression on the palate, a necessary trait for a highly tannic wine.


The Zinfandel glass highly resembles the Bordeaux but is even smaller, as the Zin is a highly aromatic grape variety. A smaller bowl is helpful for a higher alcohol content.


Now onto the white wines!


A Chardonnay glass is going to be extremely wide, with a rim that almost matches the width of the bowl. This is to serve the many oaky, buttery flavors of a Chardonnay which need room to breathe and do well when they have room to spread out.


The Riesling glass looks a lot like a Zinfandel glass but has more of a tapered shape which helps to focus on the bouquet of flavors the Riesling has to offer. Unlike Chardonnay, a Riesling doesn’t tend to be very bold or complex, so a wide glass could lose some of the delicacies of flavors.


Oh, but what about sparkling? Everyone knows a typical Champagne flute but these really only concentrate the bubbly. What you want to look for is a narrow glass that still has a bit of a bowl, rather than being perfectly vertical like a flute. This will help to enhance the actual flavors of your sparkling wine, rather than just its carbonation.


Naturally, if you live in New York City, you probably don’t have space for multiple wine glasses (at least not yet) so start with your basic red and white, and start to incorporate more as you develop your own wine collection!

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