A Summary of Wine Glass Styles

  • Wine glasses come in many styles. Some wine glasses are made for certain styles of wine. Other wine glasses are made for every type of wine. 
  • Glass and crystal are the two most common materials wine glasses are made from. 
  • There are special wine glass styles for different occasions.

No matter what the occasion or style of wine you’re drinking, there is a wine glass for you. Read on below to learn more about the different styles of wine glasses, their uses, and which ones work for which wines. 

Top Wine Glass Styles

Anytime you go to a fine restaurant or expert tasting, you’ll get a special glass for the style of wine you’re drinking. Wine style has the biggest influence on the shape of your glass. 

The next biggest influence on your wine glass style is the glassmaker. Depending on the price range and type of materials the glass is made from, each glass maker will create a unique design to improve your wine drinking experience. 

Empty Wine glasses next to each other

Below are some of the most popular styles of wine glasses. Each one is unique and comes in an enormous variety of prices and designs. 

Aroma Highlighters 

These glasses are built for complex red wines and library wines. With their wide bowls and thin rims, they can highlight the primary, secondary, and tertiary aromas of special red wines.

Examples of these glasses include pinot noir glasses, Bordeaux glasses, and special Burgundy glasses. These styles were developed in France for the country’s prized red wines and have since become the top glasses for serious wine drinkers. 

When buying these glasses, look for quality and expert designs. These glasses are often more delicate than other glasses and more expensive, so need extra care. 

Everyday Reds

These versatile glasses have smaller bowls than the aroma highlighters. They are meant for everyday reds and medium bodied reds such as cabernet franc and merlot. 

Their medium-sized bowls let enough air in to let your wine breathe. They are also perfect for swirling. Most budget wine glasses fall into this style category. 

Red wine glass with wine

Everyday red glasses are usually more durable than other wine glasses. If you’re just getting into wine and want something that will last a long time, these glasses will do the job right. 

Bold Whites

It’s not just red wines that have intense aromas and complexity. These glasses are made for complex white wines such as oak-aged chardonnay, aged blends, and full-bodied white wines like viognier. 

They have wide bowls and plenty of room so you can get the most out of every tasting. These glasses highlight the beautiful secondary aromas of oak aging and let the higher alcohol levels mellow out. 

Like the aroma highlighters, these glasses can be delicate and more expensive. Choose designs from reputable makers that prioritize elegance and functionality. 

Zippy Whites

These sleek and elegant glasses make white wines with high acidity express themselves beautifully. With their narrow bowls and tapered openings, they condense the wine’s acidity and compact aromas into the glass’s rim so you can pick up on every scent. 

For these glasses, high acidity white wines such as riesling, pinot grigio, and floral wines such as gewurztraminer work perfectly. Some aged white wines, such as German rieslings and pinot gris, also express themselves nicely with this style of wine glass. 

Bubble Collectors

For champagne, prosecco, and other sparkling wines, reach for these styles of wine glasses. They are meant to accentuate the wine’s effervescence and are common glasses used in toasts around the world. 

Two champagne glasses at a party

These glasses often have narrow bowls that are long and sleek. They may also have a wider portion around the base to highlight the wine’s aromas and concentrate the bubbles around the nose.  

Dessert Glasses

For sweet wines, no other style of glass is better. Dessert wines have plenty of sugar and acidity. These glasses concentrate the wine’s flavors and aromas into one easy to detect space at the opening of the glass. 

Dessert glasses work with late harvest rieslings, ice wines, and other types of sweet wines. You can also use these glasses for many fortified wines such as sherry or port. 

Miscellaneous Styles

The styles above are by far the most common, especially in wineries, tasting rooms, or restaurants. However, you will also see other styles on the market. 

The most famous and popular are stemless glasses. These glasses are meant for any style of wine and work as long-lasting everyday wine glasses for normal occasions. 

Another common style is the universal wine glass. These glasses have medium-sized bowls and standard rims which are made to work on any style of wine from sparkling to complex reds. 

For sparkling wines, the most unique type of glass is the coupe. These glasses have wide and narrow bowls that hold sparkling wine like a soup dish. They are also great for stacking at parties and events, making them a must for anyone who enjoys hosting. 

Parts of a Wine Glass

Wine glasses come in several styles, but they all share some common features. Each feature serves a different purpose. 

At the top of the glass is the rim. The rim’s design is important to channel the flow of the wine from the bowl to your tongue. Thin rims are often the best at creating this sensation. 

Below the rim is the bowl. This is where the wine’s aromas collect and expose themselves to the air. It’s also where the wine is concentrated during swirling. 

Below the bowl is the stem. This long piece of glass is there to prevent you from touching the bowl. It also works to facilitate easy swirling. 

Finally, at the bottom of the wine glass is the base. This stabilizes the glass on a table and a glass cabinet and makes it easier to hold your glass.

Next time you taste wine, you can pay attention to each part of the glass and its function. This will help you decide which style of glass you like the most. 

Why Style Matters for Your Wine Glasses

Wine glasses are meant to make your wine taste and smell as good as it can. They are also meant to look beautiful in your home.

Various wine glass styles

This combination of form and function makes wine glasses so intriguing for anyone interested in wine. However, the most important thing is that you like your glass. 

No matter if you want a stemmed or stemless glass, there are plenty of options to choose from. Make sure you buy a glass that not only fits your style of wine but looks good in your wine collection too.