Wine Glasses

How the style of a wine glass affects taste

wine tasting glasses

As odd as this may seem, its true that you could drink the same wine out of three different glasses and have three different taste experiences. There are as many different choices as these are wines, but this does not mean that you will need to spend thousands of dollars on refined stemware in order to get the full experience out of every bottle of wine.

There are three main components to any standard wine glass: base, stem, and bowl.


The base, a flat round piece at the bottom of the bowl, keeps your glass standing upright. The shape of the base may vary slightly, but the purpose remains the same . It is simply a way to connect the stem to the bowl and to keep the bowl upright. Some glasses may have a base that is thicker than the rest of the glass. This adds some nice weight to the feel of the glass, although there are some who prefer a lighter than air feel. Its all a matter of preference as the base still functions as a support piece and little to do with the quality of the wine drinking experience.


The stem gives you a way to hold the glass, but more importantly it allows you to keep your hands from warming the wine. Also, the stem keeps fingerprints from smudging the bowl, which would reduce the visual stimulus of the wine.

Today, you'll find a streamlined version of glasses that are stemless. There are people who love them and people who regard these popular glasses as a faux pas to serious wine appreciation. Stemless glasses have also gained popularity as they are resistant to the occasional tipping and spilling at large gatherings.


The bowl is where you will see the most variation in shape and size. Every bowl has the same general function, holding the wine, but the variations allow more or less air into the wine to further develop the flavors.

All wine glass bowls have roughly the same shape; wider bottom, tapering upwards. The ration of wide to narrow determines which wine would fare better in which shape. The general wider bottom, tapered top shape allows the wine's aroma to be captured and delivered straight to your nose.

Red Wine Glasses

Glasses designated for red wines are usually much more round at the bottom, tapering only slightly at the top, giving them a wider opening, which invites you to get your nose into the glass and breathe in all of those rich red flavors.

red wine glass

The full bodied wines, such as Merlots and Ports usually have a taller glass which directs the wine straight to the back of the palate where the taste buds can get the most out of the flavor.

White Wine Glasses

White wine glasses are more of a bell shape, which allows the wine to maintain a cooler temperature. The curvature at the top of the bell shape helps the wine to contact the sides of the tongue where the sweet sensation resides. The wider mouth glass also allows more air to push in the crisp, bold flavors to the surface of the wine.

wine tasting glasses

Sparkling Wine and Champagne Flutes

The only variation in white wine glasses is the flute shape for sparkling wine and champagne, which is tall and narrow. This shape works well as it holds the carbonation in. This style of glass also keeps the wine at the back of the palate for optimal taste.

sweet white wine

How to Choose Your Wine Glass

When all is said and done, unless you plan to become a wine connoisseur, you really only need one or two nice glasses. Choose a larger more open bowl for your red wines and a more slender bell shaped glass for you white wines.

The most important thing to look for in any vino glass is good, solid construction; something that feels good in your hand and looks clear and clean.

Whether you choose stemmed or stemless, lift up the glass, feel the weight and consider the shape. If the glass is pleasing to touch and to see, you have chosen the right glass for you!


Red Wine Glass

Red Wine

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White Wine Glass

White Wine