Do the Size and Shape of the Glass Really Matter?

Do the size and shape of a wine glass matter?

Do the size and shape of the glass really matter?
Yes! There are several different types of wine glasses, and choosing the right wine glass takes a bit of knowledge.

Size and Profile of the Bowl
The bigger the bowl of the glass, the better the wine's fragrances can swirl out and reveal themselves. Glasses made for red wine have a tendency to be larger, since red wines require additional time to breathe and open up. Aside from this general consideration, any specifics about bowl shape and size are personal preferences.

Length of the Stem
The stem of the glass serves an important purpose: It enables us to hold the glass without holding the bowl directly, which can affect the wine's temperature. How long the stem is more a matter of style and lifestyle. Longer stems, while looking elegant, can break quite easily and can be difficult to fit in a dishwasher or find a place to store in the kitchen or dining room. Shorter stems function just fine and are great for daily use.

Recently, stemless wine glasses have gotten to be quite popular. These can be great for more casual gatherings, where the wine is flowing and we're feeling less particular about the subtleties of temperature variation in our glass.

Fine Lead Crystal vs. Standard Glass
The better the crystal, the thinner the glass. This can make an enormous difference. Fine lead crystal can truly heighten the wine drinking experience. Unfortunately, these glasses are costly. With modern production, however, it's possible to get non-lead crystal glasses that give you the benefits of crystal without breaking the bank.

Plain vs. Decorative
Typically, plain glasses are best for serious wine tasting, as they enable you to analyze all the visual parts of the wine, including the color, the clarity, and the viscosity. However, as most wine drinking is not "serious tasting," this usually comes down to a matter of personal taste.

Champagne/Sparkling Wine Flutes
The narrow flute glass is shaped to concentrate the bubbles in the wine, making them more intense and long-lived in the glass. There are a number of tulip-shaped and even wider glasses that are used for sparkling wine, but nothing focuses the bubbles like a classic flute.

There are many different types of wine glasses. Luckily, you'll learn how to choose the right wine glass and more as a member of the Original and Only Wine of the Month Club.

  • Sort by: