If you’ve done even a little bit of wine glass shopping lately, you know that the options seem endless and the whole ordeal can be a little confusing. is stemware and stemless; specially shaped glasses for red, white or sparkling wines; And even more derivations. Seriously, we wouldn’t be surprised if you left your search without a wine glass, but plenty of questions you didn’t even know you had.
With so many different types of wine glasses available, settling on just one can be seriously overwhelming. This leaves many people wondering: does the type of wine glass you use even matter?
To find out, we contacted some of the people who work in the wine world and know best. It turns out that even among wine experts there are many different opinions going on about glassware.
Here’s what you need to know.
Does it matter what type of wine glass you use?
The answer to this question depends a lot on what kind of drinker you are. If you’re a serious wine drinker who’s interested in understanding the nuances of flavor, the type of wine glass absolutely matters, that said. cara flaherty, a certified sommelier and beverage director at restaurant group Take Root Hospitality. But more casual and novice drinkers needn’t stress about a glass of wine.
Erica Taylor, a sommelier, wine marketer and educator, said that glassware helps people fully experience the wine they are drinking. This includes paying attention to the taste and aroma of the wine, and the way it hits your palate.
If you’re drinking wine for the amount of alcohol alone, you can just pour it out of the bottle, she said. However, if you’re after that full experience, you’ll want to put a little thought into your glassware choices.
Paul Lysek, Service Manager ET SAFTA In Denver, Colorado, there’s a belief that drinking wine is all about enjoyment and fun, and it doesn’t matter what type of wine glass you use.
“The most important element is the love that is in the bottle – the glassware is only a vehicle for that,” Lysek said. “If drinking wine from a coffee mug makes you happy or if you like to collect top-tier, hand-blown glassware, there’s no wrong way to enjoy your favorite bottle of vino.”
What Kind of Wine Glass Should You Use?
Each type of wine glass has subtle differences that are designed to extract the flavors and aromas of different styles of wine. Let’s start simple with the main differences between a red wine glass and a white wine glass.
“White wine glasses have a smaller bowl to preserve aromatics, highlight acidity, and keep the wine cool,” Taylor said. “Red wine glasses have larger bowls to let in more air [to come] Exposure to alcohol to highlight the aroma and reduce the perception of high alcohol.”
In addition to red versus white wine glasses, here are some of the most common types of wine glasses, along with some tips for when to use them.
Also known as a universal wine glass, an all-purpose wine glass will get the job done no matter what type of wine you’re drinking. If you just want to go for minimalist with one type of wine glass that works for everything, this is a solid choice. These are great for white wines, Flaherty said, but you can also use them for red wines.
“These are what look like big fish bowls on the bottom,” Flaherty said. They have a wider and larger bowl than Bordeaux wine glasses and then curve upward toward the rim of the glass, allowing the wine drinker to see more delicate and fine flavors. These work well for lighter red wines like Gamay and Pinot Noir.
A Bordeaux glass is a large and tall style of red wine glass, with minimal taping towards the rim. The shape of the glass helps you experience the taste and aroma of the wine. These are a good choice for drinking full-bodied red wines like Cabernet Sauvignon and Merlot.
Champagne flutes—you know, the ones you use to make wedding toast—are thin and long. Champagne glasses are celebratory and can be used for any type of sparkling wine. The narrow and elongated shape helps keep your wine nice and bubbly.
But there’s a caveat: The shape of the glass makes it difficult to smell the wine, which can actually dampen the flavor a bit. “Think about that if you close your nose and you eat something, you can’t really taste it,” Flaherty said. “That’s what you’re doing when you use the flute.”
For optimal bubbly and aromatics, Taylor recommends a tulip-shaped champagne glass. If you are considering a coupe glass, you may want to reconsider that a coupe is not ideal for drinking sparkling wine.
“A coupe glass may sound sexy, but it causes too much wine to be exposed to the air which causes the aroma to fade away and the bubbles to collapse quickly,” she said.
Is it OK to Use Stemless Wine Glasses?
It is another matter of preference. If you’re ready for glasses without stems, go for it. If you prefer a stem, that also works. For casual wine drinkers, stemless wine glasses are perfectly fine, but some experts favor wine glasses with stems.
Holding the glass by the bowl can heat your wine more quickly, “which alters the aromatics and feel,” Taylor said. “If you hold a white wine near the bowl it will heat up and then you may feel the need to add ice, which dilutes the flavor and aroma.”
If you only want to buy one type of wine glass, what should you get?
Taylor recommends that you think about what types of wines you drink the most, and buy wine glasses based on that. “If you’re a person who mostly drinks big bold reds at home, buy that kind of glass,” she said. “If you like crisp whites and roses But rarely drink a big bold cab, what to go for [fits] Your drinking preferences. ,
You can also go with an all-purpose or universal glass. “If you’re going to buy one type, there will be one to achieve all-purpose,” Flaherty said.
Is there anything wrong with drinking wine from a mug or glass?
A lot of it really comes down to personal preference, so if you like it, go for it. “If you feel safer and more comfortable drinking your brew from a coffee mug, do it,” Flaherty said. “It’s not going to destroy alcohol in any way.”
Wine glasses can enhance the taste and aroma of your wine, which can be helpful if you’re a wine connoisseur or trying to learn more about wine. But if you’re trying to enjoy a glass of wine without diving deeply into all of its nuances, reach for whichever type of drinking vessel you like best.
“At the end of the day, however much you enjoy wine, there is a right way to enjoy wine,” Taylor said.