You might have used only a few wine glasses to enjoy your wine. However, there are many other types you have not come across and still have a specific use. The wine glasses vary mostly based on their design and which wine would be ideal to drink from them. If you want to learn more, then keep reading this guide on types of wine glasses and their names.
Before we can get into the list of the best wine glasses, let us look at the anatomy of a wine glass to understand what it is all about.
The Wine Glass Anatomy
A wine glass would be made of a base, a stem, a bowl, and a rim. Depending on the type of wine glass, some of these parts might be wider, narrower, shorter, and taller.
Just as the name suggests, this is the base of a wine glass. It is also known as the foot in some cases. The work of the base is to keep the glass balanced.
If you look at a stemless wine glass, then you will notice that it lacks a distinctive base. This is because it rests on the bowl bottom.
Looking at some modern wine glasses, they would have an elongated sham rather than having a slender stem combined with a flared base. The idea is to make them different and appealing too.
The stem is simply the glass piece that is the bridge between the base and bowl. It will mostly be a thin piece of glass connecting the two.
When tasting your wine, you will have to hold the wine by its stem. You might have seen people do this and didn’t understand why? Well, it is because holding the wine glass by the stem keeps the heat away from the bowl ensuring that you drink it at the optimal temperature.
Another reason is that this puts the hand away from the nose so that you can enjoy the scent that comes with drinking the wine.
It is easy to tell that from the name; this is what holds your wine. The bowl shape and size will affect how the wine aromas are released from the wine.
If you want to get the best swirl, it is recommended that you fill only up to a third of the bowl’s height. This will leave enough room to release the aromas. A larger space is also god for aerating and oxidizing the wine so that its complex flavors can breathe.
The rim is an important part for directing the wine into the ideal area of your palate. The narrow apertures for rims will allow the wine to get to the specific area of the tongue to experience the flavors better.
It is why each type of wine will have a specific glass to use. If you use the incorrect wine glass, then you will not optimize the overall taste of the wine.
10 Interesting Types of Wine Glasses and Their Names
Below are the most common types of wine glasses and their names. By the end of the guide, you would know where best to use them the next time you are buying wine glasses. Let us get into the guide already.
The cabernet wine glass is commonly used as the universal red wine glass. It is characterized for having a large bowl and a tall stem.
Having the large bowl will give your wine more surface area thus it would be able to oxidize and breathe better.
Oxidizing is great for softening the tannins found in red wine. This process is also good for improving the overall wine flavor and helping it release its natural aromas.
We all know that aromas are an essential part of tasting the wine, so make sure you use this one for your red wine.
As for the shape, it is great for directing the wine to the center of your palate. You would taste the tannins and other wine compounds better.
This wine glass comes with the prominent fishbowl shape. Because of this design, the wine glass can trap the aromas with ease. It is also good for balancing the wine intensity.
It is commonly used for full-bodied wines. Such wine would come from grapes with thin skin. As such, you will not have to swirl it too much to release the aromas.
Having the narrow rim for the wine glass will mitigate the acidity by directing the wine to the palate center.
Comparing to the Burgundy wine glass above, the Bordeaux glass is taller. Being tall means that it would have more surface area for exposing the wine to more air as you swirl it in the glass.
This wine glass is great for thick-skinned grape wine. This type of wine needs to be exposed to more air, swirled even further, and allowed to breath. These actions help the wine to release its flavors and aroma.
Looking at its rim, it is shaped to reduce the tannings effect. This is because it will concentrate the wine to go to the back of your tongue.
The design of this wine glass allows for the wine to shine even better. This is because it will direct the wine to the palate through its small rim opening.
Having a smaller bowl will temper the smell and taste of the ethanol common in the Zinfandel wine varieties. Most people find such wine to have medium to high-alcohol content.
Since Zinfandels can have more tannins, the narrow opening is important to balance out the chances of mouth-drying effect. This should allow you to enjoy the wine for longer without necessarily feeling like having a cotton mouth.
There is also the Pinot Noir which comes with a large bowl as its design. The large bowl is crucial for releasing the subtle and delicate aromas of the wine. Since there is more room in the bowl, the wine would be exposed to more oxygen.
The design of the bowl also allows for better release of the aromas. The narrow rim will trap the aroma in the glass for you to enjoy it even better.
The shape of the wine glass mostly targets the front of your mouth. This is because you get to accentuate the sweet flavors even more while at the same time regulating the acidic ones.
Looking at the Chardonnay wine glass, it is easy to note that it will have a large bowl. This large bowl will balance out the wine’s oaky notes. Still, the large bowl will expose the wine to a greater surface area, thus exposing it to more air.
With more air exposure, the wine would release other hidden tastes.
You will also note that the glass has a wide aperture. This type of aperture spreads the wine across your palate thus making you experience all the flavors at once.
If you have any white wine such as Pinot Grigio, Sauvignon Blanc, and more, the best way to consume the wine is using a wine glass with a narrow bowl.
The red wine would need more oxidation to enhance its flavor. That is the opposite for the white wine thus the need to opt for a narrow bowl.
Other than the bowl being narrow, the same goes for the opening too. The narrow opening is great for keeping the wine chilled. It also focuses the wine to the center of your tongue. The center of the tongue is good for highlighting the light flavors and further reducing the acidic notes.
The next time you want to enjoy a glass of champagne, you then need the right glass too. The Champagne glass will have a narrow bowl and smaller mouth thus like a flute in shape.
Having this shape is great for maintaining the fizzy effect and keep the wine bubbly. The shape is also important for preserving the bubbles as it limits oxidation.
This is still a nice choice for those who enjoy Rosé and other related types of wine.
The design of the glass is meant to expediate the evaporation of the alcohol in the wine. The result is that you now end up with fruity and floral notes from the wine.
The design is also good for helping you achieve a nice swirl to help in releasing the aromas. The narrow opening is good for keeping the aromas bottled up in the glass. You would now enjoy tasting the wine for longer as the aroma is maintained for longer.
Port glasses are another type of wine glass you should know about. You might get them being referred to as dessert wine glasses too. They are easily recognized for having a tiny size.
Since Port wine would have a lot more alcohol content, having a smaller pour is encouraged by using this glass.
Its small stature also allows for the heat from your hands to release the aromas from the wine. This will make the experience even better when taking your wine.
Wine Glass Materials
The various types of wine glasses and their names above can be made of different materials. What is important is that you understand what you will be getting with the wine glass material. Let us check out some of the wine glass materials below.
The crystal material is generally stronger compared to glass. You will find such wine glasses being thinner, but durable.
The thinness of the rim gives you a seamless transition of the wine to your tongue. As such, you end up with a heightened experience of drinking the wine.
Also, this type of wine glass will elevate the appearance of the light thanks to the sparkling effect.
The crystal material is porous, so it is best to hand wash such glasses. You are still likely to come across the lead-free crystal wine glasses. They are made to be dishwasher safe, but always check the care instructions.
Another common material for making the wine glasses include handmade glass. It is also known as mouthblown glass. The glass is made using a technique that has been around for over a thousand years.
These glasses will be more expensive than what you get with the machine-made glass. This is because they require more time and a high artistry level. Not anyone can take up the glass material and shape it into the wine glass perfectly.
For those who want something unique for their guests, then this can be an ideal choice.
When it comes to caring for such wine glasses, we recommend that you check out the instructions from the company making the glasses.
For those who want something causal then consider the machine-made glass. This is also less expensive to buy compared to some other types of glass in the market.
The technology for crafting the glass has evolved over time. The result is that you now end up with affordable wine glasses that can be shaped into different designs.
It is also now possible to produce high quality glasses in large volumes compared to when you would be using the hand-made glasses. The hand-made glasses take a lot more time to produce.
The acrylic wine glasses are for those looking for something affordable and durable. They are best suited for someone who is hosting large crowds or casual events.
Since the material is strong, you will not have to worry so much about breakages. Even when dropped, acrylic material can withstand most of the impact.
The material is also dishwasher safe. It is why you can find them being loved by many users as cleaning them does not need require any special care.
The most common issue with acrylic is that it tends to get cloudy with time. That can easily give them a cheap look that people do not like.
Choosing the best wine glass is going to be a personal style most of the time. What is important is that you get the right type of wine glasses and their names to better enjoy the wine. As we have seen above, the type of wine glass affects the aroma, flavor, and how the wine is delivered to your tongue.