WINE GLASS BUYING GUIDE

Why Varietal-Specific Wine Glasses Make A Difference

Most glassware manufacturers will create a glass for all the different grape varieties, including Cabernet Sauvignon, Pinot Noir, Merlot, Chardonnay, Sauvignon Blanc, Champagne, etc. Each varietal specific glass is made with that particular style of wine in mind in order to capture its essence. Some wines are acidic, others are tannic, and some are even sweet. So the glasses are shaped to allow the wine to reach the appropriate area of your tongue to bring out the best in every sip.

For example, the Cabernet Sauvignon/Merlot/Bordeaux glass is typically considered the standard red wine glass. It's tall with a full size bowl that somewhat tapers at the top. This glass is ideal for highly tannic red wines of moderate acidity. The reason being is that it directs the wine to the center of the tongue, creating a perfect balance of fruit, tannin and acidity. The same goes for the Shiraz glass, which is the tallest of all red wine glasses and has a very distinct taper towards the top.

The Pinot Noir/Burgundy stems are not quite as tall as Bordeaux glass but will have a much wider bowl and sometimes will tulip towards the rim. These glasses enhance red wines with high acidity and moderate tannin by directing the wine to the tip of the tongue, highlighting the fruit and balancing the naturally high acidity. glasses enhance red wines with high acidity and moderate tannin by directing the wine to the tip of the tongue, highlighting the fruit and balancing the naturally high acidity.

Red Wine Glasses

Red wine glasses generally fall into the following categories:

  • Cabernet/Merlot/Bordeaux – This is your "standard" Red wine glass. Tall with a full sized bowl that somewhat tapers at the top.
  • Pinot/Burgundy – Generally not as tall as the Cabernet glass described above, but it will have a much wider bowl.
  • Shiraz – The tallest of all Red wine glasses with a distinct taper towards the top.
  • Port – Port glasses tend to be short and on the smaller size, as port has a much higher alcohol content than standard wine.

White Wine Glasses

White wine glasses also have several major categories, outlined below:

  • Chardonnay – Much like the Cabernet glass is to Red wine, a Chardonnay glass is considered the "standard" White wine glass. Similar style to Cabernet glass but smaller.
  • Sauvignon Blanc / Pinot Grigio – A bit shorter and smaller bowl than Chardonnay, designed to bring out the acidity in these wines.
  • Montrachet / White Burgundy – Similar to Red Burgundy or Pinot Noir glass but shorter, with the same wide bowl style.

Champagne Flutes

The Champagne flute is designed to be tall and thin to highlight the fine bouquet, richness and complexity on the palate. It also has the ability to keep the bubbles in the flute longer; with less surface area exposed to the air, the bubbles can't escape as quickly … and they look really cool!

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