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7 types of wine glasses: how to choose the right one

wine glasses's experts

Editorial Team's picture

Editorial Team

To drink a good wine means not only choosing a good bottle but also the right wine glass. In fact, the shape of the glass determines the way in which the wine reaches the various parts of our mouth and therefore the taste we perceive. The main function of the glass is to rebalance the perfume and the taste of wine. For a correct useremember that

  • the glass should be hold by the stem (unless they are stemless wine glasses)
  • the glass must never be touched because the wine's flavour may be altered.

The best glass for tasting wine is made of glass or even better of a very thin crystal, without unnecessary aesthetic decorations that definitely make it more pleasing to the eye but do not allow you to appreciate the colour nuances of wine. Yet, if you want, you can find many etched or engraved wine glasses (today personalised wine glasses are very popular) .

As a general rule, for a wine that must be drunk cold, better to use a a glass like the flute, since the savoury and acid flavour of wines such as Champagne, or dry sparkling wine, will be directed onto the tip of the tongue, exalting at least initially the small amount of sugar residue contained by it. The flute is also quite slender to enhance the upward movement of the bubbles.

On the other hand a more mature and important wine needs a glass like the Grand Cru, with a big belly, so that the wine gets more oxygen and the tertiary aromas are freed.
A sweet sparkling wine should be drunk in the classic Coupe (also called Champagne cup since the beginning of the 20th century; even if nowadays Champagne is a dry wine) because the sweet flavours are perceived around the tip of the tongue, and if you try to drink a sweet wine in a flute you will find your wine excessively sweet. On the contrary, the big mouth of the Coupe makes that the wine immediately reaches the whole tongue and the wine is not perceived as nauseating.
But let's see other wine glasses in detail.

wine glasses - flute


The flute is ideal for:

  • Champagne
  • sparkling wines produced with classic* or Charmat (or Italian) method**.

The flute is a tall glass with a slender shape and a thin stalk. It has a narrow circular mouth, which limits the possibility of the air to oxygenate the wine inside the glass: dry sparkling wines need to release carbon dioxide slowly.

wine glasses - sauvignon

Sauvignon Glass

The Sauvignon glass is ideal for:

  • new white wine
  • light white
  • pink wine.

The Sauvignon glass is a medium size flared tulip-shaped glass, but with an enlarged corolla. This allows for the wine sliding along the sides of the tongue, the area of the mouth which perceives a greater extent the taste of young pleasantly tart and tangy wines.

wine glasses - Chardonnay

Chardonnay Glass

The Chardonnay glass is ideal for white robust, austere wines.

It is a medium-sized tulip-shaped slender glass, slightly narrower at the top to allow a harmonious concentration of the perfumes. It directs the wine to the front area of the mouth , privileged zone for the perception of soft and rounded tastes.

wine glasses - copita

Copita Glass

The Copita glass is excellent for:

  • straw wines;
  • liqueurs;
  • flavoured wines.

This wine glass has a small size and is egg-shaped. In fact, being used for dessert wines ad liquers, containing a lot of alcohol, it contains a small quantity of liquid.  Better if served at a low temperature to attenuates the remarkable sweetness. The copita allows then to sip the wine without allowing it to get warm.

wine glasses - Bordeaux

Bordeaux Glass

Among the various red wine glasses, the Bordeaux glass is the one I prefer. This is excellent to drink full bodied red wines.
The shape of this glass lets wine breathe and channels it directly into the end part of the tongue where the tastes of bitter and aging typical of full-bodied red wines are perceived better.

wine glasses - Burgundy

Burgundy Grand Cru Glass

The Burgundy Grand Cru glass is ideal for red rugged austere wines.

This is a large pot-bellied glass with a convex edge.
The large capacity allows the wine to breathe effectively and you can literally wrap it with your hands. In this way the temperature rises gradually and the complex aromas of these great structure wines are slowly freed.

wine glasses - Coupe


The coupe is ideal for drinking:

  • Champagne
  • white, rose, red sparkling wines produced with classic* or Charmat (or Italian) method**.

It is an hemispherical cup-shaped flattened and very open glass with a long, thin stalk. It is suitable for sweet or aromatic sparkling wines: as a matter of fact, the width of the glass increases the contact of the wine with air, diluting the flavour of wine and making it more delicate and enveloping.

Actually, there are many more types of wine glasses, and honestly I'm afraid that unless you are a sommelier or a glass seller, you won't have half of them at home. Yet, we have a lifetime to collect them! And maybe our wine will have an even better taste! Cheers!

Fri, 07/02/2014 - 11:24
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