Having the right wine glass is just as important as having the right whiskey glass. Each type of red wine glass is designed to smooth the bitterness of the tannins, direct the aromas to your nose as you drink, and aerate your wine to improve the strength of the flavors. Red wine glasses come in all shapes and sizes such as the tall and narrow Bordeaux, the short bowl-shaped Burgundy, insulated tumblers, goblets, port sippers, and more. Don’t worry, we’re going to cover a couple of the best glasses and what kinds of red wines they are best for. You’re probably wondering, how does the shape of the glass affect the taste of wine? What kind of glass is best for a full-bodied wine? Which wine glass is right for you? Relax, we’ll answer all of your questions in this complete guide.
Classic Stemless Red Wine Glasses
Did you know that it doesn’t really matter if your red wine glass is stemmed or stemless? That’s right, the only thing that truly affects the taste of your Merlot or Cabernet is the shape of the glass. These classic stemless glasses are the perfect example of one of the most popular types of red wine glasses. They have a wide, tall bowl with a slight taper toward the lip. These glasses are often called the Bordeaux glass, and are considered the standard. This type of glass is designed for full-bodied reds with high tannins such as Merlot, Cabernet Sauvignon, Bordeaux, Syrah, Temrpanillo, and Nebbiolo. You don’t want to fill a Bordeaux glass to the top as you want to allow plenty of room for the wine to breathe as you gently swirl it around. You’ll notice that the typical dryness and bitter flavors of your wine will be subdued, allowing you to enjoy the flavors and sweet aromas more than before. Any red wine fan needs a couple of Bordeaux glasses in their cabinet!
Unique Stainless Steel Tumbler
Wine tumblers have recently been rising in popularity. They’re commonly used for white wines as they are best to enjoy a chilled, sweet wine. However, their naturally cold steel adds a unique quality to red wine. You probably know that red wine is meant to be served at room temperature, but having it slightly chilled will actually unlock the flavors more than if you drank it after it’s been sitting in the wine rack for days on end. Ideally, red wine should be served at around 60-65 degrees Fahrenheit. The stainless steel of an insulated wine tumbler is typically cooler than room temperature, making it perfect for pouring a glass right away instead of having to chill the entire bottle in the fridge for a bit before opening. Tumblers are great for drinking medium to full-bodied wines such as Grenache, Zinfandel, and Malbec as they often mimic the style of Bordeaux glasses with a wide, tapered bowl.
Aerating Red Wine Glasses
You’ve probably seen this type of red wine glass before. Commonly called the Burgundy glass, the bowl-shaped style of this shorter and more tapered style is best for light to medium-bodied wines. The shape of the bowl helps trap the aromas and concentrates them toward the top so that you get a full whiff with each sip, allowing you to enjoy every exotic ingredient through both taste and smell. Wines with high acidity and moderate tannins are best for the Burgundy glass, such as Pinot Noir, Lambrusco, Gamay, St. Laurent, and of course most wines from the Burgundy region.
Beautiful Wine Goblet
Inspired by the ornate vintage goblets used in medieval times, this unique red wine glass has a distinct goblet-like appearance. The wide bowl and narrow, tapered lip makes it ideal for light to medium red wine such as Pinot Noir. The shape of this distinct glass traps the exotic flavors and sweet aromas, focusing them to meet your nose with each sip so that you can experience the wine to the fullest. Don’t fill it more than halfway so that you can allow your wine to breathe and aerate throughout the glass. The larger the surface area of the glass, the more ethanol that evaporates.
The Only Wine Glass You’ll Ever Use
Sometimes, red wine glasses can be fun. You’ve probably seen those quirky novelty glasses that hold an entire bottle of wine. This one can too! That’s right, this massive stemmed red wine glass will hold up to 750 ml (the standard bottle size) of red wine. You’ll want to use this exceptional glass for wines with floral aromas, which are usually medium-bodied, such as Gamay, Grenache, Petit Verdot, and Mourvedre. You’ll love using this glass to pour yourself plenty of wine for a movie marathon or a binge watch of a TV show so that you don’t have to pause for a refill. The funny vintage design is just the cherry on top of this awesome glass!
Luxurious Red Wine Goblet
Like the previous goblet, this gorgeous red wine glass has a very wide bowl with a slight tapered mouth. Ideal for formal occasions, you can enjoy your aged and medium-bodied Syrah and Malbec in this lovely glass. The delicate crystal and elegant gold accents make it perfect for serving your finest wine at Christmas dinner or enjoying a special bottle you’ve been saving for your anniversary..
A New Way to Drink Red Wine
Bet you’ve never seen red wine glasses like these! Rather than sipping from the mouth of the glass as usual, these adorable little sippers have a built-in straw to sip from. Your guests will love using these unique glasses for after-dinner drinks of Cabernet Sauvignon or Pinot Noir. The best part about these fun glasses is that you can enjoy just about any kind of red wine in them since you’re sipping from the bottom of the glass, you get the full flavor every time. The only thing you’ll be missing is the aromas, which will become trapped within the quite narrow mouth.
Basic Set of Stemmed Red Wine Glasses
Like the stemless version above, these lovely red wine glasses are about as classic as you can get. Not too tall, not too wide, and a gentle narrowing toward the top. Your full-bodied red wines with high tannins such as Cabernet and Merlot are best for the Bordeaux-style glass, and you don’t want to fill them more than a ⅓ to allow for plenty of swirling. Making sure that the wine breathes and aerates through swirling around the glass is vital as you want to subdue the tannins and make your wine sweeter.
Giant Stemless Red Wine Glass
This stemless red wine glass really doesn’t look like it can hold an entire bottle of wine, does it? That’s right, this large glass can actually hold a 750 mL bottle of wine (tried and tested!). Unlike the monstrous stemmed glass, the stemless version can fit easily in your hand like a normal glass. It has an elegant style with its gradual taper, and is actually best for light-bodied wines. The large size allows you to enjoy more wine at once, of course, and you can fill it more than a normal glass but of course, allow for a little bit of breathing room. You want to be able to enjoy the sweet, floral aromas! Any red wine lover will want to have this giant stemless glass in their collection.
A Wine Glass with a Bit of Bling
This Burgundy glass has a little something extra that makes it perfect for formal occasions. The beautiful silver circlet, right? Wrong! Look closely at the bottom and you’ll see a small “bump” at the bottom of the glass. Kind of like the indentation at the bottom of a wine bottle (which is to alleviate pressure, by the way), this little bump will help aerate your wine better. When swirling, this feature forces the wine to move fluidly in a circular motion throughout the entire glass, not just the top of the wine. This way, your flavors will be more exposed and the tannins will be significantly smoother. Perfect for Pinot Noirs and fruity wines, you’ll be able to tell the difference in this glass versus a standard one.
A Stemless Glass with a Touch of Luxury
Gold-rimmed wine glasses are a classic. The subtle touch of luxury enables the glass to be formal enough for special occasions, but not too fancy for your after-dinner drink on a Wednesday night in. This standard is perfect for most medium to full-bodied wines with more spices than fruits, such as Petite Sirah, Zinfandel, and Shiraz. Every red wine drinker needs a couple of gold-rimmed red wine glasses in their kitchen!