Which wine glass do I use?

Wednesday, April 3rd, 2019
types of glasses for wine

Not only do you have to figure out what kind of wine you like you also need to know what kind of glass to drink it from. The nuances of being a wine connoisseur are so complicated. There is a wine glass for just about every kind of wine. To keep it simple for stocking your home for your drinking pleasure and for pulling out a glass for a friend, let’s just narrow it down to three; red, white and bubbly. These basic glasses will cover you in any wine situation.

Red Wine

The bowls of red wine glasses tend to be fuller and rounder, with a larger opening than other wine glasses in order to allow you to dip your nose into the glass to detect the aroma.

This is because red wines need a larger surface area to soften and breathe.

When air and wine interact, two important processes occur: evaporation and oxidation. Allowing these processes to occur can improve the quality of wine by changing its chemistry.

Volatile compounds evaporate quickly in air, and often red wines can be prone to being both more alcoholic and contain more volatile compounds. By using a larger surface area with your wine glass, these volatile compounds dissipate quickly, allowing the bouquet of your vino to come through quickly. Sulfites in wine also disperse when you give it time to breathe.

Secondly, oxidation — or oxygen exposure — is crucial to let the flavor and nose of a wine shine through. Chemical reactions are constantly taking place with red wines, which in turn create complex flavor profiles. These wines are often described as “closed” when the cork is first removed, and using a larger glass allows these compounds to disperse and the wine to “open-up.”

White Wine

For the most part, white wines do not need as large a glass as reds to release their aroma and flavor.

The bowl will be more U-shaped and upright than that of a red wine glass, allowing the aromas to be released. Glasses with a smaller bowl also help the wine to retain a cooler temperature.

While youthful whites benefit from a glass with slightly larger opening, directing the wine to the tip and sides of the tongue, mature expressions are often served in glasses that are straighter and taller to dispense the wine to the back and sides of the tongue, allowing you to taste the bolder, buttery and oaky flavors.

Rosés can be served in white wine glasses because the two are produced similarly (Rosés only see a relatively small amount of skin exposure compared with reds).


When it comes to fizz, it depends on your preference. Those with a lighter flavor like Prosecco are often suited to tall, narrow glasses, often called flutes, which capture the carbon dioxide in sparkling wines, keeping the bubbly bubblier.

However, if you are enjoying a complex bubbly, particularly anything that has been bottle-fermented, it may be better suited to a wider, white wine-style glass. This is because, just as with still wines, the flavor compounds meet a greater surface area of oxygen, letting them breathe.

Ultimately, choosing your wine glass comes down to your personal preference. Everyone’s palette is different, and the benefits of certain wine glasses vary from person to person.

If you must choose one universal style, pick a thin glass with a large bowl that narrows at the top, ideally holding about 13 oz. of wine.

A good universal wine glass is perfectly suitable for everything!

Heart of the Desert is a working pistachio ranch and vineyard with four retail establishments in New Mexico. They are best known for their farm fresh pistachios and Award-Winning New Mexico wines. Each store offers wine and pistachio tastings. They offer worldwide shipping and produce attractive gourmet baskets that make great corporate and family gifts. The main store, on the ranch in Alamogordo, offers farm tours that showcase how pistachios are grown and processed as well as a stunning Tuscany themed patio that overlooks the groves and is available for weddings, private parties or enjoying a relaxing glass of wine.