Wine is anything but simple. From the variety of grapes to where the soil is geographically located, the slightest variable can completely change the style, taste, classification, and aroma of a glass of red, white, or sparkling wine. With the major differences and minor adjustments, we need to ask ourselves: is there a difference in how the wine tastes in a glass?
Is there a difference between sweet and sour wine? Of course, there is! Much like the subtle, delicate differences in wine types, there is also a difference in taste and aroma depending on wine glass shapes for different wines. Wine glass shapes come in many different sizes and have different shapes, and it isn’t just for show!
There are significant and important differences between red and white wine glasses, just as there are differences in how you should pour or drink a sweet or sparkling wine! The shape, bowl, and even stem of a wine glass will significantly impact the flavor and aroma of the wine you are drinking. Once more, you will be able to tell the set or sets of wine glasses that you should purchase that will make each and every wine type enhanced.
This article will give you more information on what type of wine goes in a certain glass shape. White wine glass vs red wine glass, and how you can best prepare certain types of wine to fill certain types and shapes of glasses to enhance the bold and smooth flavors of your favorite red, white, or sparkling wine.
The big difference in types of glasses used to drink wine
We have learned so much about wine over the last 100 years, and a lot of the new discoveries have special emphasis on HOW to drink wine most effectively vs. where to grow grapes or manufacture the wine we all know and love. One major portion of the growth in the wine world came in the form of wineries offering wine tastings. During a wine tasting, there are several steps that include most of your senses.
Look at the legs with a swirl, stick your nose in a glass to smell the aroma, taste and swish the wine around your mouth either swallowing the liquid or having a mere taste and spitting the wine out. The development of wine glasses to pair with these three important aspects to wine tasting brought forth glasses that were perfect to enhance the wine taster or drinker’s experience.
Most wine is consumed out of a bowl shape glass, but the size of the bowl matters, as does the deepness of the glass. When drinking and tasting wine the swirl before the smell and taste indicates certain things about a wine that is about to be tasted. The “legs” of wine do not define its quality. Rather, you will be able to tell the alcohol content by examining the thickness of the legs and the rate at which the wine flows down the legs. A thicker, slower stream of a red indicates higher alcohol content while a sweet wine will have thinner legs that flow faster.
The newer designs of glass will allow for a swirl to easily show the thickness of a leg or thinness of a leg depending on the wine type. This is why you typically see a more narrow glass for a sweet or sparkling wine and a larger, deeper bowl for a robust red wine.
Parts of a wine glass to consider
There are four main parts that will easily show the difference between red and white wine glass. The parts include:
1. The Rim – Located at the top of the glass, the rim is the area where you smell and sip from! Depending on the type of wine poured, the glass will either have a narrow or wide rim.
2. The Bowl – The bowl is a critical differentiating part of a wine glass. A large bowl is used for a robust wine while a narrow U-shape is designated for chilled, white wines.
3. The Stem – The stem is the skinny portion of the glass that a wine drinker will hold. The length depends on the type of wine.
4. The Foot or Base – A critical stabilizer, the base or foot of a wine glass is used to protect temperature and keep the glass balanced, no matter how big the bowl is!
White, Sweet Wine Glasses
A glass of white wine is typically poured in a more narrow, U-shaped glass with a narrow bowl, straight sides, and a smaller bowl. White wine, as we know, is typically served chilled, making this glass the perfect partner to a white wine glass vs. a red wine glass as the sweet, delicate, floral flavors are able to stay contained in a small, chilled space.
The step portion of a white wine glass is also longer. Why? Because white wine is normally chilled, the drinker doesn’t have to worry about their body temperature warming up the wine and impacting the flavor.
Robust Red or Burgundy Wine Glass
The main focus of a Burgundy or red wine glass is to reduce the bitter tannins in a wine. The elimination of the spiciness allows for a smoother tasting wine that any red wine drinker will enjoy. A red wine glass will typically be served in large glasses with wide rims, deep bowls, shorter stems, and average bases.
Likewise, the glasses of red wine served in this type of vessel make it easy for the drinker to smell the aroma and swirl the wine to identify the legs and flavors of their favorite medium-bodied red.
Bordeaux Wine Glass
Love a good, deep red? A Bordeaux wine won’t have a bowl quite as hefty as a Burgundy wine glass and also has a shorter stem than a traditional white wine glass. Because the glass is shorter, it allows for the wine to go to the back of the throat first, maximizing the deep, delicious flavor of your favorite deep red wine. If you only have the budget for one type of red wine glass or wine glass in general, this is the one for you to search for a set.
What about sparkling wine glasses?
Sweet and sparkling wine glasses are vastly different and come in two different shapes. The first is the traditional flute that is reserved for sweet, bubbly wines like champagne. Although these are great for aesthetics and taste, the flute rarely enhances the aroma of sweet or sparkling wine. Instead, this type of wine glass shows off the sweet, bubbles that come from champagne or similar wine.
The flute is a very narrow bowl and rim with a medium to long stem, depending on what is being poured. Like a chilled white wine, the stem of a flute is designed to avoid contact with excessive body heat that can alter the flavor and aroma of sparkling, bubbly wine.
Can a sparkling wine be served in a regular glass? The answer is yes! You can drink sparkling wine or sparkling rose from a regular white wine glass to enhance the aroma and flavors of your favorite sparkling wine.
Sweet Wine Glasses
Sweet wine is crisp, clear, and sweet. The wine can be compared, at times, to the sweetest white wines, but have their own distinct taste and aroma. In the case of drinking your favorite sweet wine, the typical white wine glass or Bordeaux wine glass will serve its purpose well. Since sweet wines are so flavorful and the smell can be so rich and overwhelming, choosing a glass that enhances the aroma of sweet wine is your best bet.
An important aspect of sweet wine is allowing it to breathe after it is poured. Allow the wine to concentrate and collect along a deeper bowl of a glass that captures both the aroma and taste.
Interested in learning about more pairings with a sweet wine? Check out our article on the perfect food to pair with your favorite sweet wine to enhance the flavor.
Interested in learning about the sweet and sparkling wines you can drink out of your new favorite glasses? Check out our favorite wines from Castello Del Poggio and pour yourself a glass of sweet, fruity, crisp wine for your next party, dinner, or private wine tasting.