Enhance Your Favorite Wine with the Right Glassware

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It doesn’t really matter how you drink wine as long as you enjoy it, but there’s no doubt that the flavor and aroma of any wine can be enhanced with the correct type of glass.

Vertical closely cropped closeup image of two differently sized glasses of red wine and two larger but different style glasses of white, on a yellow background, printed with orange and white text at the midpoint and the bottom of the frame.

This is especially true of higher-end wines with, perhaps, more subtle flavors and aromas.

But the price of your wine doesn’t have to translate to a high-priced wine glass. If the shape of the glass is correct, it doesn’t matter how much you spend.

Four hands holding wine and champagne in different colors and different types of glassware are about to clink them together, with a lit and stocked bar in the background.

In this guide, we’re going to walk you through pairing the most common wines with the best wine glasses to serve them in.

Think: red, white, and champagne.

What we’re not going to do is recommend a different glass for every single type of wine on earth. That would result in a couple dozen recommendations, and we think most people don’t really have the space for that many wine glasses.

We’ll leave that kind of stock to restaurants and wine bars.

Horizontal overhead image of eight people clinking their glasses of red wine together over the center of a table laden with pizza and salad, with just the arms and torsos of the seated women visible, with ceramic plates on a brown wood surface.

The good news is that choosing the right wine glass is actually pretty simple. Here’s what wine experts recommend:

  • Red wines: A wider, deeper bowl with a narrower opening.
  • White wines: A taller, narrower glass.
  • Champagne and other sparkling wines: A tall, narrow flute or small, bowl-shaped coupe.

Keep in mind, there are no hard and fast rules. If you want to drink your white wine out of a red wine glass, or vice versa, you do you. We won’t tell – as long as you share.

Here are the types of wines and glasses that we’ll look at in this review:

Read on for our recommendations of the best glasses for any type of wine.

The Best Red Wine Glasses

In general, if you’re looking for a glass for red wines, you want a larger, wider, deeper bowl. This increases the exposed surface area of the wine, and helps to aerate the it, which releases more flavor and aroma.

This is important, because aroma is a significant factor in the taste of a red wine.

Closely cropped image of a hand pouring red wine from a bottle into two glasses, with green foliage and mottled sunlight in soft focus in the background.

The taller, wider bowl also is a nice shape for “swirling” the wine to increase its access to oxygen (no, those red wine drinkers aren’t doing that just to be show-offs).

Red wines to drink with these glasses include Beaujolais, Bordeaux, Burgundy, Cabernet Franc, Cabernet Sauvignon, Chianti, Malbec, Merlot, Petite Sirah, Pinot Noir, Rose, Shiraz, and Zinfandel.

An Everyday Glass: Luigi Bormioli Atelier Cabernet/Merlot Wine Glass

The Luigi Bormioli Atelier Cabernet/Merlot Wine Glass is both elegant and affordable. Made from a proprietary SON.hyx blown, lead-free crystal, it’s less breakable than traditional crystal.

Luigi Bormioli Atelier Cabernet/Merlot Wine Glasses, Set of 6

The stems are thin and elegant, but also resist breakage thanks to a titanium reinforcement.

These glasses are even dishwasher safe.

Their capacity is 23 3/4 fluid ounces, and the wider bowl and tapered opening is the perfect shape for getting the best flavors and aromas out of your reds.

They come six to a pack, making them a great value.

Check prices now on Amazon. And if you’re looking for the stand pictured above, it’s available on Amazon as well.

 

A Higher End Option: Riedel VINUM Bordeaux/Merlot/Cabernet Wine Glasses

They’re more expensive, but the Riedel VINUM Bordeaux/Merlot/Cabernet Wine Glasses are machine made and specifically designed to maximize the interaction of the glass with the grape.

Riedel VINUM Bordeaux/Merlot/Cabernet Wine Glasses, Pay for 6 get 8

These are a nice choice for anyone who prefers something a bit more high-end for small gatherings and romantic dinners, or just to heighten your wine experience every day.

These would also make a lovely gift, paired with a Martha Stewart Wine Co. subscription, with a selection of bottles delivered throughout the year.

Riedel glasses are made of lead-free crystal and are dishwasher safe. These hold 21 1/2 ounces of your favorite liquid.

Read customer reviews and check prices on Amazon now.

 

The Splurge: Waterford Elegance Crystal Stemmed Wine Glass

We love the wide bowl and generous, 27-ounce capacity of the Waterford Elegance Crystal Stemmed Wine Glass.

Two red wine glasses, one filled and one empty, in a dark room against a partition wall on a dark brown table, with a bottle of wine, in low light.

Waterford Elegance Cabernet Sauvignon 27-ounce Crystal Red Wine Glasses, Set of 2

Waterford is a revered name in crystal glassware, and the Elegance wine glass is handmade from lead-free crystal. It will feel like you’re treating yourself every time you take a sip.

This large, beautifully tapered glass is particularly well-suited for “big” wines, like a rich, full-bodied Burgundy, but will enhance the flavor of any type of red.

Check prices now on Wayfair.

 

The Best White Wine Glasses

Unlike the larger, wider bowl found in glasses for red wines, for white wines you want a taller, narrower glass. This protects the subtler, more delicate aromas of white wine.

Since white wine is served chilled, this shape helps preserve its temperature longer, so even if you tend to be a slow drinker, it will be good to the last sip. (Be sure to hold it by the stem!)

Red manicured and unadorned hands clink together four stemware glasses of white wine.

You’ll want to use these glasses for these white wines: Chardonnay, Chenin Blanc, Pinot Gris, Riesling, Sauvignon Blanc, Viognier, White Burgundy, and White Bordeaux. You can also use white wine glasses to drink a light rosé, preferably out in the sunshine.

An Everyday Option: Schott Zwiesel Forte White Wine Glasses

Schott Zwiesel wine glasses are often recommended by sommeliers because they’re affordable, high quality glassware. Specifically for white wine, the Schott Zwiesel Forte White Wine Glasses are a popular option. They hold 13.6 fluid ounces.

Schott Zwiesel Forte White Wine, 13.6 Ounces, Buy 6 Get 8

These glasses have a very traditional white wine shape, with a slightly rounded bowl that curves slightly up to narrow at the opening. Made from Tritan-reinforced crystal, they’re also very durable and are dishwasher-safe.

Some complain that these glasses are so thin that they seem very fragile. However, that thinness is intentional, so as not to detract from the wine drinking experience like a thicker glass can.

With an attractive price, you can afford to replace them if they do break.

You can find them on Amazon.

 

A Casual, Stemless Glass: Riedel O Wine Tumbler

Most wine experts dislike stemless wine glasses, saying that they affect the temperature of the wine, since you’re touching the bowl the liquid is in every time you take a sip.

But we love them for casual get-togethers, and the Riedel O Wine Tumbler is a quality choice that won’t make it seem like you’re drinking from a tumbler.

Riedel O Wine Tumbler Viognier/Chardonnay, Pay for 6 get 8

Made of lead-free crystal, these glasses offer a sturdier, more stable option than a stemmed glass, and they’re more durable since there is no stem to break (I don’t know about you, but the only thing I’ve ever broken on my wine glasses is the stem).

You can also use them as water glasses to accompany a stemmed glass when you’re hosting a more formal dinner.

These have a 10.8-ounce capacity and are dishwasher safe.

Check current prices on Amazon.

 

The Splurge: Nambé Vie Chardonnay Stemmed Wine Glass

We are in love with the shape of the Nambé Vie Chardonnay Stemmed Wine Glass.

Two clear stemware glasses for red wine, isolated on a white background.

Nambé Vie Chardonnay 18-Ounce Red Wine Glasses, Set of 2

The bottom of the glass bowl dips into the stem, resulting in a lovely, almost tulip-shaped profile. We can see these helping to turn any dinner into a romantic dinner.

They’re made from lead-free crystal and hold 18 fluid ounces.

Read customer reviews and check current prices on Wayfair.

 

The Best Champagne and Sparkling Wine Glasses

Yes, technically, these are white wines, but their carbonation is best preserved in a glass that is narrower and more upright, rather than curved.

Twelve flutes filled with champagne on a brown table, with a mottled and diffused blue and white background.

These are also a very nice choice to serve a sparkling, non-alcoholic beverage in, for the non-drinkers in your life, or just to class up your own sparkling NA beverage.

Our Favorite Flute: Lenox Tuscany Classics Flute Champagne Glass

This is the most traditional glass for champagne: a tall, narrow glass on a thin, elegant stem. For a good quality product at an equally good price, we recommend the Lenox Tuscany Classics Flute Champagne Glass .

Lenox Tuscany Classics Fluted Champagne Glassware, Set of 4

These are made with non-leaded European crystal, and are break resistant and dishwasher safe. Lenox also offers a lifetime replacement policy.

These glasses have a classic, classy look, and Lenox has a stellar reputation for their glassware. There is nothing fancy about these, but when it comes to champagne, you want the bubbly to be the star.

Check current prices on Amazon now.

 

Our Favorite Coupe: Southport Glass Coupe

Another popular type of champagne glass is the coupe. It’s a small glass bowl on a stem, with a fifties throwback vibe that feels very sophisticated.

A couple champagne glass with clear cup and copper stem and base, on a white folded napkin, with three more on a marble cutting board in the background. The one in the foreground and one in the background are filled with a sparkling pale yellow beverage, on a brown table with a stack of white plates to the right, in a room with white walls and a window in the background, and a green houseplant at the top left corner of the frame.

Mint Pantry Southport 8 oz. Glass Coupe, Set of 4

Even better, coupe glasses are very versatile, and are a nice choice for serving martinis and other mixed cocktails where the focus is on the mix, the presentation, and the flavor – not the quantity.

Some people even use them for presenting small servings of rich desserts.

They tend to cost about twice as much as the Lenox Tuscany flutes, but we couldn’t help but be taken by the attractive, upscale appearance of the Southport Glass Coupe, a Wayfair exclusive through their Mint Pantry line.

These are slightly more bell-shaped than most coupe glasses, but what makes them really stand out is the copper-hued stem that gives them a modern feel that most coupe glasses lack. Your guests will be as impressed with these glasses as they will with anything you put in them.

They hold 8 fluid ounces and come with a 30-day return policy.

Check current prices and read customer reviews on Wayfair now.

 

Something a Little Different: Chambong Champagne Shooters

When we put together this list, there was no way for us to ignore the growing popularity of the Chambong Champagne Shooters.

Chambong Glass Champagne Shooters, 6 Ounces, Set of 2

Yes, you read that correctly: this is a device for quickly imbibing bubbly beverages.

It’s also one of the highest-rated champagne “glasses” by consumer reviewers that we found.

As the name implies, it’s highly recommended for parties, but people really like them for everyday champagne drinking as well, saying they’re fun and unique.

That they are.

The Chambong is modeled after, well, a tobacco water pipe. But instead of putting a smokable product in a tiny bowl, you pour champagne into a 6-ounce, flute-shaped bowl. Then you drink from the attached tube.

This sounds déclassé, we know, but these are really nice-looking champagne conveyance devices. They’re made from hand blown glass, with a pretty gold rim, and are stamped with the Chambong logo: the company name below an elephant.

Of course, you can’t set these down, but you’re not meant to. That may not be super convenient, but if you’re drinking only one glass, who cares?

One comment we saw repeatedly: these make a unique gift, and they come nicely packaged in an attractive box. Two are included.

Read more and check prices now on Amazon.

 

The Right Glass Will Enhance Your Enjoyment

We hope this guide has been helpful in guiding you in your journey to pair the right wine with the right glass, something many experts feel is just as important as pairing the right wine with your food.

Although we do agree with that, in general, we also think it doesn’t have to be rocket science, and that there’s a great pick for any budget.

Horizontal image of three pairs of champagne, white, and red wine glasses, filled with the appropriate beverages, on a brown table with plastic and foil star decorations.

And don’t forget, you need more than just the right glass for the best wine experience. Be sure to store your wine properly, either with a good wine rack or wine cooler. And avoid shredded corks by checking out our recommendations for the best wine openers and corkscrews.

© Ask the Experts, LLC. ALL RIGHTS RESERVED. See our TOS for more details. Product photos via Luigi Bormioli, Riegel, Waterford, Schott Zwiesel, Lenox, Mint Pantry, and Chambong. Uncredited photos: Shutterstock. Originally published by Lynne Jaques and updated on January 28, 2016. Last updated: December 4, 2019 at 16:50 pm.

About Kelly Burgess

Kelly Burgess is a product review specialist who loves food, kitchen gadgets, gardening, and writing. She was born and raised in Southern California, raised her kids in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, and now lives in Spokane, Washington with her husband and three cats. When she’s not cooking, eating or writing, Kelly likes to read, hang out with friends, hike, and explore the great Northwest.

14 thoughts on “Enhance Your Favorite Wine with the Right Glassware”

  1. I only have one set of wine glasses, and I use them to serve both red and white wines. I had no idea that the glass itself actually made a difference. And I really had no clue that the way you hold a wine glass can affect the flavor of the wine. Can you tell that I am a complete wine newbie? Thanks for this great article. I learned something new.

    Reply
    • Nids, you are not alone. I have a large assortment of them, but I just randomly use them. Whatever I put my hands on first when I reach up into the cabinet. And to know that how I hold the glass makes a difference??? Who knew?

      Reply
  2. Such great advice, awesome article, something to keep in mind when am about to buy wine glasses, not yet there, the best i do is drink from disposable cups{shy smile}…and at the moment, my wine bottle is mine alone, haven’t broadened the horizon for my guests…something am working on…{suitable wine for their different tastes and wine glasses…gladly i have a life saver @ foodal.com}

    Reply
  3. I have an assortment of wine glasses. I’ve never thought much about which to use for what kind of wine. I kind of just use them randomly- its just me.. Learned something today though. Hopefully I’ll have the chance to put my new found knowledge to good use.

    Reply
  4. What an informative read. I also had no idea the shape of the glass mattered so much. I only have a basic set of wine glasses and a few champagne flutes. I really like the look of the Stolzle glasses and would love to add them to my small collection.

    Reply
  5. I used to have wine glasses, but they almost never got used. Same for my actual drinking glasses. I love the look of mason jars so I replaced all my drinking glassed with them and eventually I just started drinking wine out of those too. Some of my friends love it because it’s so low key and some people look down on me. It makes it very easy to tell who I should be friends with and who is never getting to drink with me!

    Reply
    • I love it, Zeedame. My husband likes his Mason jar glasses too (the ones with handles). He will drink wine from a wineglass though.

      I used to collect wine glasses. I had a great variety of beautiful and unusual ones. Unfortunately, many of them were destroyed when we moved. I’ll probably never have such an extensive collection again, but I’ve begun accumulating a few.

      I knew you were supposed to hold the glass by the stem, but I never really thought about why. it makes perfect sense. Very nice article, Lynne. I enjoyed it.

      Have you tested any break resistant wine glasses?

      Reply
  6. I’ve noticed the different types of wine glasses but never really thought too much about it. It makes sense that it would give off a different impression and change how it tastes to someone overall. I’m a big fan of the Atelier Champagne type of wine flutes. They look so classy compared to ones with a large round bottom. The round ones give off a cheap feel. They often serve water in them at fancy restaurants.

    Reply
  7. The sad truth is I choose my wine glasses in direct relation to style & not giving too much to enhancing flavours or aromas. I don’t think about ‘opening up’ the wine or things of that nature. I admit it. It’s really a matter of: Do these cute stemless wine glasses match my dinner plates this evening?

    Reply
  8. I have one set of wine glasses and have never thought about trying out any different ones. Also, I had no idea there were so many different shapes of wine glasses! I also had never heard about the way you hold your glass can change the flavor of the wine, thanks for such a great and informative article!

    Reply
  9. I have only started loving and actually enjoying wine. Working as a server I had to learn all of these things with regards to the sizes of glasses and why we put red wine into larger glasses and white into a smaller glass. I like when I go out and order a glass of red wine to be handed a nice large glass because I do like to actually enjoy the glass and such but only because I was taught how to appreciate and give opinions. At home however we do drink wine but moreso just if we get a gift or something. However we haven’t invested on red and white wine glasses. For a dinner party with friends and such they should be happy to be invited and such and the glass that the wine is being served in shouldn’t be a huge deal in my opinion.

    Reply
  10. I prefer a port wine glass, in fact that is all I have been buying for the last couple years. A funny story… when I started drinking wine ten years ago, I had a friend try and teach me how to hold a wine glass. I though to myself why do I need to know this..and when we started attending the more upscale restaurants I figured out why. People are serious about wine and all things thereof. It is important to know how to hold the stem correctly and sip not gulp…wow so many things to learn and it really is an art. I find myself going wine tasting at least once a month.

    Reply
  11. I found this article very informative, I never knew wine glasses and had long names! But my favourite proves to be the Luigi Bormioli Atelier Pinot Noir Wine Glass

    Reply

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