Types of Wine Glasses

These days, there are nearly as many different types of wine glasses as there are types of wines. The famous stemware producer Riedel goes hog wild on the concept and provides us with special glasses for everything from Chardonnay to Sherry.

Believe it or not, serving the same wine in different glasses can bring out different tastes. You can have fun at home experimenting with that, but despite all of these shapes and sizes, most of us can do quite all right just sticking to a few.

However, if you are looking to add some variety to your wine tasting experience, here is a look of some of the more popular stemware shapes.

red wine glass shapes

Red Wine Glasses


Hey this looks like a wine glass! Yep, I would say the Bordeaux wine glass comes as close to being generic as they come. The shape though is said to be the ideal one for full bodied, tannic red wines like the Cabernet Sauvignon and Merlot blends of Bordeaux. I nominate it for the best all purpose wine glass shape.


Burgundy glasses are of course made with Burgundy wine in mind. Pinot Noir is the varietal used in making Burgundy, so these should be ideal for enjoying any Pinot Noir wine. The distinctive shape is thought to best showcase this more delicate red wine.


These can get really big which can be a good thing for a wine that needs some air time. On the other hand, they can make a serving size look mighty puny and you might be tempted to drink more than you really want to.

white wine glass shapes

White Wine Glasses


A basic white wine glass does not look much different than a Bordeaux wine glass. It is perhaps a little smaller and little narrower, which helps keep the wine cooler. You will find some white wine glasses with a borader bowl. These types of wine glasses are intended for fuller bodied whites, such as an oaked Chardonnay.


This is a green tinged and oddly shaped wine glass that you might find used in the Alsace wine region. Most wine lovers though would avoid its unfriendly shape and color, neither of which are designed to ideally showcase the lovely wines of Alsace. Kind of fun for the table though.


Sauternes is a very special sweet wine from the Bordeaux wine region, so it is no surprise that it gets its own special Riedel wine glass. This actually would work great with any sweet dessert wine.

champagne glass shapes

Champagne Glasses

Choices abound for enjoying sparkling wine: saucer shaped coupes, tulips, flutes and more.

Here is where you can learn more about these types of wine glasses and pick out your favorite: Champagne Stemware.

Other Types of Wine Glassss
liqueur glass

Liqueur and Fortified Wines

When you are drinking stronger alcohol, you won't want to drink so much, right? The smaller size and shape of these glasses also tame the evaporating alcohol which can overwhelm the aromas of fortified wines.

inao wine glass


Along with governing the system of appellations in the country, the French INAO (Institut national de l'origine et de la qualité ) has its say in wine glass shapes. The INAO glass is the one that is supposed to be used for all official tasting, which I imagine goes on a lot in France. It has a capacity of a little more than seven ounces and a short (to my eye) stem.

stemless wine glass


These are a popular trend. Other than being chic, they have the supposed advantage of being harder to spill. Maybe these would be fun for a party, but they really are not made for people who love wine.

Choosing Wine Glasses
With so many different types of wine glasses, the beginner can be easily confused about which ones to buy. Find out what to look for in stemware and how to pick the right set of glasses for your needs.

Washing and Storing Wine Glasses
There are a few tricks to keep in mind when caring for your stemware. Follow these simple instructions to make sure you are not adding unwanted odors to your wine drinking experience.