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12 Types of Wine Glasses to Add to Your Collection

Wine glasses come in all shapes and sizes. There are a dozen wine styles, each with distinct properties. No matter the wine, it always smells and tastes better when poured into a high-quality vessel.

Pouring wine into the right wine glass will enhance your wine-tasting experience and make your time around the table with friends and family more enjoyable.

Why Does the Type of Wine Glass Matter?

Some wine glasses have wide bowls while others have narrow openings. Every piece of mouth-blown glassware is designed to make particular wine styles shine. Although you can use any wine glass to drink any type of wine, the proper glassware can make any wine taste significantly better. Why? Because not all wines are equally aromatic, so some need more room to “breathe.”

The Anatomy of a Wine Glass 

While wine glasses vary in size, shape, and composition, the best all share a few things in common. Crystal stemware is stronger and more refractive than glass stemware. At the same time, crystal glassware is thinner and more delicate, meaning it’s much more attractive. The best wine glasses in all categories are those made with crystal and artisanally mouth-blown.

All wine glasses have a base—even stemless glassware—for an obvious purpose. The stem also serves a purpose: it lets you hold the wine glass without warming its contents or smudging the bowl with your fingers.

Finally, the most essential part of any wine glass is its bowl. Wide bowls with large capacities are best for concentrated wine that needs swirling to open, while smaller bowls keep the content’s temperature colder. 

As for the mouth opening, although smaller openings trap the wine scents better, some people prefer wider openings.

What Are the Different Types of Wine Glasses?

Although there are many types of wine glasses, we’ve selected 12 styles to give you an example of what you should look for when choosing the proper glassware for your wine dinners and tastings.

The size and shape of your glassware matter, but its quality is even more important. Explore the beautiful Grassl Wine Glass Collection for premium stemware that lives up to your expectations.

1. Universal Wine Glasses

Many wine glasses can be considered Universal wine glasses. They’re never too large or small, too narrow or too tall. These wine glasses are elegant enough for long tablecloth dinners but versatile enough for backyard grilling parties. Youthful red and white wines, along with specialties like rosé and dessert wine, shine in this particular type of wine glass.

Examples: Grassl Versatile Elemental SeriesGrassl Liberté Vigneron Series

2. White Wine Glasses 

Full-bodied and oaky white wines need their own glassware, which is explained further in the Burgundy glassware category. For all other white wines, you’re better off with a dedicated wine glass designed to keep the wine cold and retain its delicate bouquet. Look for wine glasses with relatively small capacities and a narrow opening.

Example: Grassl Mineralité Vigneron Series

3. Red Wine Glasses 

Most red wines on the market are meant to be enjoyed young, with their fruity profiles best enjoyed in medium-sized wine glasses. This doesn’t mean that the right wine glass can’t make the wine smell and taste better. When pouring youthful red wine, a universal wine glass with a relatively wide bowl and ample opening is ideal.

Example: Grassl Versatile Elemental Series

4. Burgundy Wine Glasses

Pinot Noir, oak-aged Chardonnay, and other aromatic varieties benefit from wide bowls that allow the wine to express itself by releasing its complex aromatic compounds. These are Burgundy-style wine glasses, and they have a dramatic impact on the wine. You’ll recognize these easily for their ample belly.

Example: Grassl Cru Vigneron Series

5. Bordeaux Wine Glasses 

These robust wine glasses are designed to handle even the most concentrated and age-worthy wines, like those made with Cabernet, Tempranillo, or Sangiovese. Tall, chimney-like bowls capture the wine’s complex bouquet while allowing vigorous swirling.

Example: Grassl 1855 Vigneron Series

6. Sparkling Wine Glasses

Sparkling wine glasses have changed over time. Shallow coupé was once the norm, but the style is now used for cocktails rather than fizzy wine. Flutes are still standard in casual and formal scenarios, but broader, tulip-shaped sparkling wine glasses are now the norm. They allow the wine taster to swirl and smell the bubbly wine.

Example: Grassl Champagne Elemental Series

7. Water Glasses

Water glasses are just as important in a dinner setting as wine glasses since plenty of water is necessary when entertaining—especially when drinking alcoholic beverages. Water glasses can be as impactful as fine stemware. Plus, they enhance the experience without stealing the spotlight.

Example: Grassl Water Elemental Series

8. Dessert Wine Glasses 

Sweet wine is dessert in its own right. High amounts of residual sugar make these wines decadent treats that are best enjoyed cold in small wine glasses. You rarely need to pour more than two to three ounces to enjoy their complexity.

Example: Grassl Mineralité Vigneron Series

9. Wine Tumblers

Stemless wine glasses, also known as wine tumblers, are versatile and casual. They’re ideal for relaxed atmospheres and get-togethers with friends. Although fine wine might benefit from being poured into a stemmed wine glass, most wine in the market is delicious when poured into one of these slick pieces.

Example: VYCE OAO Wine Tumbler

10. Rocks Tumblers

Rocks glasses, or tumblers, are essential in any glassware collection. That’s because they’re ideal for serving cocktails and spirits, neat or on the rocks. A thick bottom is typical in these pieces, and although rocks glasses are often considered an afterthought, you should invest as much time and money in them as you would for fine stemware.

Example VYCE COF Rocks Tumbler

11. Carafes

Carafes are not a type of wine glass, but they’re equally important. Carafes are ideal for pouring wine at the table. You can also use them to pour water, refreshments, and juices, making them suitable for formal and casual entertaining. 

Example: Grassl Carafe Elemental Series

12. Decanters

Decanters are an essential piece in any glassware collection. A decanter is the only way to separate the wine from its sediments without disturbing them. But these beautiful crystal pieces have other uses, too. By pouring wine into a decanter, you can aerate it to soften its tannins and make it more aromatic.

Example: Grassl Decanter Vigneron Series

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