Wine Glasses

Wednesday, 12 November 2008

Some wine glasses are specially designed to fully maximize the flavour of various types of wine. But the average wine drinker usually uses the same glass, no matter the bottle. We find out how using the right glass can make the wine shine.

The Basics

  • If you’re only going to buy one set of glasses for all types of wine, a wide bowled tulip-shape allows the wine’s flavors to evolve, and a narrowing at the rim guides the aroma to your nose.

  • Look for a rim as thin as possible so it doesn’t interfere with the wine reaching your mouth.

  • Make sure the base of the glass is almost as wide as the widest part of the goblet to avoid potential top-heavy accidents.

  • A clear glass lets you enjoy the wine’s clarity and color. Decorative glasses may look nice on the shelf, but they interfere visually with the wine-drinking experience.

Other Considerations

  • Buy extra glasses because you’ll likely lose a couple to clumsiness or accidents over time.

  • Stemless tulip-shaped tumblers have become a popular alternative to the traditional style, and they fit better in the dishwasher. But avoid holding the glass when you’re not taking a sip so your hand doesn’t heat up the wine.

  • Most connoisseurs have up to four different types of glasses to cover all their drinking needs. For the average wine drinker, a wider, taller glass for reds and a smaller one for whites will do fine.


We conducted a blind taste test using a pinot noir to see if using these different red wine glasses affected our overall enjoyment of the wine:

  • Burgundy/Pinot Noir glass: $29.95
  • Shiraz glass: $29.95
  • Bordeaux/Cabernet Sauvignon glass: $29.95
  • Basic Red Wine glass: $12.95

Glass Taste Test

We were surprised to discover that a differently shaped glass actually does make a difference in taste:

  • We thought the pinot noir tasted better in either the Bordeaux/Cabernet glass; the flavour just didn’t come together the same way in its appropriate glass.

  • We all raised our glasses for the Shiraz glass, delivering first to the nose and then through to the palette.

  • The basic red wine glass may not have delivered big things, but we did agree that it made a perfectly good everyday wine glass and easily fit in the dishwasher.


Unless you’re a real wine connoisseur, we’re pretty confident you can survive with a general set of glasses for reds and a set for whites.


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