The Anatomy of a Wine Glass

by Richelle Kimble

There are hundreds (yes, hundreds) of wine glasses out there, and a highly knowledgeable sommelier may know the role for each of them. For us not-so-connoisseurs who are looking to improve their vino serving skills, learning wine glass basics is simple. Knowing shapes and what the width and height do for each type of wine is beneficial to enjoying a nice bottle.



A fairly even design is fit for tannic red wines with moderate acidity, such as Cabernet Sauvignon and Merlot. Leave the Burgundy glass with a bigger bowl for the lighter, full bodied wines like Pinot Noir.


These glasses are more “U” shaped in order to retain temperature. A Chardonnay gets the bigger bowl, and other white wines such as Pinot Gris and Sauvignon Blanc get a standard, more even glass.



Drink your bubbly from a tall, thin flute or tulip glass with a long stem to retain the carbonation and temperature. Sweet Rieslings work better with a standard wine glass with a definitive “U” shape.



These fancy glasses are used for sweet and fortified wines. Each of these glasses, the Port, Sherry and Madeira, are smaller for directing the wine to the back of the mouth (and because these wines have a higher ABV).


When she’s not editing for WLM and spending time with her fellow staff members, Richelle enjoys exploring, traveling, writing, reading, cooking, learning and playing.