Wine glasses differences

Choosing the right wine to go with a meal is an art. But not only the wine must fit, the wine glass also plays a decisive role in the taste and smell experience.

Collage zeigt rote Weintrauben, Gläser mit Wein und Weinfässer

Choose the wine glass to match the wine

Choosing the right wine is an art. But not only the wine has to fit, also the wine glass plays a decisive role for the taste and smell experience. The range of different wine glasses is large: Shape, volume, height, diameter, thickness and material. It is difficult to choose the right glass for the right wine. The shape of the glass should optimally match to the characteristics of the wine in order to accentuate the various taste nuances and aromas. VEGA shows you how the right glass supports the wine and makes it even more aromatic.

Nebeneinander aufgestellte Weingläser in vielfältigen Formen

The wine glass

The classic wine glass consists of three parts: Goblet, stem and foot. These three components should be a coordinated system that keeps the glass in perfect balance. With the right filling quantity, it lies pleasantly stable in the hand. The foot allows the glass to stand securely and should not be larger than the diameter of the goblet. The glass is held on the stem without raising the temperature of the wine by the warmth of the hand, as the aromas are strongly dependent on the temperature.

Accessories for wine enjoyment

The right shape of the glass

The largest and most important differences can be seen in the goblets. It determines the type of wine glass. Depending on the shape, volume and size of the opening, other characteristics of the wine are highlighted. Depending on its shape, the wine appeals to different taste buds and is more influenced by sweetness, fruit melt or acidity. In the shape of wine glasses, a rough distinction is made between red wine glasses, white wine glasses and champagne or sparkling wine glasses.

Red wine glasss

Rotweinweinflasche und eingeschänkter Wein im Glas

Red wine glasses are bulbous and have a large opening. The voluminous goblet increases the surface area of the wine and thus aerates it better, which in turn allows its aroma to unfold ideally. The stronger, fuller and more complex the aromas, the larger the diameter of the glass should be.

Small red wine glasses for light, fruity, tannin-poor red wines:

  • Trollinger
  • Cabernet Franc
  • Dolcetto Monferrato
  • Portugieser
  • Valpolicella

Large red wine glasses for powerful red wines:

  • Corvina Veronese
  • Cabernet Sauvignon
  • Malbec
  • Bordeaux
  • Red Burgundy

White wine glass

Weinflasche und zwei mit Wein gefüllte Weißweingläser

Since white wines rarely need to be aerated, the goblet is less bulbous and relatively small. This makes the stem of a white wine glass all the more important because white wines are drunk chilled. The smaller goblet reduces the filling quantity. Thus the wine stays shorter in the glass and is well cooled until the last sip. Again, the stronger and more aromatic the wine, the larger the diameter of the glass.

Small white wine glasses for light, fresh, fruity white wines:

  • Riesling
  • Pinot Blancr
  • Silvaner
  • Green Veltliner
  • Custoza

Large white wine glasses for strong, full-bodied white wines with wood maturing:

  • Chardonnay
  • Pinot Gris
  • Muscatel
  • Traminer
  • White Burgundy

Sparkling wine glass

Champagnerflasche im Flaschenkühler mit Eiswürfeln und zwei mit Champagner gefüllte Champagnergläser

The right glass shape is also very important for sparkling wine. Flat glasses are often used for optical reasons, but due to the large liquid surface they allow the carbonic acid to escape too quickly. Narrow sparkling wine glass or champagne glasses are more suitable. In order to create a beautiful perlage, sparkling wine and champagne glasses are specifically provided with a small flaw, the mousse point, during production. This cast-on point or the ground point is located on the inside of the glass, off the central axis, and causes the carbonic acid bubbles to settle there and rise as a fine line.

drei Weingläser gedreht mit Stil und Kelch im Anschnitt

What else has to be paid attention to in a wine glass?

Why is it so important to use different glass shapes? Doesn't a white wine also taste good from a red wine glass? This question can clearly be answered with "no". There are even big differences for wine connoisseurs. In order to express the different taste nuances and aroma structures of the wine, the glass must optimally match to the wine. In addition to the shape, other elements of the glass also play an important role in the full development of a wine enjoyment.

The rim of the glass

A good wine glass also needs a good glass edge. Pay attention to a fine mouth edge for a pleasant feeling at the lip. An optimum rim - it should be thin and perfectly polished - allows the wine to wet the tongue quickly and evenly. A too thick edge or a rounded rolled edge prevent this. The ideal rim also helps to enjoy the wine in small sips.

Serve wine properly

Once you have chosen the right wine for the dish and found the right glass for the wine, you should also pay attention to some important details when serving the wine in order not to reduce the pleasure.

Rotweinweinflasche und eingeschenkter Wein in zwei unterschiedlichen Dekanter
Servicemitarbeiter mit weißen Baumwollhandschuhen in einer Hand Rotweinglas und in andere Hand einen Dekanter

The right glass in the right place

Not only the choice of glass is crucial, the place of the glass is also relevant in stylish gastronomy. There are two common variants to arrange the glasses properly: Side by side or in the triangular shape.

If the glasses are arranged side by side, the white wine glass is placed exactly above the knife for the main course. At a 45° angle to this, the other glasses are placed on a line: the red wine glass on the left above and the water glass on the right below.

In the triangular shape, the white wine glass is also placed just above the knife of the main course, but the other glasses are positioned at a 90° angle from the white wine glass: the red wine glass above on the right and the water glass below on the right.

Let red wine breathe

Red wine must be able to breathe. Give the wine the air it needs to breathe before pouring. It develops its full taste in a decanter. When serving, red wine glasses should always only be half-filled. For larger quantities of wine, it is therefore advisable to serve the remaining wine in a jug or carafe. This allows the bouquet of the wine to unfold properly. In addition, the wine can easily be swivelled vertically in the glass and the olfactory impression is created on the glass surface.

The right temperature

Also the temperature of the glass is very important for an optimum taste. Always serve the glasses at the right temperature to match the wine. White wine and white wine glasses should be between 8°C and 10°C, red wine glasses between 15°C and 17°C.

Did you know?

In the 18th century, a dining culture developed that also attached great importance to the decorative design of wine glasses. Until the 1920s, wine glasses were therefore elaborately processed and artfully decorated. Today, plain glasses are more widespread because they do not falsify the appearance of wine.

Which glass is right for you?

As a hotelier or restaurateur you don't have to have every wine glass shape and size in your cupboard. A certain amount of basic equipment covers most of the wines well. Each business is perfectly equipped with a selection of large and small red and white wine glasses as well as sparkling wine and champagne glasses. Special wine glasses that are suitable for certain grape varieties are needed for special wine tastings, in a wine bar or star restaurant - or if your business is located in a wine region.

Our tip

Choose clear, colorless wine glasses to enhance the color of the wine. If you choose crystal-cut glasses, keep them discreet so they don't interfere with the color of the wine.