Size Matters (For Wine Glasses)

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Entertain-Wine GlassesCheers to wine lovers everywhere! But are you using the right glass? Enjoy your various taste and color pallets by following this guide to knowing which wine glass to use for each aroma and flavor complexity.


For dry red and white wines, you need something in which you can swirl (without spilling). For Sherry or other dessert wines, a small glass is just perfect because they are typically consumed in smaller quantities. Red wine glasses should hold at least twelve ounces. For white wines, find a glass that will hold ten to twelve ounces maximum. Sparkling wines will do just fine in an eight ounce glass.


The shape of the stemware bowl varies, and for good reasons. A glass more narrow at the rim and oval in the bowl is best used for reds like Bordeaux, Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot, Chianti, and Zinfandel. Glasses with very round bowls are best for Burgundy, Pinot Noir, and Barolo.

Sparkling wines have glass shape requirements all their own. For these, gather to your cabinets tulips, flutes, and trumpets. A tulip is shaped for Champagne, and other sparkling wines. Its tall, elongated shape and narrow rim keeps bubbles in the wine longer. A flute is less ideal because of its larger rim, allowing more oxygen to escape from your bubbly.

Trumpet stemware widens at the mouth, giving it an elegant look, but filling the stem of the glass. Heat from your hand is transferred to the drink while you hold it.

Try these tips with your favorite wines to hone your own wine tasting preferences. The purpose of distinguishing between different stemware shapes and sizes is to present the pallet with the most distinguished taste possible from your chosen wine.

Source: Ed McCarthy and Mary Ewing-Mulligan Photo: Gerhard Taatgen Jr.

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