The Ultimate Wine Glass Guide
Whether they're for entertaining with friends or enjoying a relaxing drink over dinner, no household is complete without a quality set of wine glasses. But, with so many wine glass sizes, shapes and styles, choosing the right one can be a little daunting. What type of wine glass is the best?
To help you choose the best glasses for the styles of wine you're drinking, we've put together this easy-to-follow guide. Wine Expert and Tasting Panellist Adam Walls, demystifies the glassware process.
WHAT ARE THE BEST WHITE WINE GLASSES?
For an all-purpose white wine glass, choose a long stem with a good-sized bowl so there is plenty of space for the wine to breathe.
And what about how to hold a wine glass when you’re drinking chilled white wine? Always hold the glass by the stem to ensure the bowl is not heated by your hands. Here are some suggestions for white wine glasses depending on the style of white wine you’re serving.
WINE GLASSES FOR LIGHTER-BODIED WHITE WINES
Wine glasses with a smaller bowl are best for lighter-bodied white wines.
Typically, lighter-bodied and aromatic white wines like Riesling, Sauvignon Blanc, Semillon, Grüner Veltliner and Gewürztraminer are best served in a glass with a smaller bowl. This helps to keep it cool and helps to concentrate and amplify the floral aromatics of these delicate styles.
The Tasting Panel reccommends: the Schott Zwiesel Fine White Entertainers glass and the Schott Zwiesel Connoisseur Sensa white glass.
WINE GLASSES FOR MEDIUM AND FULLER-BODIED WHITE WINES
Wine glasses with larger bowls are best for medium-bodied and fuller-bodied white wines.
For medium-bodied white wines like Marsanne, Pinot G, Vermentino, Arneis and Fiano, go for a glass with a larger bowl. Fuller-bodied whites like Chardonnay, Verdelho, Rousanne, Viognier are also best served in a glass with a larger bowl to really bring out and enhance the creamy texture of the varietal.
The Tasting Panel recommends: the Schott Zwiesel Everyday Vina Bordeaux/Claret white glass, the Schott Zwiesel Fine White Entertainers glass and the Schott Zwiesel Connoisseur Sensa white glass.
WHAT ARE THE BEST RED WINE GLASSES?
Overall, red wines are best served in larger-bowled glasses, and there are generally two red wine glass shapes – Bordeaux and Burgundy. The larger bowl of red wine glasses, allows you to not only get your nose in to smell the aromas, but it also brings more air into contact with the wine, releasing the flavours and softening the tannins. You can also use stemless red wine glasses – read on to learn more about that popular style.
WINE GLASSES FOR LIGHT AND MEDIUM-BODIED RED WINES
The Burgundy glass is best for softer, more medium-bodied red wines.
The Burgundy glass is perfect for more delicate styles of red wine such as Pinot Noir, softer reds or more medium-bodied Australian Shiraz. While it's often shorter than the Bordeaux glass, it has a larger bowl, tapering to a narrower opening. This shape allows the wine to hit the tip of your tongue where more delicate flavours can be appreciated and enjoyed.
The Tasting Panel recommends: the Schott Zwiesel Entertainers Vina Burgundy glass, the Schott Zwiesel Connoisseur Sensa red glass.
WINE GLASSES FOR FULL-BODIED RED WINES
Fuller-bodied red wines are best in a Bordeaux glass.
The Bordeaux glass is great for an all-round, everyday red wine glass. The characteristic tall shape, open bowl and straight sides allow plenty of surface area for the wine to come into contact with the air, helping to tame the bold tannins of classic varieties like Cabernet Sauvignon and South Australian Shiraz, while also unlocking the flavours of new world wines such as Tempranillo, Malbec and Sangiovese.
The Tasting Panel recommends: the Schott Zwiesel Everyday Vina Bordeaux/Claret glass, the Schott Zwiesel Entertainers Invento Bordeaux glass and the Schott Zwiesel Connoisseur Sensa red glass.
WHAT ARE THE BEST SPARKLING WINE GLASSES?
Either flute shape or tulip shaped wine glasses are best for sparkling wines.
For Sparkling wines, there are two types of glasses that enhance the wine in different ways.
The familiar flute shape allows the bubbles to gather at the bottom of the glass then shoot up to the top, capturing the aromas and flavours and presenting a stunning display of sparkles.
Or if you're enjoying a Sparkling wine with a bit of age or complexity, the tulip-shaped glass, or tulip champagne glass, still gives you bubbles but also allows more air to hit the wine and really open up the aromas and flavours.
The Tasting Panel recommends: the Schott Zwiesel Everyday Vina Champagne flute, the Schott Zwiesel Entertainers Fine Champagne flute and the Schott Zwiesel Connoisseur Sensa flute.
STEMLESS WINE GLASSES
Stemless wine glasses are versatile and can be used for all wines and more.
For a great all-rounder that's stylish, but also really durable, a stemless wine glass is a great choice. Just make sure that you don't end up warming up the wine too much through the heat in your hands. The classic shape means it's versatile and can also be used for water, juice, sodas or cocktails.
The Tasting Panel recommends: the Schott Zwiesel Everyday Vina 385ml stemless glass and the Schott Zwiesel Everyday Vina 556ml stemless glass.
Find out more about stemless glasses
HOW DO I PROPERLY CLEAN AND STORE MY WINE GLASSES?
Properly cleaning and storing your wine glasses is essential to maintain their clarity and longevity. It’s best to hand wash your wine glasses using warm water and detergent – avoid using abrasive scrubbers, as this can damage the delicate glass. Gently swish the soapy water inside the glass and rinse thoroughly, making sure to remove all soap residue. For drying, use a lint-free and non-abrasive cloth, like microfiber, to prevent water spots and scratches.
When it comes to storing your wine glasses, opt for upright storage to prevent any pressure on the delicate stems, and if possible, use glassware-specific storage racks. And remember, proper storage away from direct sunlight and extreme temperature changes is key to preserving the glass’s clarity and ensuring your wine-drinking experience remains optimal.
HOW TO HOLD A WINE GLASS
Holding a wine glass might seem simple, but it can significantly enhance your wine-tasting experience. When enjoying a white wine, it’s best to hold the glass but its stem. This prevents the warmth from your hand warming up the wine too much, therefore preserving its crisp and refreshing qualities.
The stem serves a dual purpose – it prevents unwanted temperature changes while also showcasing the wine’s colour and clarity. Holding a wine glass by its stem also prevents getting finger marks on the bowl of the glass.
CHOOSING YOUR FIRST SET OF GLASSWARE
It's a good idea to initially choose a small range of glasses based on the wine styles you love, and build your collection as you discover more wine varieties. A versatile larger white wine glass like the Schott Zwiesel Everyday Vina Bordeaux/Claret white glass is a great all-around choice and is what the Wine Selector's Tasting Panel use for their tasting sessions. Then you could look towards a dedicated red glass set with a Bordeaux shape or a Burgundy shape depending on which style of wine you prefer.
We highly recommend the fantastic range of Schott Zwiesel wine glasses. Combined with titanium, rather than lead, they are remarkably strong for such fine crystal glassware. They're very durable and dishwasher safe, making them the perfect glass for everyday use, but also beautifully styled for your special occasions.
WINE DECANTERS AND CARAFES
When you’re wanting to store your wines, oxygen is your greatest enemy. But when you’re pouring yourself a beautiful red to drink now, it – and a trusty decanter – becomes your best friend!
The prime benefit of decanting is that it lets your wine and oxygen combine. Wine feeds on oxygen when it’s released, giving it the best chance to open up and allowing the fruit to prosper, the structure to soften, and the wine to be at its best for tasting. In the old days, a wine that had a cork and was deemed worthy, or was of good providence, was meant to be decanted, to separate it from its sediment. The advent of the screwcap has changed all this. As screw-capped wines arrive tighter and more fine-boned than their predecessors under cork, a bit of air can help release primary fruit and aid texture.
In terms of time, newer wines can be left in the decanter and you’ll notice they open up over the course of a few hours. Older wines, however, do not need more than an hour as they will start to fall away in the decanter and fruit can become stripped quite quickly. Decanting will even improve less expensive wines, often helping get rid of the unpleasant odour of sulphur dioxide – you may even fool your friends into thinking you’ve forked out for a top drop!
Bring out the best of your wines with the Schott Zwiesel Entertainers Classico decanter and the Schott Zwiesel Entertainers Pure carafe, plus learn all of the tips and tricks of decanting with Tasting Panellist Dave Mavor.
START BUILDING YOUR WINE GLASS COLLECTION TODAY!
Explore the Everyday, Entertainers and Connoisseur wine glassware ranges featuring Schott Zwiesel’s state-of-the-art flutes, red, white and stemless wine glasses, plus aerate your wine in style with their selection of carafes and decanters.