Wine glasses: which ones to choose

Which is the best wine glass? The answer can only depend on the type of wine: which is the most suitable to enhance the pearly of a champagne? Which is the most suitable to taste the complex aromas of an intense red? Which is the most suitable for sipping a light white wine?

Red wine glasses

Balloon glass

The difference between goblets for red wine and goblets for white wine is apparently very simple to grasp: for reds, larger glasses are indicated. But the amplitude is not merely an aesthetic component but also has very practical reasons: a larger glass allows in fact to bring the nose closer to the wine so as to better grasp the nuances and more complex aromas of a red wine – which often stand out less than a fruity and young white wine. Aromas and olfactory sensations are thus facilitated thanks to the better oxygenation favoured by the width of the glass.
A further distinction can be made between more structured red wines and young red wines: for the former, glasses with a wider belly are recommended to facilitate the rotation of the liquid and consequently better release the bouquet of a great wine -classics worth mentioning: Balloon or Burgundy glasses-; while for the latter it is sufficient to use medium-size glasses, with a narrower mouth or with a slight flare.

White wine glasses

Tulip glass

The main feature of glasses for white wine is the more elongated shape – compared to the typical flattened shape of a balloon for a red wine – and less rounded; in addition, the glass suitable for white wine features a narrower opening, so to keep the temperature of the liquid low, delay oxygenation and therefore retain aromas – usually more volatile than that of red wines.
As for the red, also for white wines we should choose different glasses depending on the type of wine: for structured and mature whites let’s opt for larger glasses – like a rather tall but slightly closed Renan glass -; for younger and fresher wines let’s prefer goblets with flared edges and smaller sizes instead, so as to enhance aromas and flavours and taste them better with small sips – the reference glass in this case is the classic tulip.

Champagne or sparkling wine glasses


The first thing to know is a myth to dispel: the wide cup is by no means the best way to enjoy a champagne or a sparkling wine. For easily understandable reasons: being so large, the cup glass disperses the aromas of the wine – it could be more suitable for very sweet sparkling wines – and its reduced height does not allow the effervescence to express itself. Last but not least: it is always uncomfortable due to the constant risk of overflowing the wine.
The best glass for sparkling wines is rather the flute: so long and narrow it facilitates and maintains the perlage which develops in a slow and constant way. Moreover, the narrow body better retains all the aromas.

Target Point, Italian Ideas