The design of a red wine glass is critical to maximizing the flavors and aromas of the wine. Depending on the variety and type; red wine glasses can be a variety of styles, however in general, most will have a larger bowl compared to a white wine glass.
However, there will be subtle differences between the different grapes, hence the bowl has to be shaped to maximize the primary, secondary and tertiary flavors, whilst minimizing the effect of tannin and alcohol. Hence as you can imagine a young left-bank Bordeaux would need a larger glass than say a Northern-Rhone Syrah. So let us look at which wine glasses are recommended per wine style.
Quick Recommendations on red wine glasses
The below glasses highlight my favorite and go-to wine glasses dependant on the style:
Why is the shape and size of wine glasses so important?
We spend so much time selecting a bottle of wine, yet when it comes to the glass, we too often just use any glass without too much thought! The technology of wine glasses has never been so high, and whether you are drinking a young or mature, old or new world, red or white wine, there will be a design out there for you.
Some believe wine glasses are designed to look good, yet this is far from the truth. Brands such as Riedel and Zalto have been scientifically optimizing wine glasses for the last few years, to ensure not just the aromas are on point, but the mouthfeel and textures are also enhanced. When selecting a wine glass I always ask myself the question; how long do I need this wine to be exposed to air for? This is not the only question but it certainly helps to guide me in terms of selecting the correct glassware. So if you are drinking a young Napa Cabernet then you will want to select the Riedel Extreme Cabernet Sauvignon Glass , compared to Northern Rhone Syrah where I might be more inclined to try the Riedel Sommelier Hermitage Glass.
Should I use a stemless wine glass?
The difference between a stemless and a 'normal' wine glass is that stemless wine glasses do not have the stem, hence it is just the bowl. Does it make a big difference? In my opinion, there has been less research into stemless wine glasses, hence there are fewer options available on the market. Also the one reason I do not recommend stemless wine glasses is that whilst holding the glass you will directly warm up the wine due to your body heat. I also enjoy the feel of a stemmed wine glass. However, for those who enjoy the feel of a stemless wine glass, I would recommend the Riedel O wine Tumbler.
Why are red wine glasses bigger than white wine glasses?
Red wine glasses tend to be larger than white wine glasses since typically a red wine needs more air to breathe. The shape of the wine glass is critical to ensure the tannins are reduced and the aromas open and the palate is not 'closed'. Apart from certain Chardonnays, most white wines require a small style of wine glass to keep the temperature low, freshness and aromas compact. In terms of temperature, this makes sense since a large wine glass will have a large surface area so the wine will reach room temperature quicker. Chardonnays tend to be an exception to this rule since they tend to need a little more air than most other white wines, hence a larger glass is often used.
Top Red Wine Glasses