Contrary to what some people might think, it truly makes a difference whether you drink wine from a red solo cup or the correct wine glass. Now, don’t confuse this with snobbery, and try not to get overwhelmed as I know what you’re thinking. How do I choose the right wine glass for the style of wine I’m drinking? First off, this is tough because wine glass shapes are abundant and range from basic and inexpensive to elaborate and expensive. Sure, there are a variety of specific glassware for wines like Cabernet Sauvignon and Pinot Noir, but there are universal glasses for any wine style.

Before we get into wine-specific glasses, it’s important to note that the size of the glass matters. Whether you’re drinking red, white, sparkling, or rosé, aromas play a vital role in the overall character of the wine. If the bowl is smaller, it is harder for the aromas to escape. Larger bowls, though, allow for oxygen to come in contact with the wine offers the opportunity for the perfect swirl. This will not only make you look like you know what you’re doing (YAY!) but, if done the right way, it will open up the wine for optimal sniffing and sipping.

Cabernet Sauvignon/Merlot/Bordeaux blends

For this style of wine, you’ll want a traditional red wine glass. Bordeaux wines are typically high in alcohol and tannins so, a larger bowl with more height adds distance between the wine and you. This allows more oxygen in to aerate the wine and softens the tannins as the aromas reach your nose.


For a syrah wine glass, you’ll want a slightly taller glass with a smaller opening than that of a cabernet glass. The added height focuses on the fruit and provides enough aeration to smooth out the tannins in a bold red wine like a syrah.

Pinot Noir

A tulip shape with a tapered rim and wide bowl for the pinot noir glass allows for ample aeration, all the while concentrating on delicate aromas to show off the bright and rich fruity flavor. Interestingly enough, this is also a great glass for champagne.

Chardonnay/Pinot Gris

These white varieties call for a traditional white wine glass. This style of glass is meant for young, fresh wines because the more narrow rim concentrates your nose of super aromatic white wines. Plus, the smaller bowl size also keeps white wine cooler than a larger bowl used for red wine.


This one might not need an explanation as most people can identify that champagne and sparkling wines should go into a flute glass but, at the risk of being redundant let me explain the reasoning behind it. For sparkling wines, it's all about bubbles. A flute keeps the fruit and yeasty aromas focused due to the narrow design. Even still the slim design allows the aromas to stay fresher longer.

- Natalie