Concha y Toro

Ania Smolec 08/04/2016

Shapes of wine glasses

We explain why it is a very important part of the tasting and we also present you a guide of how to choose the perfect wine glass.


Did you know that there are glasses in different sizes and shapes for each wine style? We explain why it is a very important part of the tasting and we also present you a guide of how to choose the perfect wine glass.

Some wine regions, with their particular styles of wines or strains, developed very characteristic shapes of glasses and even some of unique features. The most emblematic examples are the French regions of Bordeaux and Burgundy, where they created their own glasses to taste their wines.

The first reason was to develop an ideal shaped glass is to express the wine potential. Can you imagine a mature and concentrated Cabernet Sauvignon in a sparkling wine flute type glass? Red wine with many aromas and body literally needs space to breathe and display in the best way. That is why red wine glasses are always bigger.

The shape of the glass is as an important factor of the professional wine tasting, just like the temperature of the wine. Knowledge about the different types of glasses, and using them properly during the tasting, is essential to get the most out of your wine collection.

Each wine glass is built of different elements which have a specific function: the thinner the rim, the fewer distractions you will face on the enjoyment of wine. A good glass will have a soft edge or “cut”, letting the wine flow naturally. The bowl has different volumes and shapes, each of them suited to a style of wine; with the stem you can hold the glass without warming the wine with your hands, as well as allowing the wine to oxygenate by swirling; and the foot allows the glass to maintain its upright position.

Glasses for sparkling wine

Brut ReservaA glass of sparkling wine usually has a form of a flute. It is long and narrow to retain carbonation and capture the flavor of the wine. Try our best sparkling wines in a flute glass and watch the game of the bubbles. Note the aromas that stand out and enjoy the so-called “starry wine.”

The sparkling wine glasses are available in four different forms: demi flute, flute narrow, tall flute and glass. Choose which is most comfortable for you. Some experts say that is not really necessary to use the flute shape glass, but regular white wine glasses. This allows to feel more the aromas, although flutes glasses are specially designed to enhance the bubbles in the wine and enjoy it to the fullest. Let’s leave that discussion to the professional tasters.

White wine glasses

copa vino blancoA classic white wine glass has a bowl shaped like the letter U and is straighter than red wine glass. This form allows you to maintain a cool temperature of the wine, as we remember, is very important to appreciate the qualities of the wine. White wines should always be well refrigerated to show aromas and crisp freshness, such as the citrus and spicy notes of Trio Sauvignon Blanc.

Naturally on the market, you will find many types of glasses for whites, depending on the strain, whence region and style of wine. For example, the glass for more mature white wine will be straighter and taller to dispense wine on the back and sides of the tongue to taste its boldest flavors.

Red wine glasses

copaAs mentioned, the two most typical examples of glasses for red wine come from Bordeaux and Burgundy. A glass of Bordeaux is higher, but the bowl is not so big. It is designed for full-bodied wines, such as Cabernet Sauvignon and Merlot. The height of this glass allows the wine to go directly the back of the mouth to maximize its flavor. For our icon wine Don Melchor Cabernet Sauvignon from Puente Alto, a wine of an extraordinary quality and strength, it was designed a special glass with a wide bowl-shaped tulip.

Moreover, a glass of Burgundy wines is for lighter body wines, like the classic and elegant Pinot Noir. It is not as high as Bordeaux, but its bowl is much bigger, letting the wine to reach the tip of the tongue to express its delicate flavors.

In general terms, a glass of red wine is bigger than a white wine glass. This allows the nose to dip into the bowl to detect scents. And, as mentioned above, more complex aromas and flavors of red wines require a glass with a larger surface area for the wine to come into contact with more air.

Sweet wine glasses

Late-HarvestSweet wines are usually served with dessert. Although there are many types of sweet wine, there is a rule that you cannot compromise: the wine should be sweeter than the dessert. A glass of sweet wine, as for our Late Harvest, must be smaller to direct the wine to the back of the mouth, so the sweetness does not overwhelm us. Sweet wines generally have higher alcohol content, so a small cup is perfect to enjoy a smaller portion.

One glass shape for every wine style

Remember that before serving the wine, your glass must be clean and dry. The taste of wine is not only better when you drink it in the proper glass, but, also in one without a strange aroma. The elements that you should consider are: glass shape, size, and quality of the glass (remember that the glass must be transparent, smooth and not faceted). The colorful glasses and some with carvings are very decorative but useless when it comes to taste wine. Instead, they cover the wine true color, so it is always recommended to have a transparent glass.


Theoretically, you can use one shape of glass for all styles of wine, but with one condition: the bowl should be large enough to swirl the wine, opening it to more air and allowing the aromas to be released.

However, for the most experienced taster, who wants to enjoy wine in all its dimensions, these four basic types of glasses may be all you need. For those wishing to extend their enjoyment, appreciation and understanding of wine, you may want to invest in the more specific types of wine glasses. You can buy a nice set at an affordable price for an everyday consumption. Or you can pay a more for a very high quality glasses that can improve your tasting and drinking experience. Let your wallet and taste buds decide.