How to Pair Wine Glasses with Wine (A Beginners Cheat Sheet)
Wine comes in all colors, flavors, and sizes; there over 2000 wine grapes out there, grown in a hundred countries, in many styles. It comes as no surprise that every wine needs a special treatment. In the same way as each wine pairs with different food, each style is best enjoyed with a unique wine glass’s shape and size.
Here’s all you need to know about how to pair wine glasses with wine, a beginner’s cheat sheet that will give you the confidence to serve wine live a pro.
The Best Glasses for White Wine
White wine is often underrated; it seems it always takes the back seat behind red wine. Yet, you’ll be surprised to know that the more you learn about wine, the more you’re inclined to whites rather than reds.
For starters, white wine is often more affordable, and it can be incredibly pleasing and complex. Since white wine is also served colder than red, it’s much more refreshing and has lots of versatility.
This is by far the most common white wine style. Most Sauvignon Blanc, Pinot Grigio, Chenin Blanc, Albariño, and Dry Riesling fall in this category, and the wines are gorgeous! Beautifully nuanced and subtle, super refreshing, and always fashionable.
This wine style has never been kissed by oak barrels, which makes for bolder styles. Instead, it’s fermented in stainless steel vats and bottled as soon as possible. Think of citrus fruit, apple, and pear aromas, peaches, fresh herbs, or white flower hints.
For light-bodied white wines, you want a small, round-shaped glass. The secret here is keeping the wine cold, and it’s always better to refill the glass with fresh, cold wine than overfilling it and letting it warm up.
Stemmed or stemless, crystal or unbreakable Tritan glasses. For this style, smaller is better.
Red wine comes in an entire spectrum, too, but we can classify them into light-bodied young wine, medium bodied wine and full-bodied interpretations.
Young and Medium Bodied Red Wine
Most red wine bottles fall in this category. We’re talking round Merlot, plummy Malbec, young Sangiovese, or Tempranillo. These delightful wines have either red or black fruit aromas surrounded by hints of spice.
These crowd-pleasing reds need more space than your average white wine and will fair nicely in a 16oz, medium-sized glass. They’ll have all the room they need to open up through the evening.
Since you need not keep red wine chilled, you can serve a more generous pour and refill less often. This is another reason for using larger wine glasses.
One of the lightest red wines is Pinot Noir, but what it lacks in mouthfeel, it compensates in aroma complexity. Don’t let this grape’s translucent nature fool you; it’s often overwhelmingly pleasurable in the nose. Serve Pinot in a large glass to make the most out of its extroverted personality.
Aged red wines, towering wines worthy of any collection like a high-quality, structured Cabernet Sauvignon or superbold and spicy Syrah/Shiraz, also benefit from a broad 20oz bowl.
If you’re into wine, consider sparkling wine like an ace up your sleeve. Bubbles are excellent food partners and can turn a reunion into a celebration as soon as you pop open that bottle.
Sparkling wine needs its own glass, but it doesn’t have to be a stemmed crystal glass; it can be a modern and slick stemless flute that will allow the bubbles to be released continuously while still adding finesse to the occasion. Sparkling wine is all about style and going over the top — that’s why your guests will love it.
Shape and Size Matter, So Build Your Wine Glass Collection
Now you know which wine styles go with which wine glass. We’ve also shown you that the new generation of wine glasses, the unbreakable Tritan crystal-clear stemless glasses are not only worthy of any bottle of wine, they’re better than traditional glasses in many ways.
Enjoy your favorite wine and make good use of your newfound wine glass knowledge. Share this post with your wine-loving friends and browse around, because it’s always a good time to build your wine glass collection.