Drinking wine can be simple or sophisticated – maybe you’re at a picnic drinking Chianti out of plastic cups, or a vineyard in Tuscany enjoying Brunello di Montalcino in crystal glasses, but one thing is sure – the wine glass you use can affect your wine enjoyment experience immensely. While we encourage drinking wine out of any and all vessels, we also wanted to provide a guide as to the best glasses to enjoy different types of wine. The shape and size of the glass can affect how flavors build and extend. To get the most out of your Tuscan wine, it’s best to use the correct glass.
There are six main types of red wine glasses: Cabernet, Burgundy, Bordeaux, Zinfandel, Pinot Noir, and Rose.
Cabernet wine – Chianti wine
Cabernet wine glasses are tall, with a large, wide bowl. They allow for amplified nose due to their shape, but it’s important to be careful. The large glass can encourage heavy pours, and the wine is best enjoyed when it comes just to the widest part of the glass. Although referred to as Cabernet, these glasses are perfect for enjoying a light or even full-bodied Chianti or Chianti Classico.
Burgundy wine – Brunello di Montalcino
Then, there are Burgundy glasses. The bowl of these glasses is wider than that of the Bordeaux glass to handle wines that are slightly more delicate. The glasses still have a long stem, and tend to have very thin, delicate glass. Pour a Brunello di Montalcino or a Morellino di Scansano into these delicate glasses and prepare to be wowed.
Bordeaux wine – Nobile di Montepulciano
Bordeaux wine glasses are the tallest but have a much smaller bowl than many other glasses. These glasses are perfect for strong, full-bodied wines like an Amarone or a Nobile di Montepulciano. The height of the glass forces the wine to the back of the mouth when you sip, so you enjoy all of the flavors without any bitterness, or a full mouth. These glasses are also great for younger wines that may not be as full bodied as its namesake.
Zinfandel glasses on the other hand are a little shorter than the Bordeaux glass, with a wider, thin rim. The bowl is smaller than a Bordeaux or Cabernet glass, but still large enough for the red wine to breathe. Drink a nice Tuscan rosè in these glasses.
Pinot Noir wine
Pinot Noir – also known as pinot nero, glasses have the widest bowl of all the glasses to give the wine as much contact with air as possible. These glasses have a rim that is turned away from the bowl in order to enjoy the nose of the wine.
Finally, there is the Rosè glass, which have long stems so that the heat of your hand doesn’t affect the wine. Again, with this glass you can find a flared lip similar to that of the Pinot Noir glass. Remole makes a nice rose that is available throughout Chianti and Tuscany. Give it a try!
There are two main types of white wine glasses, the Chardonnay glass, and the Viognier glass. Glasses for white wine tend to have a more upright shape.
Chardonnay wine – Vernaccia di San Gimignano
The Chardonnay glass is similar to the Pinot Noir glass but a bit shorter and is perfect for immature white wines due to its large opening. These glasses work well for most white wines, especially the Vernaccia di San Gimignano and the Tuscan Vermentino. They allow for maximum enjoyment of nose and taste.
The Viognier glass has a small bowl, deeply curved sides, and a smaller opening to avoid the delicate wine’s contact with the air. An additional advantage is that its broad base and its shape make it more difficult to knock over!
Of course, sparkling wine has a special glass, which symbolize a special occasion when they are taken out. Tall and narrow, their shape allows for the wine to retain its carbonation so when you drink it you feel the bubbles on your tongue. They should have long, thin stems to keep the heat from your hand from affecting the carbonation. Pour yourself a glass of Tuscan Prosecco and celebrate your new wine glass knowledge!
There are many other types of wine glasses, including balloon glasses, port wine glasses, vintage glasses, sherry glasses, stemless glasses, and even aerating glasses. While we’ve described the most common wine glasses, feel free to experiment by mixing different wines with different glasses. Now, when you enjoy your wine from Chianti, you will be able to make sophisticated choices when choosing your glassware.