Choosing the Right Wine Glass – What You Need to Know

Every time you head into a homewares store, you see them.

Row upon row of wine glasses, all of which come in different shapes and sizes. It’s enough to confuse you. Surely, picking a wine glass should be a simple exercise. You shouldn’t have to navigate all of these different sizes to find the right one.

Well, you could just pick one set and leave it at that.

But if you do, you’re losing the potential to make all of your Italian wines the best that they can be.

The reason for there being so many different shapes and sizes of wine glass is that each type of wine has different needs. Using the wrong type of glass for a wine means that the drink never reaches its full potential.

Sure, you can still enjoy drinking an Italian wine out of the wrong type of glass.

But you’d enjoy it more if you had the right type of glass.

That’s what this article is here to help you with. In this article, we’re going to share a few tips for choosing the wine glasses that you really need.

Tip #1 – Check the Bowl First

Have you ever noticed how some wine glasses are super wide, where others are surprisingly thin? That’s because the bowl plays a big part in helping a wine to reach its full potential. Choosing the wrong size bowl means that you end up with a glass that can’t do the job.

Typically, you’ll have three choices:

  1. A wide bowl
  2. A medium bowl
  3. A thin bowl

Let’s go with the thin bowl first. Typically, these types of glasses come with a name that clues you into what they’re best for – Champagne Flutes.

The idea with a thin bowl is to let as little oxygen into the wine as possible. The reason for this is that oxygen causes carbonated wines to lose their all-important bubbles. The point being that a thin bowl means that your sparkling wines stay sparkling for long. Of course, the flip-side is that these types of glasses don’t allow enough oxygen in for a red wine.

The medium bowl is almost an all-purpose one. You could use it for red wines, though a wide bowl is much better. You could also use it for sparkling wines, though the bubbles will disappear faster. But the common recommendation is to use a medium bowl if you prefer to drink white wines. A medium bowl allows more subtle flavours to come to the fore, which is important for white wines that tend to have a more dominant note that can override all of the others.

Finally, we come to our wide bowl. And as you may have guessed, this one works best with an Italian red wine. Wider bowls allow more oxygen into the wine, which releases the flavours in more complex wines. These types of bowls also allow more flavours to waft up when you’re experiencing the bouquet.

Tip #2 – Check the Stem

The bowl may be the most important part of the wine glass, but it’s not the only thing that you need to look out for.

The stem may also play a role in your choice.

More specifically, we’re talking about the fairly modern trend of having stemless wine glasses. Now, these look pretty cool, we have to admit. However, they also require you to hold the glass itself using your hand.

That creates an issue.

The heat from your hand transfers more directly to the wine with this type of glass.

This isn’t much of an issue if you’re drinking red wine. While you don’t want to heat the wine up too much, you’re also not looking for this type of wine to stay chilled.

However, it becomes a major problem with whites and sparkling wines.

Generally speaking, we recommend choosing glasses that have a stem that you can use to pick them up. You can go stemless for the look, but just be aware that your hand may cause the wine to lose some of its character and flavour.

Tip #3 – The Rim Matters Too

Can the rim of a wine glass really have much of an effect when you’re drinking?

Strangely enough, yes it can! Specifically, the rim affects how the wine flows into your mouth. A thin rim allows the wine to flow smoothly into your mouth. As the rim gets thicker, the flow slows down a little.

Why is this important?

A slower flow helps to accentuate the acidity of the wine.

So, your rim choice depends on how much you want to experience acidity. For a summer white wine, a thicker rim may be the best option. For smoother Italian red wines, a thinner rim may be the best option.

But really, this choice comes down to both the wine and the experience you want to have while drinking it.

Tip #4 – Think About the Occasion

Okay, now that you’ve got size, stem, and rim sorted, it’s time to think about when you’ll use the glasses.


This will influence how much you spend on them.

Are the glasses intended for personal use? If that’s the case, you can get away with spending a little more on them because you know that you’ll be careful.

But what if you have friends around all of the time or you host a lot of parties?

That creates a higher possibility of wine glasses getting knocked over and smashing. The last thing you want is for that expensive crystal set to lose a glass because somebody knocked it off a table.

The Final Word

And with that, you have everything that you need to make the right choices when it comes to your wine glasses.

Ultimately, it comes down to the types of wine that you prefer to drink. However, a true aficionado will have a selection of every type of glass in the house so that can enjoy whatever Italian wines that they buy to their fullest.


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