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How to Choose the Correct Wine Glass

There are three basic wine glass shapes, designed to bring out the aroma of specific wines. Follow these guidelines to make the right choice.


  • Step 1: Use Chablis for white Use a Chablis glass, the smallest, for white wine.
  • Step 2: Use Bordeaux for big reds Use the medium-size Bordeaux glass for full-bodied reds like cabernet and merlot.
  • Step 3: Use Burgundy for lighter reds Serve light and medium-bodied reds like pinot noir in the largest glass, called a Burgundy glass or balloon glass.
  • TIP: For a dessert wine, choose a traditional tulip shape.
  • Step 4: Don't get colorful No matter which shape you use, choose stemware made of clear, colorless, smooth-sided glass; wine experts believe colored and faceted glass interfere with wine appreciation by distorting the wine's true color.
  • TIP: Crystal glass is best for clarity, but expensive.
  • Step 5: Go with big bottoms Make sure the bowl of a wine glass is thin, and that it's wider on the bottom to help contain the aroma. The exception is for sparkling wines like champagne, which require a tall, narrow glass to prevent the bubbles from escaping.
  • Step 6: Look for tall stems Choose a stem long enough to fit your hand; holding the glass by the bowl alters the taste by raising the temperature of the wine.
  • Step 7: Choose the right rim Choose a "cut" rim, which means it has no lip, rather than a "rolled" one, which widens at the edge. With a cut rim, the wine flows onto the top of your tongue where your taste buds are located, while a rolled one makes it fall down the sides. Cheers!
  • FACT: The United States and France consume about the same total amount of wine every year, even though France has 240 million less people.

You Will Need

  • An assortment of stemware

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