Wine Glassware

Learn how wine glassware is designed to increase enjoyment, both functionally and socially.

The flavor and aroma of wine is heavily affected by its interaction with oxygen in the air. Different layers will come forth the longer the exposure, sometimes making each sip slightly different. Some wine varieties need a lot of interaction, while others need only a little.

Wine glassware ranges from wide and round to tall and narrow. Wide glassware increases the surface area of wine and increases oxygen interaction. Narrow glassware decreases the surface area of wine and decreases oxygen interaction.

Aged wine is complex and served in wider glasses. Young, fresh wine is served in more narrow ones.

Cellar temperature wine is served in wider glasses. Chilled wine is served in more narrow ones.

Because red wine is typically aged for 4 years and served warmer, red wine glasses are wider. Also, white wine is typically aged for 1-2 years and served slightly chilled, so white wine glasses are more narrow.

The body of the glass usually tapers in at the top to concentrate the aroma at your nose. A nominal serving of wine is 150 mL (5 fl oz), but most people pour glasses to around 300 mL (10 fl oz). Dessert and fortified wine servings may be half the size.

Wine Glass Designs



The mouth of a wine glass affects your nose and tongue.

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The body of a wine glass affects wine temperature and oxygen interaction.

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The base of a wine glass affects handling, stability, toasts, and more.

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Thin Walls

More heat transfer from surroundings
Increase aroma
Need to wash by hand

Thick walls

Insulate wine
Reduce heat transfer from surroundings
Durable for dishwashers


Nucleation is texturing or dimples in the bottom of a glass. It assists sparkling wines by releasing a steady stream of carbonation. In glassware, it can be created by etching, engraving, lasering, or sandblasting the bottom surface.

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