Our wine glass guide will make sure you have the ultimate glassware collection for every occasion.
We called on the expertise of our wine and wine glassware retail specialists who shared their wisdom when it comes to investing in high-end wine and champagne glasses.
A special glass for a special grape
First off, it is important to understand that each glass is specifically crafted to suit a specific type of wine. Pairing the correct glass with a specific type of wine will enhance the taste experience by highlighting the body of the wine on both the nose and the palette.
Your tongue is made of taste sectors. The shape and aperture of the glass will make sure the wine lands in the desired sweet spot of your mouth which will bring out the best qualities in the wine.
Take an Oaked Chardonnay glass, for example. This wide bowled glass is shaped to soften the wooded taste in oaked wines. A narrow glass tends to accentuate the wooded taste, hence why a number of people do not enjoy wooded wines.
For this reason, we recommend that your glassware collection should have the following: three types of red wine glasses; three to four white wine glasses and a champagne glass.
The essential wine glass assortment includes:
- Shiraz / Syrah / Pinotage
- Bordeaux / Merlot / Cabernet Sauvignon
- Burgundy / Pinot Noir
- Viognier Chardonnay
- Montrachet / Oaked Chardonnay
- Sauvignon Blanc / Champagne Wine Glass
Define your taste in a glass
When it comes to choosing a selection of glasses, it is important to know what type of wine the person enjoys and having the appropriate glass for that varietal. If you prefer blends and Merlots, choose the Bordeaux / Merlot / Cab Sav glass or if you enjoy wooded wines, you would want the Montrachet Glass (this doubles up as a G&T glass too.)”
Never mix your reds and whites
While you can get away with using one type of glass for different varietals of the same colour, it is a definite no-no to drink white wine in a red wine glass and vice versa.
The difference between the various glass shapes and how they enhance the taste sensation of the wine:
Red wine likes to breathe
A red wine glass has a full, round bowl and large opening. The full bowl provides air contact for the complex aromas and flavours.
The large opening enables the drinker to dip their nose inside to detect the aroma. The larger bowl increases the oxidation rate, which smooths out the complex flavours.
Red wine glass ranges consist of Cabernet Sauvignon / Bordeaux glass, Syrah / Shiraz Glass, Burgundy / Pinot Noir glass.
Cool and collected white wine
A white wine glass has a slightly smaller bowl than a red wine glass.
The bowl is more u-shaped and upright than a red wine glass.
This shape enhances and preserves aromas while also maintaining the wine’s cool temperature.
White wine glass ranges consist of Sauvignon Blanc glass, Montrachet (Oaked Chardonnay) glass, Chardonnay wine glass and Riesling wine glass.
Straight up bubbles
Sparkling wine and champagne glasses have an upright, narrow bowl to preserve the carbonation and flavour.
The range consists of Flute wine glass, Tulip wine glass, Vintage Champagne glass and Coupe glass.
Glassware dos and don’ts:
High-quality wine and champagne glasses should last a lifetime if cared for properly. To make sure your glasses look their best, take note of these easy-clean, care and store tips:
- Riedel glasses are dishwasher safe. However, we do not personally recommend putting them into a dishwasher, as the high heat in the drying cycle can cause your glasses to go ‘milky’. If you insist on using a washing by machine, Riedel recommends a Miele dishwasher.
- Prevent scratches by avoiding glass contact with other glass or metal.
- Invest in a stemware rack.
- If washing by hand, wash the glass under warm water, use washing powder and rinse the glass carefully. Wash 1 glass at a time, do not put multiple glasses in a sink to prevent breaking.
- To give your glasses that stunning sheen, make sure to polish them regularly. Use two microfibre polishing cloths, and never hold the glass by the base or stem when polishing the bowl.
- Avoid glass storage in kitchen cabinets which have strong aromas that translate into glass.