Wine glasses

Which glass for which wine?

Sparkling white wine or a full-bodied red - the right shaped wine glass sets the scene for a fine wine and helps unfold its full aroma. Serving wine in the proper glass enhances the full characteristic, varietal taste. Our guide shows you the differences among the types and shapes of wine glasses and recommends which wine should be served in which glass.

Functional differences in shapes

The primary difference among wine glass types is the shape of the bowl. Broad opened bowls or narrow flutes - the individual form of a glass can emphasize the character of the wine and enhance its aroma or background unwanted flavors.


Red wine

Red wine has to breath. The complex bouquet - for which red wine is known - requires ample space. Which is why red wine goblets are characterized by a rounded, voluminous bowl and wide opening which narrows just slightly towards the rim. Such a shape creates more surface area and gives the wine ample space for coming into contact with enough oxygen. By doing this, red wine glasses ensure that aroma of a red wine varietal can be more intensely and distinctly showcased.

White wine

White wine glasses have a narrow, high shape that is similar to a champagne flute. The long stem is for holding the glass so that the bowl doesn’t warm up too quickly - because white wine is best served chilled. Which is also why a white wine glass holds a smaller amount: The less amount in the glass, the less the wine can warm up. With white wine, it’s better to refill glasses more often so that guests don’t have to sip it lukewarm.


Rosé glasses are medium sized because a rosé wine doesn’t need to breath. They are taller and slimmer than red wine goblets with an opening that narrows toward the rim so that the aroma - light and fruity for most rosés - can unfold its effect directly on the tongue.

Arrangement: What is the order for setting wine glasses?

Glasses have their special arrangement at a formal dining table just as cutlery does. It is above the knife, to the right of the place setting.

When setting the table for a multi-course meal, the arrangement of the individual glasses follows the order of the courses, both when placing the wine glasses and using them during the meal. According to table etiquette, the water goblet goes all the way to the right of the cutlery; to the left of that is the white wine glass, and to the left of that is the red wine glass.

Properly cleaning your wine glasses

Always thoroughly clean your precious wine glasses after using them, if you want to enjoy them for a long time. Hand-washing is always the best for fine wine glasses. Dishwashers pose a great risk to your glasses, even if they are labeled as dishwasher-safe. Delicate crystal glasses and other exquisite glassware can shatter during machine washing.

To wash by hand, use lukewarm water and, preferably, a gentle dishwashing liquid. Aggressive cleaning agents can damage the surface of expensive wine glasses. Also avoid intensely scrubbing high quality glasses for this reason. Simply dip the wine glasses carefully into the soapy water and slowly pull them out one after the other. This procedure can be repeated up to five times for your fine glassware. If there are resistant spots on the glasses that don’t disappear with repeated rinsing, then try a solution of diluted white vinegar and water. After dipping the glasses in the vinegar solution, rinse them again thoroughly.

Brilliant and sparkling - polishing wine glasses

Cleaning is not enough for crystal-clear wine glasses. Careful polishing is what makes fine glassware shine again after an evening of wine. For the sake of your glasses, use a clean, lint-free cotton or, even better, linen, kitchen towel for this step. Be careful not not hold the glass by the stem when polishing because it can suddenly break in your hand. Ideally, it should be held by the goblet - the best is to use a second cotton towel for this.


For sparkling glasses, it is also recommended that they be carefully held over steam when polishing them to avoid unsightly streaks. Held up against the light, your wineglasses shine again. Ready for the next warm summer evening or a formal party banquet.

Bottom line

The shape of the glass determines the taste of the wine

A fruity white wine as a light complement to a fish dish or a full-bodied, strong red wine after an eventful day - wine connoisseurs and laypeople alike know that a wine first unfolds its complex bouquet in the right shaped glass. Wine glass aesthetics is more than just a question of personal taste. For savoring a wine, the shape of the glassware is truly the decisive element no matter how varied the design of the wineglass.

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