World of Wine

Red Wine Glasses by Riedel


Give your red wines the glass they deserve

At RIEDEL, we're passionate about providing the best wine glassware to make each sip as deliciously pleasing as possible. That means working with experts, conducting lots of comparative tastings, and flawlessly designing and crafting glassware that makes your wine sing. In this blog, we delve into the world of Grape Varietal Specific red wine glassware and its importance to your experience of different types of red wine. With the likes of Cabernet Sauvignon, Pinot Noir, Merlot, and Tempranillo being some of the most widely grown and drunk wines in the world, it's one of the most essential wine topics to get clued up on. So, uncork your bottle, open your wine glass cupboard, and get ready to take your red wine enjoyment up a notch.


Why use specific glasses for different red wine glasses?

You may already be aware of the fundamental differences between red wine glasses and white wine glasses. Red wine glasses generally feature large, round bowls and wide rim diameters to help the wine aerate, allowing its complex characteristics to breathe and develop. White wine glasses, on the other hand, often have smaller, narrower bowls designed to preserve the delicate, fresh aromas often possessed by white wines.

Sounds simple enough, but why must we distinguish between different red wines? Why does a Cabernet Sauvignon glass differ from one engineered for Syrah or Pinot Noir? The answer lies in the interaction between the glass shape and the characteristics of each grape variety. Not all red wines are the same - far from it, so for optimal wine enjoyment, we need to go beyond simply having one glass for all red wines. We need glassware that is tailored to each red wine's unique qualities.

To help paint this picture a little more clearly, here are some examples of how we've designed our RIEDEL Grape Varietal Specific red wine glasses to maximize the qualities of different red wines, using glassware from our RIEDEL Veritas Collection.


RIEDEL Cabernet/Merlot

RIEDEL Old World Syrah

Predominantly grown in France (although the name is thought to come from Syracruse – a city in Sicily), old-world Syrah wines are typically earthy and herbaceous with soft fruit notes, medium to full-bodied, and exceptionally dark in color. To accommodate these characteristics, the RIEDEL Old World Syrah glass features an elongated, egg-shaped bowl that brings forward these qualities and highlights a long, savory finish on the palate.

RIEDEL New World Shiraz

It isn't just wine varieties that differ from one another - differences can also be observed between old-world and new-world wines! With its release in 2014, RIEDEL Veritas became the first RIEDEL collection to include and differentiate between "New World" and "Old World" wine glass styles.

The RIEDEL Veritas New World Shiraz glass is made for those Shiraz wines produced in 'new kids on the block' wine regions, most notably Australia in this particular instance. These Shiraz wines are often more fruit-driven and spiced than old-world Syrah wines and tend to be more full-bodied. In recognition of this, we designed the RIEDEL Veritas New World Shiraz glass to deliver a long finish on the palate while also allowing these bolder characteristics to develop more than is often required for old-world Syrahs. This is thanks to this glass's large bowl and slightly tapered opening, which helps to thoroughly aerate the wine, allowing its prominent qualities to develop and mature inside the bowl.

RIEDEL Old World Pinot Noir

Since Pinot Noir is a lighter-bodied red wine with vibrant, fresh aromas, it calls for a glass quite different from what we'd recommend for fuller-bodied reds. Old-world Pinot Noirs from countries such as France and Germany are often quite delicate and acidic, so the RIEDEL Old World Pinot Noir glass features a balloon-shaped bowl that develops the wine's fruit aromas while tempering its naturally higher acidity. However, we don't want the wine's subtle aromas to dissipate, so this glass tapers considerably towards the lip, allowing it to contain and highlight these nuanced characteristics for optimal nosing. 

RIEDEL New World Pinot Noir

Like old-world Syrah and new-world Shiraz, there are common differences between old-world Pinot Noir and new-world Pinot Noir wines that we consider when designing our glasses for them. The bowl for the RIEDEL New World Pinot Noir glass shares many similarities with its old-world counterpart - its wide bowl helps the wine aerate, develop its fruit flavors, and balance acidity while its narrower opening highlights subtle qualities in the wine.

Where the RIEDEL New World Pinot Noir glass differs is in its lip design. New-world Pinot Noirs are often slightly sweeter and have bolder fruit aromas than old-world Pinot Noirs, so we wanted a glass that could adequately translate these qualities to the drinker's palate. When designing this glass, we found in workshops that the slightly flared lip of this glass highlighted this sweetness in a way that made the wines more approachable, giving a complete, unhindered picture of new-world Pinot Noir wines.

There you have it - a rundown of some of our most popular Grape Varietal Specific red wine glasses and how we develop each one to bring the most out of the wines it is designed for. We hope you found this guide helpful in understanding why we recommend different glasses for your red wines. Every nuance matters in the world of wine, and the vessel you choose to embrace your favorite red can make all the difference. To learn more about the purpose of other RIEDEL Grape Varietal Specific glasses, check out our guide to different types of wine glasses.